4901:1-15-17 Business offices.

(A) All waterworks companies and/or sewage disposal system companies shall provide both an address to which a customer may write and a local or toll-free number a customer may call to obtain information relating to services, rates, and the customer's bill.

(B) All waterworks companies and/or sewage disposal system companies shall maintain a staffed business office located in the customer's local service territory or provide a knowledgeable company representative with the authority to resolve disputes, to meet, by timely appointment, with customers in their local service territory to discuss billing- or service-related concerns.

(C) Each waterworks company and/or sewage disposal system company shall notify its customers, the commission, and the Ohio consumers' counsel of any planned change of address or telephone number of the company at least thirty days prior to the change. If a waterworks company and/or sewage disposal system company has a web site, then it must post on its web site any planned change of address or change of telephone number of the company by the date of the change. In the event of an unplanned change, the company shall notify the commission and the Ohio consumers' counsel immediately, change its website as soon as practicable, and notify its customers as soon as possible, but not later than thirty days after it has notified the commission. The required notifications to the commission and the Ohio consumers' counsel shall be provided either in hard copy or electronically via the internet in a manner prescribed by the commission.

(D) An authorized agent is any individual or business designated by the waterworks company and/or sewage disposal system company to act as its representative in the conduct of its business, including the collection of monies and the issuance of receipts for payments of bills. When a customer pays a bill at the waterworks company and/or sewage disposal system company business office or to an authorized agent, that payment, including any partial payment, shall be credited to the customer's account as of the date it was received by the waterworks company and/or sewage disposal system company or an authorized agent.

Any charge or fee added to a customer's bill by an authorized agent must be reasonable. Each waterworks company and/or sewage disposal system company shall maintain records of such charges or fees for two years and make the records available to the commission upon request.

Effective: 10/19/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 08/03/2012 and 05/31/2017
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04
Rule Amplifies: 4905.06
Prior Effective Dates: 1/1/88, 12/12/91, 3/24/03, 8/22/08