UTILITY TIPS FOR CONSUMERS IN THE AFTERMATH OF HURRICANE SANDY
Because many consumers have lost power, telephone and Internet service for long periods following Hurricane Sandy and Nor’easter Athena, the Attorney General’s Office offers the following information to ensure that consumers are not charged for service they did not receive or could not use.
Both Cablevision and Time Warner Cable will adjust your video, Internet and phone bills to remove charges for days you did not receive cable television service. Because your company may not know of every customer who lost service, after it is restored, notify your provider by Internet or phone call of the time you had no cable service. A bill credit should appear on your next monthly bill, or the following bill, depending on the timing of your notice to the cable company. Both cable companies will also replace without charge customer’s equipment (cable boxes, DVRs and remote controls) that were damaged by the storm. To receive new equipment, take the damaged units to any Cablevision or TWC retail location. TWC customers needing to relocate can transfer their service to their new locations without paying new installation fees.
Verizon Wireline Phone Service:
You are entitled to a credit for the time your telephone service was not working. To ensure that your bill is properly adjusted, notify your local telephone company by Internet or phone of the time period you lost service (once your service is restored). The credit should include lost Verizon Fios Internet and video as well as phone service, if you subscribe to this service bundle. If you had traditional voice service, Verizon may choose to replace your copper service with fiber-based Fios. You have a choice whether to keep your voice-only service at the same cost, or add on video and Internet services.
Wireless Phone Service:
If you have no wireless service because the antennas where you live or work were affected by the storms, contact your wireless carrier to request a credit. AT&T Mobility is waiving late fees and voice and text over limit charges for the period between October 29 and November 30. Also, customers of T-Mobile and AT&T can use either company’s network without being charged roaming fees. Verizon will not charge voice and text over limit fees between October 29 and November 16. Sprint is waiving late fees; overage charges for voice, text and data; roaming fees; and call-forwarding fees for Sprint services used between October 29 and November 28.
Electric and Gas Service:
Because your meter does not record usage when you have no power or natural gas service, you will not be charged any supply or delivery charges during the outage period. Also, through December 15, 2012 ConEd, Keyspan-NY and Keyspan-LI are waiving late payment charges for customers who were prevented from paying their utility bills on time because of the disruption caused by the storm.
If your electric equipment was damaged by Hurricane Sandy, you must have a licensed electrician certify that your systems are safe before your utility will restore power.
This protects you and your family from electric shock or fire.