The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission announced today that it has reached a settlement with CenturyLink over billing errors related to taxes and surcharges. The telecommunications company has agreed to pay $31,300 in fines as a part of the settlement.
At issue in the case are errors in the amounts that CenturyLink charged customers, including improper taxes, incorrect local and federal access charges and improper billing of low-income customers who qualified for the Washington Telephone Assistance Program.
In addition to the fine, CenturyLink has agreed to install a “technical upgrade” that should help prevent such errors from occurring in the future. It will also conduct ongoing quality assurance monitoring to make sure other problems don’t crop up.
As a part of the settlement, the UTC will continue to monitor CenturyLink’s practices to ensure that it does not repeat the same billing problems in the future.
The news comes the same day that CenturyLink announced it plans to offer Seattle customers high-speed gigabit internet service in the near future.
Update: CenturyLink provided the following statement from spokeswoman Meg Andrews to GeekWire via email:
“The UTC investigation covered 2011 and 2012 customer complaints surrounding billing errors, some of which were related to changes in tax rates for federal universal service support. These errors affected customers statewide. Upon discovery of the errors, we fixed the problem, credited all of our customers and addressed other customer-specific complaints.”
[Editor's Note: CenturyLink is a GeekWire sponsor.]