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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
Wednesday, April 17, 2002; 1:30 P.M.
State Capitol Building, Room 412
Pierre, South Dakota
NOTE: If you wish to join this meeting by conference call, please contact the Commission at 605-773-3201 by 5:00 p.m. on April 16, 2002.
NOTE: Notice is further given to persons with disabilities that this Commission meeting is being held in a physically accessible place. If you have special needs, please notify the Commission and we will make all necessary arrangements.
AGENDA OF THE COMMISSION MEETING
1. Approval Of The Minutes Of The Commission Meetings Held On March 28, 2002. (Staff: Mary Giddings.)
1. Status Report On Consumer Utility Inquiries And Complaints Recently Received By The Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Mary Healy.)
The Commission has received 554 consumer contacts during 2002. 116 of the complaints were received since the March 28, 2002, meeting. So far the Commission has resolved 492 informal consumer complaints.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS: 87 of the contacts involved telecommunications. 25 contacts concerned billing issues; 7 concerned the unauthorized switch in telecommunication services; 7 contacts involved telemarketers; 4 contacts involved disconnects; 10 concerned unauthorized billing; 9 contacts involved increased rates, and some of the remaining contacts involved directory assistance, cellular service, Life line/Link up and poor service.
ELECTRICITY: 14 of the contacts involved electricity issues. 12 of the contacts concerned disconnect, and 2 concerned billing.
NATURAL GAS: 8 of the contacts involved natural gas. 2 of the contacts concerned billing; 3 contact involved disconnects; 1 involved energy assistance; 1 concerned fees, and 1 concerned gas prices.
2. IN THE MATTER OF DISMISSING DOCKETS CT01-046, CT02-007, CT02-008 and CT02- 009.
CT01-046 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY BONNIE G. CEROLL, SISSETON, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST GLOBAL CROSSING TELECOMMUNICATIONS, INC. REGARDING UNAUTHORIZED SWITCHING OF SERVICES. (Staff Analyst: Mary Healy. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
Complainant states that she received unauthorized billing on three of her telephone lines by Global Crossing. She states that Global Crossing continued to harass her, her family and her employee about Complainant's account with Global Crossing. Complainant states that although she feels that she is entitled to $3,000.00 for the unauthorized billing, she would be willing to settle for $1,500.00 from Global Crossing. If Complainant is required to attend a hearing on the complaint, she requests that the Commission award her travel expenses along with what she is entitled to under South Dakota law.
CT02-007 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY KOEHN MARKETING, INC., WATERTOWN, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST QWEST CORPORATION AND MCLEODUSA TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES, INC. REGARDING POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE. (Staff: Mary Healy. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
On February 27, 2002, a Qwest technician came to Koehn Marketing to switch their service from McLeod to Qwest. The Qwest technician told Mr. Koehn that everything was hooked up. Later that morning, Mr. Koehn discovered that his 800 number was not working. When he contacted the two companies, each company blamed the other. Mr. Koehn states that the Qwest representative was rude and did not want to help him with the problem. The 800 number service was not restored until 3:00 P.M. the next day. Mr. Koehn states that because of the delay, the business potentially lost thousand of dollars in lost business. Complainant feels that Qwest and McLeod need to be accountable for this mistake. Complainant requests that the Commission take action to make sure that this type of poor service does not happen to other customers.
CT02-008 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY TYLER AND DEE HAUGEN, STURGIS, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST QWEST CORPORATION REGARDING UNAUTHORIZED BILLING FOR SERVICES AND POOR QUALITY OF CUSTOMER SERVICE. (Staff Analyst: Mary Healy. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
On January 8, 2002, Complainants contacted Qwest and requested Qwest's Smart Pac calling plan. On February 11, 2002, Complainants contacted Qwest after receiving a bill from Qwest charging them long distance rates for calls that should be toll free by having the Smart Pac calling plan. The representative issued a credit in the amount of $103.75 and the long distance calls were rerated to .10 per minute. Complainants were also informed that the Smart Pac plan was not properly added to their account. On February 14, 2002, Complainants' long distance service was disconnected. On February 15, 2002, Complainants were told that nothing could be done to restore their service until after the weekend. On February 18, 2002, Complainants were told that their account was red flagged because of the high volume of long distance calls. Complainants requested that service be restored and Qwest stated it would take 72 hours. Long distance service was restored on February 20th. On February 26, 2002, Complainants received a bill from Qwest for $1,327.82. Complainants contacted Qwest about the incorrect billing as they were being charged for calls that should be in their extended area calling plan. On February 27, 2002, Complainants were told that they were not able to have the Smart Pac plan and that they would need to have the value choice plan. Complainants request that their bills be revised and that appropriate credit be issued for the calling plan they agreed to.
CT02-009 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY DONALD L. BEANER, PARKER, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST EXCEL TELECOMMUNICATIONS, INC., MCIWORLDCOM AND SIOUX VALLEY TELEPHONE COMPANY REGARDING UNAUTHORIZED BILLING FOR SERVICES AND FAILURE TO SWITCH PROVIDERS. (Staff: Mary Healy. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
Complainant states that on September 5, 2001, he contacted MCI and signed up for service with them. He also contacted Sioux Valley to advise them of his wish to change providers to MCI. Several days later, Complainant states that he verified with Sioux Valley that he had been switched to MCI. On November 6, 2001, Complainant became aware that his service was still with Excel and he had not been switched to MCI. Because Complainant was not switched over to MCI, the rates he was charged by Excel were much higher than what he would have paid to MCI. Complainant has offered to pay Excel the amount he would have paid MCI. Excel has not accepted his offer. Complainant requests that the Commission determine which company should be responsible to pay the outstanding Excel bill as he believes that it was an error on the part of one of the companies.
TODAY, if the above matters are resolved shall the Commission dismiss the complaints and close the dockets?
On April 8, 2002, Otter Tail Power Company filed a Contract with Deviations for approval. The proposed Contract is with the City of Oldham and is effective May 15, 2002. The old contract expires May 15, 2002.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the proposed Contract with Deviations?
Gas and Electric
1. GE02-001 IN THE MATTER OF THE FILING BY MIDAMERICAN ENERGY COMPANY FOR APPROVAL OF REVISED RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL CUSTOMER INFORMATION PAMPHLET. (Staff Analyst: Heather Forney. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
MidAmerican Energy Company has requested approval of its Customer Information Pamphlet for residential and commercial customers. MidAmerican has updated the gas portion of the combination pamphlets to include the recent gas tariff rate changes approved in Docket NG01-011 and the purchased gas adjustment factor based on the 12-months average ending December 2001.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the proposed information pamphlet?
Application by MidAmerican Energy Company to update the listing of communities served natural gas service in South Dakota.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the proposed tariff revisions?
1. TC01-158 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF TELEGENIUS, INC. FOR A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE INTEREXCHANGE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES IN SOUTH DAKOTA. (Staff Analyst: Michele Farris. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
On October 10, 2001, Telegenius, Inc. filed an application for a Certificate of Authority to provide resold interexchange telecommunications services throughout South Dakota. The applicant proposes to acquire and resell various voice and data communications services offered by IXCs, and to package and provide these services for the specialized functions and needs of its customers.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant a Certificate of Authority to Telegenius, Inc.?
2. TC02-015 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF EXCEL TELECOMMUNICATIONS, INC. FOR A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE COMPETITIVE FACILITIES-BASED LOCAL EXCHANGE SERVICES IN SOUTH DAKOTA. (Staff Analyst: Heather Forney. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
Excel Telecommunications, Inc. has filed an application requesting an expansion of its Certificate of Authority to provide telecommunications services in South Dakota. The applicant was granted authority to provide resold local exchange services in South Dakota on December 17, 1996. The Company now proposes to offer facilities-based local exchange services to consumers in the State utilizing combinations of unbundled network elements (UNEs), specifically the unbundled network elements platform (UNE-P) purchased from the incumbent local exchange carrier. The matter was deferred at the March 28, 2002, regular meeting.
TODAY, under the current certificate of authority, does Excel need Commission approval to provide facilities-based local exchange service?
3. TC02-016 IN THE MATTER OF THE FILING BY Z-TEL COMMUNICATIONS, INC. FOR APPROVAL OF PETITION FOR RELIEF OF CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENT TO POST SURETY BOND. (Staff Analyst: Michele Farris. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
On March 9, 2001, the Commission issued a Certificate of Authority to Z-Tel Communications, Inc. The Certificate of Authority was issued with the requirement of a continuous $25,000.00 surety bond. The bond has been cancelled by the insurer due to an ultra-conservative review of bond holdings by the United States Fire Insurance Company in the wake of the Enron failure. On February 15, 2002, Z-Tel filed a petition for relief of the company's certification requirement to post a surety bond. At the February 26, 2002, meeting, the Commission amended the COA of Z-Tel in TC00-196. On April 9, 2002, the company filed a petition to withdraw this matter.
TODAY, shall the Commission close the docket?
4. TC02-017 IN THE MATTER OF THE FILING BY MCLEODUSA TELECOM DEVELOPMENT, INC. FOR APPROVAL OF ITS INTRASTATE SWITCHED ACCESS TARIFF AND FOR AN EXEMPTION FROM DEVELOPING COMPANY SPECIFIC COST-BASED SWITCHED ACCESS RATES. (Staff Analyst: Michele M. Farris. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
On February 19, 2002, McLeodUSA Telecom Development, Inc. (MTDI) filed for approval of its Switched Access Tariff. The tariff is intended to replace the switched access tariff for Dakota Telecom, Inc. MTDI has also requested that the Commission approve a petition for exemption from the development of company specific cost-based switched access rates consistent with ARSD 20:10:27:11.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the proposed tariff and exemption?
5. TC02-026 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF KIGER TELEPHONE & TELEPHONY, LLC FOR A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE INTEREXCHANGE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES IN SOUTH DAKOTA. (Staff Analyst: Michele Farris. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
On March 21, 2002, Kiger Telephone & Telephony, LLC filed an application for a Certificate of Authority to provide interexchange telecommunications services in South Dakota. Kiger intends to provide resold interexchange services, including 1+ and 101XXXX outbound dialing, 800/888 Toll-Free inbound dialing, directory assistance, data services and travel card service throughout South Dakota.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant a Certificate of Authority to Kiger Telephone & Telephony, LLC?
1. A hearing in EL02-003 (WREA) will be held on April 18, 2002, at 1:00pm, in Room 464, of the State Capitol.
2. A hearing in TC01-165 (Qwest 271 Filing) will be held on April 22-May 9, 2002, in Room 412 of the State Capitol.
3. The next regularly scheduled Commission meeting will be held May 9, 2002, at 1:30pm, in Room 412 of the State Capitol Building.
Deputy Executive Director
April 10, 2002