Regulatory Notices

Your Billing Rights + Responsibilities

Shawnee Communications is committed to following the rules set by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) in its delivery of service, billing and guidelines for payments. Copies of these rules are available from the ICC.

ESTABLISHING SERVICE

For additional information or enrollment, contact our Equality business office at 618-276-4211 or our Lovington business office at 217-873-5211.

Please be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Your full name and street address where you want service, including apartment number, if you have one.
  • How you would like your name listed in the next edition of the telephone directory.
  • Credit information, including employment or sources of income.

A new basic local exchange service must be installed within 5 business days unless otherwise requested by the customer. If this standard is not met, the customer will be given a credit equal to ½ of the normal installation charge. If this standard is not met by the 10th business day following the original installation date, the customer will be given a credit equal to 100% of the normal installation charge.

CREDIT AND DEPOSIT INFORMATION

We have the right to charge a deposit under the following conditions: • If you cannot provide satisfactory credit information • If you failed to pay a prior bill with us • If you have not previously had service in your name.

BILLING

Telephone bills are mailed monthly and are due within 21 days from the billing date. Your bill will itemize your monthly charges.

SERVICE INTERRUPTION CREDIT

If basic local exchange service has been interrupted and remains out for more than 24 hours after we receive notice, we will make an appropriate adjustment. Adjustments are based on the number of days a customer is out of basic local exchange service:

  • 24-48 Hours – prorated credit • Up to 72 Hours – 33% recurring monthly charges
  • Up to 96 Hours – 67% recurring monthly charges
  • Up to 120 Hours – 100% recurring monthly charges
  • Over 120 Hours – $20 per day or alternative phone service (customer’s option)

These amounts include custom calling features but exclude the federal subscriber line charge, 911 service, directory, and long-distance charges.

BILL PAYMENT

If within any 12-month period, we receive more than two payments returned for non-sufficient funds, we may place you on a cash-only payment basis.

TERMINATION OF SERVICE

We have the right to terminate service for any of the following:

  • Nonpayment of a bill
  • Nonpayment of a deposit or refusal to pay an increased amount
  • Default on a deferred payment agreement
  • Not allowing telephone company employees access to company-owned equipment after we have made a request to do so

EXEMPTIONS

Neither the rules nor credits listed in this section apply if the violation of a service quality standard occurs as a result of the following:

  • Negligent or willful acts of the customer
  • A malfunction of customer-owned telephone equipment or inside wiring, whether or not the customer has an inside wire maintenance plan
  • An emergency situation
  • The inability to gain access to customers premise due to customer missing the appointment
  • A customer request to change an already scheduled appointment
  • The customer refusing repair staff access to the premises
  • The lack of facilities at a geographical remote location

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

If you have a question about your bill, please contact us. If a solution is not satisfactory, you have the right to contact the ICC’s Consumer Services Division.

FORMAL COMPLAINTS

If we are unable to reach an agreement with you on a disputed issue, you have the right to file a complaint with the ICC.

SCHEDULED APPOINTMENTS

If we fail to meet a scheduled appointment for the installation or repair of basic local service, a $50 credit per missed appointment will be issued. It does not apply if the telephone company gives the customer ICC-defined notice of their inability to keep the appointment, regardless of the reason. Additionally, should the service technicians meet a scheduled appointment, but the customer is not available or unwilling to accept service, a $50 service charge will apply. This charge does not apply if the customer gives the telephone company 24-hour notice of their inability to keep the scheduled appointment.

ICC PART 732

The law obligates all telecommunication carriers to provide installation and repair in a timely manner. Credits or other remedies may be available for delays in repair, installation, or missed appointments. Please see Shawnee Communications’ telephone directory for more information and details.

Yes! I want to help UTSAP

To contribute to UTSAP, please go to:
https://www.icc.illinois.gov/consumers/universal-telephone-assistance-programs/

Contributions may also be made directly to:

Universal Telephone Service Assistance Corp.
P.O. Box 1176
Springfield, IL 62705

LIFELINE

LIFELINE is a program established to help pay the monthly charge for local telephone or Internet service. This federally funded program is available to qualified low-income consumers. If the qualifying low-income consumer voluntarily elects toll blocking while initiating LIFELINE service, a deposit is not required.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THESE PROGRAMS?

To be eligible for either of these programs, you must be a recipient of one of the following: • Medicaid • Food Stamps • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) • Federal Public Housing Assistance • Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefit • Have a household income that is 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

WHERE CAN I APPLY FOR THE LIFELINE PROGRAMS?

For additional information or enrollment, contact our Equality business office at 618-276-4211 or our Lovington business office at 217-873-5211.

HOW CAN I HELP?

UTSAP (Universal Telephone Service Assistance Program) was created in February 1993 to help low-income households in Illinois obtain phone service. UTSAP is administered by the Universal Telephone Assistance Corporation (UTAC), a not-for-profit corporation consisting of all local telephone companies in Illinois. Since March 1993, UTAC has been soliciting voluntary contributions to support UTSAP.

With your help, UTAC can continue to provide assistance to low-income households. Complete the attached form and return with your phone payment or send a one-time contribution directly to UTAC.

Federal Universal Service Charge

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandates all telecommunications carriers pay into a federal program called the Universal Service Fund (USF). This fund helps provide affordable telecommunications services for low-income customers and for customers living in rural areas that are expensive to serve. It also provides discounts on Internet access for eligible schools, libraries, and rural health care providers.

The USF is collected from telecommunications carriers and administered by the Universal Service Administrations. They are responsible for disbursing the funds according to the eligibility criteria established by the FCC.

Every telecommunications carrier in the industry must contribute to the USF. Like other carriers, we recover our USF contribution from customers. The recovery charges, listed on your bill as “Federal Universal Service Charge,” enable us to recover our USF expenses and are intended to simply cover our costs.

The FCC requires all carriers that recover their contributions from the customers with the line item charges to the FCC’s prescribed contribution factor. As a result, we compute these charges using the FCC’s factor. The FCC may change the contribution factor quarterly.

What is the Digital Divide and How Can You Help Eliminate it?

ELIMINATION OF THE DIGITAL DIVIDE

The Digital Divide Elimination Fund Program is created as a special fund in the State Treasury to enhance digital service. All money in the fund shall be used by the Commission to fund the construction of facilities within communities throughout Illinois. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs will issue grants to various communities based upon their needs. If you wish to participate in the program to foster the elimination of the Digital Divide, you may do so by volunteering to contribute a monthly fixed amount that will be included in your telephone bill.

Reduce Telemarketing Calls with the Do-Not-Call Registry

In 2003, the Do-Not-Call Act was signed into law. This legislation allowed for the
establishment and enforcement of a national Do-Not-Call Registry giving consumers a choice regarding telemarketing calls. If your number is listed on the registry, all commercial telemarketers, except for businesses with whom you have an existing relationship or certain non-profit and political organizations, are not allowed to call you.

Consumers may register their residential telephone number, including wireless numbers, on the national Do-Not-Call Registry at no cost. You can register on-line for the national Do-Not-Call Registry via the internet at https://www.donotcall.gov
To contact the registry by telephone, consumers may call 1-888-382-1222. For TTY, call 1-866-290-4236.

Inclusion of your telephone number on the national Do-Not-Call Registry will be
effective 31 days after registration. Your number will remain on the registry
permanently. You are allowed to remove your number from the registry at any time.

Pay-Per-Call Resolution

Pay-per-call charges apply to any completed call using an abbreviated dialing code such as 900 or 976 exchange codes. The caller pays a per-call or per-time interval charge in addition to the charge for the transmission of the call.

You have 60 days from the date on the bill to dispute a pay-per-call billing error. You have the right to withhold payment of the disputed charge while the review is being conducted. No collection activity for disputed pay-per-call charges will occur while the charges are under investigation. After investigation, if it is determined that the disputed charges are legitimate, your telecommunications carrier or the information provider may proceed with outside collections against your account for non-payment of these charges.

Your local and long-distance services cannot be disconnected for nonpayment of these charges. Failure to pay legitimate pay-per-call charges may result in the involuntary blocking of your access to these types of services.

Voluntary blocking of access to pay-per-call charges is available upon request from your local telephone company.

Eligible Carrier Services

Shawnee Communications proudly offers services and functionalities designed to exceed the Federal Communication Commission’s requirements as stated in C.F.R. § 54.101, including:

  • Single-party service, including local usage
  • Access to interexchange service through the public switched network
  • Dual-tone multi-frequency signaling
  • Access to emergency services
  • Access to operator services and directory assistance services
  • Toll limitation for qualifying low-income consumers
  • The rates and charges for the above-listed services and functionalities can be found in the tariffs on file at the appropriate governing agencies.

How the Illinois Relay Service Helps Us Communicate

REACH OUT WITH RELAY

The Illinois Telecommunications Access Corporation (ITAC) administers and manages Illinois Relay on behalf of all local telephone companies in Illinois.

Relay allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired and use a TTY to communicate with people who use standard telephones. A standard telephone user calling a TTY user and a TTY user calling a standard telephone user now has the option to dial a convenient three-digit number, 711, to reach Illinois Relay instead of the traditional 800 numbers.

Illinois Relay is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The relay operator speaks to the standard telephone user and types to the TTY user. There is no cost for the use of this service.

To save time in an emergency, callers should dial 9-1-1 or local emergency access numbers instead of placing the call through relay.

A small fee included in your monthly telephone service charge funds the Illinois Relay and is required by state and federal law.

For more information about Relay, call ITAC at 1.800.841.6167 V/TTY.

TTY & Voice Users Dial: 711
TTY Users 800.526.0844
Voice Users 800.526.0857
VCO (Voice Carry Over) 877.826.1130
Speech to Speech 877.526.6690
ASCII 877.526.6680
Telebraille Users 877-526-6670