Consumer Information Energy Telecommunications
Elizabeth S. Jacobs
Nick Wagner
Board Member
Sheila K. Tipton
Board Member

Formal Complaint Proceeding (FCU)

Complaints involving slamming, cramming or jamming issues will be listed on a separate page.  No narrative description will be provided for slamming-, cramming- or jamming-related complaints.

FCU-2007-0002 QWEST COMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION V. SUPERIOR TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE, ET AL. On February 20, 2007, Qwest Communications Corporation (QCC), the long-distance arm of Qwest, filed a complaint pursuant to Iowa Code §§ 476.2, 476.3 and 476.5; 199 IAC Chapters 4 and 7; and 199 IAC 22.14, alleging violations of terms and conditions and applications of the intrastate tariffs of the following telecommunications carriers:  Superior Telephone Cooperative; The Farmers Telephone Company of Riceville, Iowa; The Farmers & Merchants Mutual Telephone Company of Wayland, Iowa; Interstate 35 Telephone, d/b/a Interstate Communications Company; Dixon Telephone Company; Reasnor Telephone Company; Great Lakes Communications Company; and Aventure Communication Technology (collectively referred to as the Respondents).  QCC claimed that the Respondents were engaging in a fraudulent practice by creating a scheme that involved free conference calls, chat rooms, adult content calling, podcasts, voicemail, and international calling services.  QCC asserted that the Respondents were charging QCC excessive rates for their routing of calls to companies that advertise these free services and then provide kickbacks of a portion of the terminating access revenues to these free calling service companies.  The Board granted several requests for delays of the hearing before it was held from February 5, 2009 to February 12, 2009.  On September 21, 2009, the Board issued its decision order, finding that the intrastate interexchange calls to the conference calling companies were not subject to access charges.  Refunds and credits to the interexchange carriers were ordered.  The Board also initiated a proceeding to consider proposed rules intended to prevent similar abuse in the future.  The Board also ordered reclamation of telephone numbers of one Respondent (Great Lakes Communication Corp.).  Several parties filed applications for rehearing.  On December 3, 2009, the Board issued an order withdrawing its ordered reclamation of Great Lakes’ telephone numbers, allowing the issue to be litigated solely in court and before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  In the order, the Board indicated it would request that the FCC initiate a “for cause audit” to investigate the use of telephone numbering resources assigned to Great Lakes.  On December 21, 2009, the Board filed motions in each judicial review proceeding asking the Courts to remand the proceedings to the Board so that the agency could rule on pending applications for rehearing.  In February 2010, the respective courts granted the Board's motion with respect to petitions from a group of incumbent local exchange carriers and Reasnor Telephone Company.  A rehearing application from Great Lakes Communications, Superior Telephone, and Aventure Communications was before the Board for its consideration.  On February 28, 2011, Great Lakes and Superior filed a joint motion requesting the Board stay all further proceedings in this case, namely the refund phase of the proceeding and the initiation of a show cause proceeding against Great Lakes and Aventure.  On March 9, 2011, the ILEC group joined in Great Lakes’ and Superior’s motion.  On April 27, 2011, the Board issued an order denying the motion to stay further proceedings.  On September 12, 2011, Sprint filed a motion for approval of a settlement and dismissal of claims against two of the defendants in this matter, The Farmers Telephone Company of Riceville and Dixon Telephone Company.  Sprint’s motion generally described the settlement but did not include the settlement agreement.  On September 21, 2011, Great Lakes filed a motion seeking to compel the production of the settlement.  On October 3, 2011, Sprint filed a request for an extension of time to respond to Great Lakes’ motion and the holding of a settlement conference.  On October 20, 2011, the Board granted Sprint’s request for an extension of time.  On August 20, 2012, QCC filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss its claims and requests for calculation of damages against Farmers-Wayland.  On August 3, 2012, Sprint filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss its claims and requests for calculation of damages against Interstate in this proceeding with prejudice.  Sprint stated that it has reached a settlement agreement with Interstate that resolves Sprint’s claims in this case and that the terms of the settlement are confidential.  On August 10, 2012, Sprint filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss its claims and requests for calculation of damages against Great Lakes in this proceeding with prejudice.  In each of these three filings to dismiss claims, the parties had reached a settlement agreement resolving the issues between them in this case and the terms of the settlement were confidential.  The docket is pending.

On January 21, 2011, Aventure filed a complaint against four interexchange carriers (IXCs), alleging the IXCs had not negotiated in good faith, pursuant to 199 IAC 22.14(2)"e," regarding Aventure’s proposed High Volume Access Services (HVAS) rate. The IXCs responded by saying they had negotiated in good faith but that Aventure’s proposed HVAS rate was unreasonable. The IXCs also noted that in its final order in Docket No. FCU-2007-0002, the Board found that Aventure had few, if any, traditional local exchange customers and would need to prove why its certificates of public convenience and necessity should not be revoked. On April 22, 2011, the Board issued an order docketing the case and scheduling a hearing date. The procedural schedule was suspended and the hearing date rescheduled several times for various reasons in 2012 and, at year’s end, was scheduled to begin on January 28, 2013.

FCU-2012-0017 INTERSTATE POWER AND LIGHT COMPANY On December 20, 2012, the Board initiated this formal proceeding to investigate the electric line extension policies that IPL applies to developers that have a history of working with IPL.  The Board has established payment requirements for the extension of new electric facilities that are intended to balance the interests of developers, utilities, and customers when a developer seeks to have new facilities installed in a development site. These rules are found at 199 IAC 20.3(13).  Specifically, the Board seeks to address the issue of whether IPL should develop criteria that provide for a different payment arrangement for electric line extensions where the developer has a record of completing construction within a reasonable time period is an important issue that needs to be addressed.  The docket is pending.

FCU-2012-0019 (C-2012-0129)  In Re:  Rehabilitation Center of Allison, Iowa, Call TerminationOn March 15, 2013, the Board docketed this matter for formal proceeding due to the nature of the complaint.  The parties involved in the complaint included Dumont Telephone Company, (Dumont), AireSpring, Inc. (AireSpring) and Qwest Corporation, d/b/a CenturyLink (CenturyLink).  The complaint was filed with the Board on September 25, 2012, by Kathy Miller, Administrator of the Rehabilitation Center of Allison (the facility), Iowa, alleging that the facility was not receiving phone calls and faxes from the Shell Rock Clinic in Shell Rock, and the Waverly Health Center in Waverly, Iowa.  People calling the Allison facility from the Shell Rock and Waverly Health Center locations reported that sometimes the Allison facility’s phone never rings, and sometimes it rings, but no one answers on the line.  On December 14, 2012, staff issued a proposed resolution stating that Board staff reviewed the information provided by the various carriers in their responses and noting that, according to CenturyLink, there were no current issues with completion of calls to the Allison facility.  Based on staff analysis of the complaint and the responses, staff indicated that it did not believe that AireSpring played a role, either as a reseller of CenturyLInk’s long-distance service or as an underlying carrier selected by CenturyLink, to deliver long-distance calls.  Board staff also concluded that neither Iowa Network Services (INS) nor Dumont played a role in misrouting of calls.  Staff observed that the response from INS suggests that the calls in question never crossed its network, and Dumont's role as the terminating local exchange carrier suggests that Dumont would not be responsible for any call completion issues.  Regarding CenturyLink’s role, staff observed that it appears that CenturyLink has no records to investigate when calls do not complete.  Staff noted that CenturyLink can make changes to the routing tables to correct call completion problems, but problems can recur if the tables are changed again.  In staff’s view, CenturyLink cannot say with certainty which of the underlying carriers is responsible for calls that did not terminate.  Staff noted that CenturyLink appears to be working in good faith to address any complaints that are brought to its attention.  Staff concluded that the call termination issues for the Allison facility appeared to have been resolved, but asked for continued reporting of any further call completion issues.  Staff also noted in its proposed resolution that it is generally agreed that the long-term resolution of the rural call termination situation must be addressed by the Federal Communications Commission.  On December 27, 2012, the Office of Consumer Advocate filed a petition for formal complaint proceeding.  This case is assigned to the Board’s Administrative Law Judge for hearing, which is pending and no procedural schedule has been issued at this time.

FCU-2013-0004 (C-2012-0147)  In Re:  Huxley Family Physicians, Call Termination On May 23, 2013, the Board docketed this matter for formal proceeding.  The parties involved are Huxley Communications Cooperative (Huxley Communications) Qwest Corporation d/b/a CenturyLink (CenturyLink), and Bluetone Communications, LLC (Bluetone), formerly known as Bluemile Networks.  On November 28, 2012, Lynae Millette, Clinic Administrator of Huxley Family Physicians (HFP) in Huxley, Iowa, filed a complaint with the Board alleging HFP had experienced static and problems with telephone calls cutting off for about four years.  The complaint also alleged that HFP was not receiving phone calls and faxes from Mary Greeley Hospital in Ames, Iowa.  Millette stated that persons calling HFP from other hospitals, other clinics and patients have complained about the phone lines.  Millette noted concerns about the consequences if HFP is not able to make or receive a phone call.  On February 21, 2013, staff issued a proposed resolution.  Staff determined that changing the underlying carrier resolved the matter and suggested that if Millette experienced further problems with phone calls and faxes to HFP not completing, she could ask the person originating the call or sending faxes to contact their telephone provider and to file a complaint with the Board.  On March 7, 2013, the Office of Consumer Advocate filed a request for formal complaint proceeding.  This case was assigned to the Board’s Administrative Law Judge for hearing, which is pending.

FCU-2013-0005 (C-2013-0005)  In Re:  Hancock County Health Systems, Call TerminationOn June 10, 2013, the Board granted the March 27, 2013, request of the Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) for a formal complaint proceeding.  On January 15, 2013, Curt Gast of Hancock County Health Systems (HCHS) filed a complaint with the Board alleging that HCHS had experienced problems completing telephone calls made from its main health clinic campus to outlying telephone numbers within the HCHS telephone service area.  Gast described problems completing calls, including calls that do not ring and calls that are not answered.  Gast noted that the problems involve calls which originate from the main health clinic campus and are intended to terminate at outlying medical clinics, noting the problems occur when calling from Britt to Kanawha, Iowa.  The companies involved were:  Qwest Corporation, d/b/a CenturyLink QC (CenturyLink), IntelePeer, Impact Telecom, and InterMetro Communications.  On
March 14, 2013, Board staff issued a proposed resolution.  Staff reviewed the responses of the various companies involved in the complaint and found that once CenturyLink removed IntelePeer from the routing, calls completed without issue.  Staff noted it had contacted Gast, who reported that, since CenturyLink made changes to the routing, he had not had any further problems with calls not completing.  Gast indicated he would contact Board staff if problems recurred.  This case is assigned to the Board’s Administrative Law Judge for hearing, which is pending.

FCU-2013-0006 (C-2013-0006 and C-2013-0011)  In Re:  Complaints of Helen Adolphson and Charlotte Skallerup, Call Termination  On June 24, 2013, the Board issued an order docketing this matter on its own motion and combining complaints.  On April 29, 2013, Board staff issued proposed resolutions in two rural call completion complaints, identified as Docket Nos. C-2013-0006 and C-2013-0011, recommending that the Board, on its own motion pursuant to Iowa Code § 476.3(1), docket the complaints for further investigation.  The Board agreed with its staff that further investigation of these two complaints was warranted.  In the informal proceeding identified as Docket No. C-2013-0006, Helen Adolphson filed a complaint with the Board on January 17, 2013, stating that for several months she had experienced problems calling her mother, Faye Wookey, who resides in Emerson, Iowa.  Adolphson explained that her local and long-distance service is provided out of Red Oak, Iowa, by Qwest Corporation, d/b/a CenturyLink (CenturyLink), and  Wookey's service provider is Interstate Communications (Interstate).  Adolphson stated problems she encountered when attempting to call her mother’s telephone number included instances where the phone rang on Adolphson’s end of the call, but Wookey later reported that her phone did not ring; after a call would ring once or twice, Adolphson would hear a busy tone; calls would be dropped; or calls would go through with a poor connection.  Wookey’s service provider, Interstate, had been contacted several times about the problems, but was not able to find any problems with its systems.  In the informal proceeding identified as Docket No. C-2013-0011, Charlotte Skallerup, Adolphson's sister and a resident of Glenwood, Iowa, filed a complaint with the Board on January 22, 2013, stating that she had experienced many of the same problems calling her mother, Wookey.  Skallerup’s local and long distance service provider is CenturyLink.  Skallerup noted that Interstate had visited Wookey’s home several times to investigate the calling problems.  Skallerup noted that neither she nor her sister has problems with other long-distance calls.  On April 29, 2013, staff issued proposed resolutions in the two cases. Staff found that after CenturyLink removed InterMetro from the routing and performed test calls, the calls completed successfully.  Staff noted that InterMetro handed the calls off to another provider, but had not identified that provider.  Staff recommended that the Board, on its own motion, initiate a formal proceeding to allow further investigation of the call completion issues involved in these complaints, including the roles and responsibilities the various carriers have with respect to the alleged call failures.  Staff also noted that initiating a formal proceeding would establish a docket in which InterMetro could file a request for confidential treatment of the identity of its underlying carrier, thereby allowing the investigation to proceed.  This case is assigned to the Board’s Administrative Law Judge for hearing, which is pending.

FCU-2013-0007 (C-2013-0025)  In Re:  Complaint of Carolyn Frahm, Call Termination On March 1, 2013, Carolyn Frahm of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, filed a complaint with the Board stating that on February 6, 2013, she changed her telephone service provider from MCC Telephony of Iowa, LLC (Mediacom), to Windstream of the Midwest, Inc. (Windstream). Frahm explained that starting in August of 2012 she had problems completing telephone calls from her home number to the telephone number of her friend that lives in Mediapolis, Iowa.  Frahm stated that the problems occurred when her service was provided by Mediacom and continued after she changed to Windstream’s service.  Frahm explained that her friend was able to complete calls to Frahm’s telephone number.  The complaint also noted that on March 1, 2013, Frahm attempted to call MTC Technologies (MTC), the local telephone service provider for her friend, and the call did not complete. Frahm stated she had reported the problems to Windstream, but the problems were not resolved.  Board staff issued a proposed resolution on April 26, 2013, noting that Frahm reported to Windstream three occasions when her calls to the Mediapolis number were not completing.  Staff also reviewed Windstream’s accounts of its testing of Frahm’s telephone line for each of the repair tickets and noted that the test calls to the number in question completed each time.  Staff also reviewed the responses of MTC and Verizon and noted that, according to Frahm’s comments dated March 25, 2013, her service was working properly.  On May 9, 2013, the Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) filed a request for formal proceeding.  On July 15, 2013, the Board granted OCA’s petition for formal proceeding.  This case is assigned to the Board’s Administrative Law Judge for hearing, which is pending.

FCU-2013-0009 (C-2013-0026)  In Re:  Complaint of Douglas Pals, Call Termination On July 1, 2013, the Board docketed this matter for formal proceeding on its own motion.  In the informal proceeding identified as Docket No. C-2013-0026, Douglas Pals filed a complaint with the Board stating that on February 12, 2013, at 2:00 p.m., he attempted to place a call from his home in Clive, Iowa, to a telephone number in West Liberty, Iowa.  Pals stated that the called party did not answer because the caller identification device (caller ID) on the called party’s telephone did not display his name or telephone number.  Pals left a message on the called party’s answering machine and when she returned his call, she explained that the caller ID showed the name “BIDAXIS” and a number which was not Pals' telephone number.  Pals explained he has had his telephone number, served by Qwest Corporation, d/b/a CenturyLink (CenturyLink), since 1999.  Pals stated the situation seemed suspect and he would like to see the call completion problems resolved.  On May 23, 2013, staff issued a proposed resolution. Staff found that once CenturyLink removed Bluetone from the call routing, test calls completed without issue.  Staff also observed that Bluetone’s response indicated that its test calls did not duplicate the information reported by Pals.  Staff observed that customer reports of calls not reflecting the calling party's name and number on caller ID devices is one variation in the growing number of call completion problems being reported to the Board.  Staff also noted that some rural carriers believe that call completion problems may relate to the use of least cost routers as intermediate or underlying carriers in the call path.  Staff observed that Bluetone’s request that the Board treat the identity of Bluetone's underlying carrier as confidential did not comply with the Board’s requirements in its rules at 199 IAC 1.9.  Staff recommended that the Board initiate a formal proceeding, in part to establish a docket in which Bluetone could file a proper request for confidential treatment of the identity of its vendor, allowing the investigation to proceed.  This case is assigned to the Board’s Administrative Law Judge for hearing, which is pending.

FCU-2013-0013  CITY OF DYERSVILLE, IOWA, v. INTERSTATE POWER AND LIGHT COMPANY d/b/a ALLIANT ENERGY CORPORATION On August 27, 2013, the Dyersville filed a petition requesting the Board open a formal complaint proceeding against IPL to address the anticipated closing by IPL of the Dyersville Operations Facility. In the petition, Dyersville requested that the Board stay the closing of the Dyersville Operations Facility, investigate the closing, conduct a hearing, and issue an order preventing the closing. Dyersville requested that IPL be given an expedited time period in which to respond to the petition.  On August 28, 2013, the Board issued an order setting an expedited time and date for IPL to respond.  On August 29, 2013, IPL filed a resistance to the request for stay. On August 30, 2013, the Board issued an order opening a formal complaint proceeding, denying the stay, and scheduling a hearing for September 23, 2013.  On September 10, 2013, Dyersville filed a motion to continue the hearing date from September 23, 2013, until a date after March 10, 2014. In the motion, Dyersville stated that it will need the additional time to conduct discovery necessary to prepare for the hearing. On September 12, 2013, the Board issued an order granting the motion for a continuance of the hearing and rescheduling the hearing for March 18, 2014.  The docket is pending.

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