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Explanation of Service Quality Reports

 
The following explanations are provided for the various service quality reports, pursuant to ORS 759.450, and apply to all Telecommunications Utilities and Competitive Telecommunications Providers.

REPAIR SERVICE ACCESS
 
RULE REFERENCE:
STANDARD: The carrier’s representative must answer at least 80% of calls within 20 seconds or have an average speed of answer time of 50 seconds or less.
 
EXPLANATION: Each large incumbent telecommunications utility and competitive telecommunications provider measures the answering time from the time a call is directed to a representative (live person) to the time it is answered. When a customer has a problem with their service, they call the telecommunications carrier’s repair service center. Larger companies have centralized centers that are not located in Oregon. Some companies use an interactive voice response system, while others go directly to their representative without an automated system. The option of transferring immediately to a live person when entering an automated system, bypassing automated questions for routing, is required. Usually, this is accomplished by dialing "0" during the initial menu. The customer will still be put in queue for a representative that will be able to help them, as some customers require this additional assistance. For most customers, this option does not provide any advantage.
 
Company representatives are required to answer calls within 20 seconds at least 80% of the time or have an average speed of answer time of 50 seconds or less. The reason both measurements are used is to provide companies, many of which operate in multiple states, an opportunity to standardize measurement methods within their company.
 
 
 
BUSINESS OFFICE ACCESS
 
RULE REFERENCE:
STANDARD: The carrier’s representative must answer at least 80% of calls within 20 seconds or have an average speed of answer time of 50 seconds or less.
 
EXPLANATION: Each large incumbent telecommunications utility and competitive telecommunications provider measures answering time from the time a call is directed to a representative (live person) to the time it is answered. When a customer requires new service, change of service, disconnection, or billing problems, they call the telecommunications carrier’s business office. Some larger companies have centralized centers that are not located in Oregon. Some companies use an interactive voice response system, while others go directly to their representative without an automated system. The option of transferring immediately to a live person when entering an automated system is required. This is usually accomplished by dialing "0" during the initial menu. The customer will still be put in queue for a representative that will be able to help them: Some customers require this additional assistance. For most customers, this option does not provide any advantage.
 
Company representatives are required to answer calls within 20 seconds at least 80% of the time or have an average speed of answer time of 50 seconds or less. There is no formula to convert between these two measurements and the two numbers should notbe compared to one another when comparing different telephone companies’ service. 
 
The reason both measurements are used in the rules is to provide the various companies an opportunity to standardize measurement methods within their company.
 
 
 
COMMITMENTS MET FOR SERVICE (PROVISIONING)
 
RULE REFERENCE:
STANDARD: Each telecommunications carrier must meet at least 90 percent of its commitments for service.
 
EXPLANATION: Each telecommunications carrier provides a commitment date to a customer when an order for service is received. This is a date by which service is expected. The date is normally six (6) business days unless another date is determined by good faith negotiations between the customer and the carrier. Many factors must be considered when a date is provided. 
 
If a customer is not satisfied with the carrier’s explanation of a missed commitment, the customer can file a complaint with the PUC Consumer Services Division at 1-800-522-2404, or 378-6600 if calling in the Salem area.
 
 
 
 
REPAIR REPORTS CLEARED WITHIN 48 HOURS
 
RULE REFERENCE:
STANDARD: A carrier must clear monthly at least 95 percent of all trouble reports within 48 hours of receiving a report.
 
EXPLANATION: A trouble report is a report of a malfunction on existing lines, circuits, or features up to and including the network interface (usually a gray box on the side of a residential customer’s home). Telecommunications carriers should provide each customer making a trouble report with a commitment time (usually within 48 hours) by which it will repair or resolve the problem. 
 
 
 
TROUBLE REPORT RATE
 
RULE REFERENCE:
STANDARD: A Carrier must maintain service so that the monthly trouble report rate, after approved trouble report exclusions, does not exceed:
  • For wire centers with more than 1,000 access lines: two (2) per 100 working access lines per wire center more than three (3) times during a sliding 12-month period.

     
  • For wire centers with 1,000 or less access lines: three (3) per 100 working access lines per wire center more than three (3) times during a sliding 12-month period.
(A "wire center" is the location within a community where the phone company locates its central office switch.)
 
A trouble report is a report of a malfunction on existing lines, circuits, or features up to and including the network interface (usually a gray box on the side of a residential customer’s home).
 

The trouble report rate for each wire center directly relates to customer satisfaction as it counts the number of troubles that customers report to the telephone repair service center. A wire center falls into two categories. A large wire center has more than 1,000 access lines and a small wire center has 1,000 or less access lines.
 
Even though the trouble report rate is normalized to take into account the number of access lines a wire center serves, small wire center trouble report rates are dramatically affected by a small change in the number of trouble reports. Therefore, the trouble report rate threshold for large wire centers is two (2) per 100 access lines and three (3) per 100 access lines for small wire centers. A wire center is out of standard if it exceeds the threshold for four (4) months in any consecutive twelve-month period. The trouble report rate is calculated by taking the number of trouble reports for a specific wire center, multiplying by 100, and dividing by the number of lines for that wire center.


To understand the difference between trouble reports and trouble report rates, consider the following example. Assume that two wire centers each had a trouble report rate of 2.30, with one wire center having 998 access lines and the other with 62,500 access lines. The smaller wire center would equate to 23 trouble reports for the month and the larger wire center would equate to 1,440 trouble reports over the same period.


 
 
BLOCKED CALLS
 
RULE REFERENCE:
STANDARD: A carrier must maintain interoffice final trunk groups to allow 99% completion of calls, during the average busy season busy hour without blockage (P.01 grade of service). When a carrier fails to maintain the interoffice final trunk group P.01 grade of service for four (4) or more consecutive months, it will be considered out-of-standard until the conditions are resolved. A single repeat blockage within two (2) months of restoring the P.01 grade of service will be considered a continuation of the original blockage.


EXPLANATION: The PUC monitors intra-switch (within an individual switch) and inter-switch (between switches) blocking.
 
 
SPECIAL NOTE
 
The Public Utility Commission randomly audits the telecommunications carrier records to ensure the accuracy of the reported numbers. Over time, the way the service quality information is reported on this web site may change. If you notice format changes, please refer to this page for additional explanations.
 
Carriers with over 1,000 access lines are required to provide a monthly service quality report, with the exception of Cooperative Telecommunications Providers. Carriers can also petition the Commission for exemption from service quality reporting requirements if the carrier meets all service quality objective service levels set forth in the service quality rules for the 12 months prior to the month in which the petition is filed.