CHAPTER 726

FORMERLY

SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 28

DIRECTING THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION TO ADOPT REGULATIONS REQUIRING UTILITY COMPANIES OF THIS STATE TO INSTITUTE AND PUBLISH A CUSTOMER BILL OF RIGHTS ESTABLISHING CERTAIN PROCEDURES FOR RESOLVING CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS.

WHEREAS, the various public utilities under the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission do not have adequate procedures for resolving customer complaints; and

WHEREAS, public utility companies are somewhat monopolistic and are free to ignore legitimate customer complaints thus leaving frustrated customers with little or no remedy; and

WHEREAS, the Public Service Commission has adopted no adequate regulations requiring the public utility companies to establish procedures to resolve customer complaints; and

WHEREAS, such procedures including various guidelines are necessary and essential in order to assure the citizens of Delaware that their complaints will be heard and considered by the public utility companies.

NOW, THEREFORE:

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the 128th General Assembly, the House of Representatives concurring therein, that the Public Service Commission is hereby directed to adopt regulations requiring each public utility company to establish within a reasonable time procedures for resolving customer complaints and publishing same for dissemination to the general public. The said procedures can be fashioned to each public utility's particular operation provided that the procedure must include the following standards and guidelines:

1. Service cannot be discontinued because of nonpayment while the company is investigating a customer's complaint about a bill.

2. No notice of discontinuance of service for nonpayment may be sent while the complaint is being investigated.

3. No deposit may be required on a disputed bill while the dispute is being investigated.

4. After a utility has completed its investigation, a consumer must be afforded a reasonable time to pay the bill.

5. Procedures to allow customers to continue service if a customer agrees to pay his bills in installments when Ile finds himself in a financial bind.

6. To establish grievance procedures to insure quick and courteous resolution of complaints and questions and to publish a booklet outlining in simple language the customer's rights and responsibilities.

Approved April 25, 1975.