4901:1-13-10 Complaints and complaint-handling procedures.

(A) As used in this rule, customer/consumer complaint means a customer/consumer contact when such contact necessitates follow-up by or with the gas or natural gas company to resolve a point of contention.

(B) Each gas or natural gas company shall make good faith efforts to settle unresolved disputes, which may include meeting with the customer/consumer at a reasonable time and place.

(C) Except as ordered by the commission or directed by the commission staff in disconnection or emergency cases, each gas or natural gas company shall investigate customer/consumer complaints and, unless otherwise agreed to, provide a status report within three business days of the date of receipt of the complaint to the customer/consumer, when investigating a complaint made directly to the gas or natural gas company, and to the customer/consumer and commission staff, when investigating a complaint referred to the gas or natural gas company by the commission or commission staff.

(D) If an investigation is not completed within ten business days, the gas or natural gas company shall provide status reports to update the customer/consumer, or update the customer/consumer and commission staff when investigating a complaint referred to the gas or natural gas company by the commission or commission staff, either orally or in writing, at five-business-day intervals, unless otherwise agreed to, until the investigation is complete.

(E) Each gas or natural gas company shall inform the customer/consumer, and commission staff when involved, of the results of the investigation, orally or in writing, no later than five business days after completion of the investigation. The customer/consumer or commission staff may request the final report to be in writing.

(F) If the customer/consumer disputes the gas or natural gas company's report(s), each gas or natural gas company shall inform the customer/consumer that the commission staff is available to mediate complaints. The company shall provide the customer/consumer with the commission's current address, website, and local and toll-free telephone numbers of the commission's call center. Hearing or speech impaired customers may contact the commission via 7-1-1 (Ohio relay service).

(G) If a customer contacts the gas or natural gas company concerning competitive retail natural gas service issues, the gas or natural gas company shall:

(1) Review the issue with the customer to determine whether it also involves the gas or natural gas company.

(2) Cooperate with the resolution of any joint issues with the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator.

(3) Refer the customer to the appropriate retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator in those instances where the issue lacks gas or natural gas company involvement.

(H) Slamming complaints.

(1) If a customer contacts a gas or natural gas company alleging that the customer has been switched from regulated sales service to a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator without authorization, the gas or natural gas company shall:

(a) Provide the customer any evidence relating to the customer's enrollment.

(b) Refer the customer to the commission's call center.

(c) Provide the customer with the local/toll-free telephone numbers of the commission's call center.

(d) Cooperate with the commission staff in any subsequent investigations of the slamming complaint.

(2) In the event that a customer was switched from a gas or natural gas company's regulated sales service to a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator without authorization, the gas or natural gas company shall switch the customer back to the gas or natural gas company's regulated sales service without penalty.

Effective: 4/9/2015
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 01/21/2015 and 01/21/2020
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04, 4905.06, 4905.22, 4905.28
Rule Amplifies: 4905.04, 4905.06, 4905.22, 4905.28
Prior Effective Dates: 12/7/2006, 1/6/2011