Interruption of Solid Waste and Telecommunications Services (Oppose – Mandate)

Interruption of Solid Waste and Telecommunications Services (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/CS/HB 971 (Fine) and SB 1368 (Mayfield) prohibit a municipality or private company (the applicable solid waste service provider) from charging a customer for solid waste service that was not provided on a regularly scheduled service date if the service is not provided within three business days after the regular service date. The bills require the service provider to issue a credit or refund to such customers on a pro rata basis that corresponds with the number of service interruptions. Failure by a service provider to issue such credit or refund would require the service provider to pay a fine to the customer equal to 10 times the charge that was billed for the interrupted service. The bills impose similar requirements and fines on telecommunications, cable and video service providers when services are interrupted for reasons not attributable to willful or negligent acts by the customer. CS/CS/HB 971 was amended to remove telecommunications providers from the bill’s requirements, leaving only solid waste providers and municipalities. In addition, the amended bill changes “three business days” to “four calendar days”, and clarifies the refund must be provided at the time the next bill is issued (this change accommodates services that are billed on an annual, rather than monthly, basis). (O’Hara)