Customer Rights

Cramming

If your bill has charges on it for services you did not order, that is called cramming. Cramming is illegal. If these charges appear on your bill, call your local phone company and let them know you have been crammed. If the charges are from another company, they may also require you to call the cramming company to have them take you off their customer list. Otherwise, the charges may reappear on your next bill. If you are not satisfied after these calls, contact the PUCO call center.

Formal Complaints

If you are not able to reach an agreement with the company through PUCO's informal complaint process, you have the right to file a formal complaint. You may obtain a formal complaint form from the call center representative, by writing to PUCO or by accessing PUCO's web page.

If you are a residential customer, you may represent yourself in the formal complaint proceeding or hire an attorney to represent you. The Ohio Consumers' Counsel (OCC) represents residential utility customers in matters before PUCO. OCC can be contacted toll-free at 1-877-742-5622 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays, or visit www.pickocc.org.

In most instances, business customers must be represented by an attorney.

After you file a formal complaint form, PUCO determines if reasonable grounds exist for proceeding with your complaint and will notify you as to its determination. If reasonable grounds are found to exist, you will be notified by mail of a date and time for a hearing to take place at the PUCO offices in Columbus. PUCO may set a prehearing conference with both the company and you (and your attorney if you have one) for one last attempt to resolve the matter before the scheduled hearing begins. However, if the case remains unresolved, once the hearing begins, you will have the responsibility to prove the merits of the complaint. After the hearing is over, PUCO will then review all the evidence presented at the hearing and make a decision on the case.

Ordering or Changing Service

When you order new local service or change your existing local service, your phone company will explain the choices available to you. If you are a low-income consumer, or are currently receiving assistance (such as HEAP, food stamps, etc.) from government agencies, you may be eligible for a discount on your basic local service, a waiver of service establishment fees and deposit, and/or a special payment plan. If you are interested in this assistance, be sure to tell your phone company.

After you've placed your order for new service or for a change to your existing service, you should receive, within ten business days, a welcome letter in the mail (or by email if you signed up over the Internet). The welcome letter will include an explanation of the service(s) ordered, including the price, terms and conditions. It is important that you review this letter to confirm your order. If you believe that the letter does not accurately reflect the service you ordered, you should contact the company immediately. You have 30 days from the postmark of the letter to change your initial order for regulated services at no additional charge.

Your local phone company may charge you a one-time installation or "service establishment" charge when you first establish service and each time you transfer service to a new address. Residential customers establishing basic local exchange service have the option to spread the payment of these charges over three billing periods.

Your local phone company normally must install new local service within five business days of receiving your order, unless you agree to a later date. If you are a residential or small business customer and the company does not provide service within this time frame, you may receive a full or partial waiver of the installation charges.

Your local phone company must also give you a four-hour appointment window for a technician to install service if you need to be present at the premises. If the company misses your scheduled installation appointment, without giving you 24 hours' notice, you may be eligible for a waiver of at least one-half of the installation charges for the affected regulated local services.

When you order service, and once each year, your local phone company will provide you with a free directory(ies), unless the company chooses to provide free directory assistance. You have a right to receive, upon request, a directory or directories listing all of the extended area service numbers within your local calling areas.

Repairing Your Service

Your local phone company is responsible for repairs and maintenance to the telephone network and outside wires leading up to your home or business. You or the property owner are responsible for the wiring inside your home or business, jacks, and equipment like telephone sets, answering machines, modems, fax machines, etc.

The point where the telephone company's network ends and the inside wiring begins is called the network interface device (NID). Many homes and businesses have located on their premises a NID, which can be used to check whether the problem with your service is your responsibility or the responsibility of the phone company.

If your phone service is not working, contact your company's repair office immediately. If you're not sure whether the problem is your responsibility or the company's responsibility, check in the directory or with your phone company for an explanation as to how to check your NID to see who's responsible and to find out what your repair options and charges are for repairs, if it is your responsibility. If you don't have a NID, the local phone company will diagnose the problem and install a device at no charge. If you rent, check with your landlord prior to scheduling any repairs.

Be aware that if the phone company makes a service trip to your premise and the problem is in the wiring inside your home or business, the repair is your responsibility and you may be required to pay a service charge to the company. You will not be charged if the repair is the company's responsibility.

Your local phone company must also give you a four-hour appointment window for a technician to repair service if you need to be present at the premises. If the company misses your scheduled repair appointment, you may be eligible for a waiver of one-half of one month's charges for the affected regulated local services rendered inoperative.

If the phone company takes more than 72 hours to restore your phone service, you may receive a credit on your next bill for one month's charges for the regulated local services rendered inoperative.

Paying for Your Service

The phone company will send you a bill every month and allow you at least 14 days to pay it. If you do not pay your bill on time, the company may disconnect your service. Before disconnecting your service, the phone company must send you a disconnect notice at least seven days before the shut-off date. If you cannot pay your entire bill, contact the phone company. You may be able to keep part of your service if you pay enough to cover the charges for basic phone service, or you may be able to work out a payment plan with the company to keep your service.

Be aware that payment to an unauthorized payment agent does not guarantee same-day posting to your payment account.

Your service cannot be disconnected after 12:30 p.m. if the possibility of service reconnection on the next day is not a possibility. Should your service be disconnected, contact the company to find out what you need to do to have it restored.You may have to pay a fee and/or a deposit to have your service reconnected.

Toll blocking, along with other blocking services, are available to help manage your bill. To learn more about blocking options such as blocks to 900 services, collect calls, third-party calls, or pay-per-use features, contact your phone company. Some or all of these options are free of charge.

If you have a billing dispute, and you have made an informal or formal complaint to PUCO, the company will not disconnect your service if you pay the undisputed portion of the bill. While the complaint is being investigated, you must pay all current undisputed amounts and continue discussion with the company to settle the complaint.

Slamming

You have the right to choose your local and long distance providers. No one can switch your providers without your permission. This is called slamming, and it is illegal. If you are slammed, you must contact your chosen company to re-establish service with that company. You must also contact the company that slammed you to cancel service with them and to arrange for any credits or refunds. If you are not satisfied after these calls, contact the PUCO call center.

Informal Complaints

If you have a problem with your telephone bill or service, contact the phone company first. You may call or send a letter to the company. You may contact Horizon at 772-8200 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays.

Mailing address:
Horizon
PO Box 480
Chillicothe, OH 45601

If your concern is not resolved after contacting a customer representative from the phone company, you may ask to speak with a supervisor. If your problem is still not resolved, contact the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio's (PUCO) consumer call center for help. The call center staff will review rates with you, advise you of your rights and, if needed, will work with you and the company to try to solve your problem.

You may contact PUCO at 1-800-686-7826 (toll-free) or for TTY at 1-800-686-1570 (toll-free) from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays, or at www.PUCO.ohio.gov.

Mailing address:
Service Monitoring and Enforcement Dept.
Public Utilities Commission of Ohio
180 E. Broad St.
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3793

Residential customers may also contact the Ohio Consumers' Counsel for assistance with complaints and utility issues at 1-877-742-5622 (toll-free) from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays, or at www.pickocc.org.

Network Management

I. Commitment

Horizon Telcom, Inc. is committed to providing broadband access service based on network management policies that protect and empower our broadband access customers, and maximize the benefits of the Internet experience for all customers.

II. General Policies

Horizon Telcom, Inc. will manage its network and provide access in accordance with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Open Internet Rules (GN Docket No. 09-191 and WC Docket No. 07-52. Adopted December 21, 2010) and in compliance with any future Internet policies or rules adopted by the FCC. Horizon may add, delete, or modify certain practices, performance characteristics, terms and conditions from time to time at its discretion. Horizon will provide clear written notice of these changes on our website, but will not notify customers via direct communication unless specifically required to do so by federal or state authorities. To ensure Open Access to the broadband Internet, Horizon Telcom, Inc. will not unjustly or unreasonably: 1) Block, interfere with or degrade an end user’s ability to access, use, send, post, receive, or offer lawful content (including fair use), applications, or services of the user’s choice; 2) Block, interfere with or degrade an end user’s ability to connect and use the end user’s choice of legal devices that do not harm the network; 3) Prevent or interfere with competition among network, application, service or content providers; 4) Engage in discrimination against any lawful Internet content, application, service or service provider with respect to network management practices, network performance characteristics, or commercial terms and conditions; 5) Give preference to affiliated content, applications, or services with respect to network management practices, network performance characteristics, or commercial terms and conditions; 6) Charge a content, application, or service provider for access to the Company’s broadband Internet access service end users based on differing levels of quality of service or prioritized delivery of Internet protocol packets; 7) Prioritize among or between content, applications, and services among or between different types of content, applications, and services unless the end user requests to have such prioritization.

Horizon Telcom, Inc. will: 1) Provide connections and transport services of the public Internet to customers; 2) Negotiate in good faith with all requesting parties making a bona fide request for interconnection or wholesale services; 3) Provide rates and terms for interconnection that are reasonable and nondiscriminatory.

III. Network Security and Congestion Management Policies

For the safety and privacy of our access customers, and with respect for all customers, Horizon Telcom, Inc.: 1) Utilizes standard industry practices for safeguarding children, intellectual property rights and our customers’ privacy and security. Horizon does not guarantee that it can protect customers from any and/or all security breaches; 2) Follows standard best efforts for Internet delivery with respect to allocation of capacity without differentiation among applications, providers, or sources; 3) Complies with applicable laws and regulations, including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires the consent of a parent or guardian for the collection of personally identifiable information from children under 13; 4) Complies with the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitations Act, a portion of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which allows Internet service providers to remove or disconnect customer access to copyright infringing material; 5) Uses generally accepted technical measures to provide acceptable service levels to all customers, such as application-neutral bandwidth allocation, as well as measures to address service attacks, illegal content and other harmful activities to protect network integrity and reliability; 6) Reserves the right to prioritize traffic based on real time and non-real time applications during heavy congestion periods based on generally accepted technical measures.

IV. Performance Characteristics

Horizon offers different tiers and levels of service at different prices, and changes these from time to time. These service tiers and prices are detailed in the service-offering portion on www.horizontel.com

V. Privacy Policies

Horizon retains and stores certain traffic information (such as the identity of the customer using a particular IP address during a specific period) for time periods required by federal or state law. Horizon’s other privacy policies and procedures are listed in the Privacy Policy section on www.horizontel.com

Contact Us:

Questions, Comments, Concerns If you have any questions about the Horizon Telcom, Inc. Network Management Policies, you may contact us by calling our business office at 740-772-8331 or 1-866-436-7163 or writing to us at chiltel@horizontel.com or P.O. Box 480 Chillicothe, OH 45601; or come by our business offices at 68 E. Main St. Chillicothe, OH.