Windstream Fined for Billing Practices

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has announced a settlement with Windstream that includes a $15,000 fine and requires a change to the company’s billing practices.

The PUC’s unanimous decision stemmed from a May 2011 investigation into Windstreams practice of no proration” billing. At that time, Windstream did not pro-rate charges and instead billed customers for an entire cycle, even if they dropped their service or changed it before the billing cycle was up. That violated the state’s Public Utility Code, PUC regulations and FCC regulations, the commission said.

As part of the settlement, Windstream doesn’t have to admit wrongdoing, must pay the fine and is legally bound to do away with "no proration" billing for good in Pennsylvania. The PUC is taking comment from interested parties for the next 20 days.

Windstream, which has a large presence in the Keystone State, paid $333 million for Ephrata, Penn.-based D&E Communications in 2009, according to the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal.

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