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News Release
Qwest Former Customer Refund Deadline Draws Near
December 21, 2000 (2000-060)
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 - Former customers of U S WEST, (now known as Qwest), have less than one month left to apply for a refund as a result of an agreement approved earlier this year by the Oregon Public Utility Commission.
The refund stems from a Commission order that required U S WEST to refund $284 million to Oregon customers who have overpaid for phone service since early 1996.
Current customers began receiving their refund September 22, 2000 in the form of a bill credit. However, former customers of U S WEST who are no longer receiving service from the company must apply for a refund.
Refund forms are available at the PUC Web site puc.state.or.us. You may also call the company at 1-877-486-3700 to obtain a form.
Completed forms must be mailed by January 20, 2001. Former customers will receive their refund in check form. In order to receive a refund, former customers must have had phone service with U S WEST for at least six months between May 1, 1996, and July 23, 2000.
Current customers who have received a bill credit are not eligible for a refund.
Of the total refund available to local customers, five percent (or $12.2 million) has been set aside to reimburse former customers.
According to company records, as of December 13 the company has received approximately 22,235 claims. Of that total, 21,931 have been processed. So far, approximately 73 percent of the refund claims have resulted in a valid claim for a refund. The total amount refunded through the claims process through December 13 is $3,605,000.
The company has also received over 18,000 calls from customers.
Under the order, Qwest must reimburse customers with $123.92 per residential line; $297.42 per business line and $334.59 per complex business line.
As spelled out in the agreement, Qwest ran ads over a period of four weeks in 13 Oregon newspapers to inform former customers about the refund.
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