The following information is to acquaint you with some of the rules and practices of our Cooperative and your rights as a customer. Our policy is that our services are provided without discrimination as to your race, nationality, color, religion, sex, or marital status.
How to Contact Our Business Office
If you wish to contact our business office for any reason concerning your service or to arrange for additional service, we will be glad to assist you in any way we can.
Bills may be paid and information may be obtained at our office between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, 1/4 mile north of State Highway 46 on FM 3159 in Smithson Valley. Our telephone number is 830-885-4411 or if Long Distance, 1-800-367-4882.
You may pay your bills by mail, or request information in writing. Our mailing address is 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels, Texas 78132-5900.
Your Right to Inspect the Cooperative's Tariffs and Service Rules
The services provided to you by the Cooperative are public utility services. The rules, regulations and charges for these services are shown in the Cooperative's tariffs. The tariffs are changed from time to time, and where there is a conflict between the tariffs and the information in this notice the tariffs will apply. These documents are on file in our business office and you may ask to see them during office hours. If you want to ask for copies, we will provide them at a reasonable charge for the cost of making the copies.
If you are applying for residential service, you will be informed of the lowest priced services we make available. We will explain the alternatives available at your location, discuss any installation charges, and discuss equipment choices which may be available to you.
Credit History and Deposits
The credit worthiness of spouses, established during the last 12 months of shared service prior to their divorce, will be equally applied to both spouses for 12 months immediately after their divorce.
If you are applying for residential service you must establish satisfactory credit before we can accept your application. Credit may be established in several ways:
(a) Prior Residential Telephone Service - You can provide us with sufficient information to verify that you were a residential customer of a telephone company during the preceding two years; you are not delinquent in payment of your account with that telephone company; you did not have more than one past-due monthly bill with that telephone company during the last 12 consecutive months; and that you never had service disconnected for non-payment.
(b) Credit References - You can provide us with appropriate credit references, including but not limited to acceptable credit cards, letters of credit, names of credit references which we can contact quickly and inexpensively, or proof of ownership of substantial equity.
(c) Letter of Guarantee - You can furnish, in writing, a satisfactory guarantee from a third party to secure payment of your telephone bills. The third party guarantor must be a member of the Cooperative for at least one year, has to have established satisfactory credit of their own, and can not have been disconnected for nonpayment of their account.
(d) Credit Due To Your Age - You can show us you are 65 years of age or older, and that you do not have an outstanding account balance for residential service with any telephone company which accrued within the last two years.
(e) Domestic Violence Victim - The residential applicant has been determined to be a victim of family violence as defined in Texas Family Code ?71.004, by a family violence center or by treating medical personnel. This determination shall be evidenced by submission of a certification letter developed by the Texas Council on Family Violence.
Deposits for Applicants and Customers
If a residential or business applicant does not establish credit as described previously, a deposit will be required by the Cooperative. A deposit or an additional deposit may also be required before services are restored after suspension for nonpayment. We may not require a deposit in excess of one-sixth of your estimated annual billing. The estimated annual billings may include charges that are in GVTC's local tariff. For business applicants and customers, the deposit amount may include long distance charges only where the provider of basic local telephone service bills.
Deposits for Residential Customers
We may require an initial deposit from residential customers when:
(a) You have been delinquent in paying a bill for telephone service on more than 1 occasion during the last 12 months of service, or if your service was disconnected for nonpayment. You must pay the deposit or furnish a letter of guarantee within 10 days after the Cooperative issues a written termination notice and request for deposit. Instead of initial deposit, the customer may pay the total amount due on the current bill by the due date of the bill, provided the customer has not exercised this option in the previous 12 months. We may require an additional deposit from residential customers when:
(b) Your actual usage is three times your original estimated usage, or three times the average usage of your most recent three bills~and your current usage exceeds $150 and 150% of the initial deposit during the first 12 months of service.You must pay the deposit within 10 days after the Cooperative issues a written termination notice and request for deposit.
(c) Your actual billings are at least twice the amount of estimated billings after two billing periods and a suspension notice has been issued on a bill within the previous 12 months. You must pay the deposit within 10 days after the Coop- erative issues a written termination notice and request for deposit. In each of the above cases, you may choose to pay the current bill instead of paying the deposit, if you have not chosen this option in the last 12 months.
Deposits for Business Service Customers
If a non-residential customer's actual billings are at least twice the amount of estimated billings and a suspension notice has been issued on a bill within the previous 12 months, you may be required to pay a new deposit. You must pay the deposit within 10 days after the Cooperative issues you a notice. You may choose to pay the current bill instead of paying the deposit, if you have not chosen this option in the previous 12 months.
During the first 12 months you receive service, the Cooperative may also ask you to pay an additional deposit prior to issuance of your bill if your actual usage is 3 times your estimated usage, or 3 times the average usage of your most recent 3 bills, and your current usage exceeds $150 and 150% of the deposit you have paid. You must pay the additional deposit or the current usage within 10 days after the Cooperative issues you a notice. No revenue from estimated telephone directory advertising may be used in determining the amount of any deposit.
ln either of the above cases, the Cooperative will send you a written termination notice and a request for deposit.
Deposits for Weekend Residences, Temporary, or Seasonal Service
The DCTU may establish credit policy and deposit requirements to reasonably protect it against the assumed risk for temporary or seasonal service or service to a weekend residence, as long as the policy and requirements are applied and nondiscriminatory manner. The DCTU shall return deposits according to guidelines set out in paragraph (11) of this subsection.
Interest on Deposits
The Cooperative pays interest on deposits at a rate between 6% and 12% which is set annually by the Public Utility Commission of Texas, effective January 1st of each year.
No interest will be paid if a refund of the deposit is made within 30 days of receipt of the deposit by the Cooperative. If we keep the deposit for more than 30 days, the interest is calculated from the date of payment of the deposit.
You may request payment of interest annually, or at the time the deposit is returned to you. The deposit will not draw interest after the date it is returned to you, or credited to your account.
Return of Your Deposit
If service is not connected, or after disconnection of service, the Cooperative shall promptly and automatically refund your deposit plus accrued interest on the balance in excess of the unpaid bills for service furnished. If residential service is disconnected, the DCTU shall ensure that the deposit amount for local telecommunications service is applied first to local telecommunications service charges. A transfer of service from one premise to another within the service area of the Cooperative shall not be deemed as a disconnection and no additional deposit will be required unless permitted by these rules of otherwise stated in the tariff. i.
When you have paid for service for 12 consecutive residential billings or for 24 consecutive business (commercial or industrial) billings without having service disconnected for nonpayment of bill and without having more than two occasions in which a bill was delinquent, and when you are not delinquent in payment of current bills, the Cooperative shall promptly and automatically refund your deposit, plus accrued interest, in the form of cash or credit to your bill, or void the guarantee.
If your payment history does not meet these refund criteria, the deposit and interest may be retained in accordance with the rules requiring the deposit.
Applicant or Customer Complaints and Disputed Bills
Your service representative is available to answer your questions and resolve your problems. If you are not satisfied, you have the right to ask for a supervisory review which will be provided within 21 days of your request. If your problem cannot be satisfied by the supervisor, please ask for the Manager of the Cooperative. If you prefer, you may write to:
Guadalupe Valley Telecommunications Cooperative
36101 FM 3t59
New Braunfels, Texas 78132-5900
When you are making a complaint an investigation will be made by the Cooperative and the results will be reported to you. You are not required to pay for disputed charges, and we will not disconnect service for nonpayment while these charges are being investigated, or up to sixty days, whichever is less. You must pay all undisputed charges by the due date.
If the dispute cannot be resolved we will inform you of the complaint procedures of the Public Utility Commission, as described below.
Your Right to Register a Complaint with the Public Utility Commission of Texas
You have the right to file a formal or informal complaint or pursue any matter with the Public Utility Commission of Texas at this address:
Public Utility Commission of Texas Customer Protection Division
P.O. Box 13326
Austin, Texas 78711-3326
(512) 936-7120 or in Texas (toll-free) 1 (888) 782-8477
Fax: (512) 936-7003
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Internet address: www.puc.state.tx.us
Hearing and speech-impaired individuals with Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TTY) may contact the Commission at (512) 936-7136.
Relay Texas (toll-fee) 1-800-735-2989.
The complaint to the commission should include:
- The complainant's name, address, and telephone number.
- The name of the CTU or subsidiary company against which the complaint is being made.
- The customer's account or phone number.
- An explanation of the facts relevant to the complaint.
- Any other information or documentation which supports the complaint.
Payment of Bills
All bills for local, toll and miscellaneous services are due 16 days after the postmarked date or the issuance date on the bill if there is no postmark. If the normal due date falls on a holiday or weekend, the due date will be the next work day. If the bill is not paid by the due date it is delinquent. If you do not receive a bill or a disconnect notice, you are still responsible for payment of your bill. You may pay your bill at the following business office, either in person or by mail. We have a night depository at the business office for your convenience.
Our mailing address is:
36101 FM 3159
New Braunfels, Texas 78132-5900
GVTC has two additional offices for your convenience.
1221 S. Main St.
Boerne, Texas 78006-2813
Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
427 St. George St.
Gonzales, TX 78629
Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
You are responsible for payment of all charges for local service furnished to you and any long distance calls (including special service billing charges) that you make from your phone, as well as long distance calls received at your phone where the charges have been reversed with consent of the person called.
Charges for local monthly services are billed one month in advance. Charges for long distance calls, or any special service billings are based on actual use up to the date your bill is prepared. Charges for installing or changing your monthly service usually appear on the first bill after your order is completed. If necessary the Cooperative may send special bills for long distance calls, and these would be due 16 days after issuance.
Charges for long distance calls are shown in detail on each bill and local service charges are also itemized on each bill.
Payment Assistance Plans
If you cannot pay your bill by the due date, please call our business office. We may be able to make payment arrangements. We offer a deferred payment plan for residential customers who have not been issued more than two termination notices at anytime during the preceding 12 months. However, we are not required to enter into a deferred payment plan with any customer who has had telephone service for 3 months or less if the customer does not have sufficient credit or a satisfactory history of payment for previous service. A deferred payment plan will allow you to pay an outstanding balance in monthly installments. The monthly payment will be in addition to that month's current bill, cannot be more than 1/3 of the total deferred amount, and may include a 5% penalty for late payment. A deferred payment plan may be made in person at our business office or by telephone. In either case we will provide you a written copy of the agreed upon plan.
If you have entered into a deferred payment plan and do not meet the terms, we may disconnect your service after proper written notice. The cooperative is not required to offer subsequent negotiation of a deferred payment plan prior to disconnection.
Please call your service representative for more information about this plan. You have the right to request these alternative payment plans if you meet the requirements explained in this section
Overbilling or Underbilling
If your bill for telephone services differs from the Cooperative's lawful rates for the services you have purchased, a billing adjustment will be calculated by the Cooperative. If you are due a refund, we will make an adjustment for the entire period that you were overcharged.
If you were undercharged, the Cooperative may backbill for a period up to 6 months prior to the time we notified you of the amount of the undercharge and the total additional amount that will be due. This amount shall be added to the next regular billing. We can offer you a deferred payment plan for the same length of time as that of the underbilling, if the backbilling is $50.00 or more.