Blumenthal: DPUC's actions inexplicable, illogical

By John O'Brien | Jun 1, 2009


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal plans to seek legal action reversing a state regulatory agency's decision regarding AT&T.

Blumenthal is mad that the Department of Public Utility Control is, in his words, letting AT&T off the hook for not meeting state phone repair requirements. The DPUC agreed AT&T has failed to fix 90 percent of out-of-service phones within 24 hours, but concluded that requirement is outdated and will not enforce it.

"The DPUC agreed with my office that AT&T has failed since 2001 to meet the most important service standard -- requiring timely repair of nonworking phones -- but then inexplicably and illogically let the company off the hook with barely a rebuke," Blumenthal said.

"Faced with massive failure to follow its rules, the DPUC's reaction appears to be stunning indifference. The penalty is in name only."
The poor service, Blumenthal argues, is a result of layoffs at AT&T. The Democrat has criticized the company's decision to move customer service jobs to Michigan.

AT&T's records show it has only repaired out-of-service phones within 24 hours a little more than half the time.

A statement by AT&T spokesperson Chuck Coursey said, "The DPUC conducted a careful and thorough review, established a comprehensive, factual record, and concluded that AT&T is performing well in a highly competitive market," according to a report in The Day of New London.

"This decision is a barely slap on the wrist to AT&T -- more like a pat on the head -- and a stinging whack at consumers. I will fight this deeply disappointing draft decision, which gives AT&T a pass on compliance with state service standards. I will file strong exceptions seeking reconsideration and reversal," Blumenthal said.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at john@legalnewsline.com.

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