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News Release
Wire Centers Remain A U S WEST Service Quality Problem
April 29, 1999 (1999-019)
Contacts: Ron Eachus, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Roger Hamilton, Commissioner 503 378-6611; Joan H. Smith, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Ron Karten, Public Information Officer, 503 378-8962
Salem, Ore. – The latest U S WEST Communications, Inc. service quality report shows that more than 75% of the company’s lines still go through central offices that fail to meet Public Utility Commission (OPUC) standards.
"It’s been over two years since we established new standards and the company just doesn’t seem to make any significant progress," said Commission Chairman Ron Eachus.
The Commission will review the company’s service quality report for the first quarter of 1999 at a public meeting Friday, April 30, at 2:30 PM in the Commission’s Main Hearing Room.
U S WEST has 77 wire centers in Oregon where telephone calls are processed. According to the report, as of March 31, only 17 of the 77 wire centers meet the Commission standard. That standard allows each wire center no more than two reports per 100 lines per month, averaged over a year.
"This is a recurring theme," Eachus said. "During every report, we say we want to see significant improvement and every time we look at the next report, it shows the company at about the same low level of compliance."
When the standards went into effect in January 1997, only two of the 77 wire centers met the standards. Since then the highest level of compliance has been 19 in the spring of 1998.
Although the company does not yet meet another important standard – the standard for held orders – it has met previously established objectives for progress toward compliance by September, 1999. Held orders are service requests that are not completed within five days or a period of time mutually agreed upon by company and customer. The Commission standard for held orders is currently 154. The company’s quarterly report shows a held order level of 250.
In other areas the report was mixed. In some areas, the company improved over the quarter and now meets standards. For example, the company met the Access to the Repair Bureau standard twice in the quarter, something it did not do even once during all of 1998. The company is very close to the Commission standard for Trouble Reports cleared within 48 hours, but it continues to lag on Access to the Business Office. Only once since the beginning of 1998 has the company achieved that standard.
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