Charter destroys local Company, Bankruptcy feared. Charter claims protection under “Tariff”
At the beginning of the second week of November, just about the same time the new phone book came out, I, the owner of a local âhome-basedâ Carpet and Rug cleaning company started getting phone calls from customers wanting prices for cleaning everything from suede jackets to complete suits. Repeatedly, I informed the many callers that we did not provide the services they were requesting. For over a week the calls kept coming in for laundry service but none for carpet cleaning, one woman even came to my place of residence to drop off her garments for cleaning. After more calls came in, I opened the new 2010 AT&T Real Yellow Pages phone book and was shocked to find that I was not listed where I had been for the last six years. However, after turning to the âcleanersâ section, I found my company information. Completely confused and upset, I contacted Charter Business, my business phone provider, to sort out the problem. This would prove to be the worst nightmare any âhome-basedâ business owner or any phone customer could be faced with. For days I would contact Charter and spend valuable time on hold and/or repeatedly having to explain and re-explain the problem and the effect(s) the problem âWOULD HAVEâ on my companyâs income (a loss of hundreds of dollars a day) to people that could not help me, to include being passed around from one representative to another (âTHE CORPORATE RUN-AROUNDâ). Finally, I started recording the treatment I was receiving from Charter Business and Charter Residential âService Representativesâ. To make a long story short, AT&T proved Charter to be at fault and Charter told me to shop around for advertising for the year and e-mail the price to Charter so a form of credit could be arranged for me to advertise for the year. So did, in the end, Charter changed their minds and told me they would not and could not be held liable for âAnyâ damages to my business because they have a Tariff that states the following.
(This is what is printed on page one, please note that it says âresidentialâ)
This tariff contains the description, regulations and rates for the furnishing of services and facilities for local and long distance telecommunications services provided by Charter Fiberlink-Tennessee, LLC to residential customers within the State of Tennessee.
3.1.4 Directory Errors and Omissions
The Telephone Companyâs liability for damages due to errors or omissions in directory listings will be limited to a credit of one monthâs basic service
7. Business Services
7.1. Rules and Regulations
The regulations specified herein are in addition to the rules contained throughout this Tariff and other tariffs of the Telephone Company. Failure on the part of customers to observe these rules and regulations of the Telephone Company automatically gives the Telephone Company the right to cancel the contract and discontinue the furnishing of service.
this was my âsole sourceâ of advertising and it had worked and served me well for over six years and that a business practice of this type is what allows me to keep my prices competitively low. Now I am unsure of what I will do now with advertising prices so expensive. I have contacted the Tennessee Regulatory Authority and their stance is that they have never had to deal with this type of situation and they themselves donât even know why that disclaimer is in their Tariff, as Tariffs deal with pricing protection.
The recordings of my conversations with Charter representatives and the treatment I have received is nothing less than a primer-cap in a very big bomb of âGOIN POSTALâ.
In short, because of a piece of paper written by a billion dollar industry, you to can be ruined with no course of action except eat it and smile.