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News Release
Qwest Maintains Improved Service Quality
August 28, 2000 (2000-040)
Contacts: Ron Eachus, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Roger Hamilton, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Joan H. Smith, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Information Officer, 503 378-8962
Salem, OR - Qwest Communications (formerly known as U S WEST) maintained its service quality gains the second quarter of this year but a number of wire centers failed to meet statutory standards for which the company faces potential automatic fines from the Oregon Public Utility Commission.
The data is included in the latest service quality report covering April, May and June. It showed Qwest met held orders, trouble reports cleared and access to repair centers standards.
"The reason you can have both sustained improvement and additional fines is that some standards apply to individual wire centers while others apply statewide," Chairman Ron Eachus said. "Overall this report shows that while there are still problems in some communities, Qwest has generally maintained its improvements over the last year."
Over the last year Qwest has shown steady improvement in the performance of its wire centers, which route phone calls.
In June, just 3 wire centers were out of compliance compared with 6 in May and 9 in April.
The wire centers that fell into the "unsatisfactory" categories are located in Salem, Corvallis, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, Roseburg, Spring River, St. Helens, Winston and Burlington.
The Salem and Grants Pass wire centers failed to meet the standards for the entire quarter.
Wire center fines for the quarter totaled $210,000.
The report also showed in April, Qwest failed to meet the business office access standard, which requires the company to answer calls within 20 seconds. The company met the standard in May and June. The business access fine is $15,000.
Qwest told the Commission it is training more employees to increase the percent of telephone calls answered within 20 seconds and anticipates continual improvement throughout the year.
For the second quarter, the potential fines totaled $225,000, which the Commission can automatically impose without going to court. The total is in addition to the $255,000 in statutory violations the company accrued in the first quarter of this year.
The Commission cannot impose the fines until the end of the year. The Commission has the discretion to reduce the penalties.
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