CenturyLink fined for improper billing in Pasco, elsewhere

CenturyLink has been fined $31,300 by Washington state regulators for incorrect taxes and surcharges on customer bills.

CenturyLink provides service in Pasco, Walla Walla, Yakima and Moses Lake, plus some Western Washington communities.

More than 1 million customers were sent refunds more than a year ago, said Amanda Maxwell, spokeswoman for the commission.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission approved a settlement agreement after commission staff investigated the company and discovered violations, according to the commission.

Most of the overcharges were related to improper taxes and incorrect rates for local and federal access charges and the Telecommunications Relay Service Fund.

The errors also included improper billing of low-income customers who qualified for the Washington Telephone Assistance Program.

As part of the settlement, the company admitted there were billing errors and agreed to pay the penalty, according to the commission.

The company installed a technical upgrade to ensure accurate billing going forward. In addition, the company agreed to conduct ongoing quality assurance monitoring.

Commission staff will continue to monitor the company’s compliance.

Check back for updates.