|(a) Applicability. This section contains a customer's
entitlement to reasonable access to a retail electric provider's (REP)
or aggregator's representatives and identifies a customer's ability
make a complaint against a REP or aggregator. REPs and aggregators
are subject to processes of this section to ensure that retail electric
customers have the opportunity for impartial and prompt resolution
of disputes with REPs or aggregators.
(b) Customer access.
(1) A retail electric provider (REP) or aggregator
must ensure that customers have reasonable access to its service representatives
to make inquiries and complaints, discuss charges on customer's bills,
terminate competitive service, and transact any other pertinent business.
(2) Telephone access must be toll-free and must afford
customers a prompt answer during normal business hours.
(3) A REP must provide a 24-hour automated telephone
message instructing the caller how to report any service interruptions
or electrical emergencies.
(4) A REP or aggregator must employ 24-hour capability
for accepting a customer's rescission of the terms of service by telephone,
under rights of cancellation in §25.474(j) of this title (relating
to Selection of Retail Electric Provider).
(c) Complaint handling. A residential or small commercial
customer has the right to make a formal or informal complaint to the
commission, and a terms of service agreement cannot impair this right.
A REP or aggregator must not require a residential or small commercial
customer as part of the terms of service to engage in alternative
dispute resolution, including requiring complaints to be submitted
to arbitration or mediation by third parties. A customer other than
a residential or small commercial customer may agree as part of the
terms of service to engage in alternative dispute resolution, including
requiring complaints to be submitted to arbitration or mediation by
third parties. However, nothing in this subsection is intended to
prevent a customer other than a residential or small commercial customer
from filing an informal or formal complaint with the commission if
dissatisfied with the results of the alternative dispute resolution.
(d) Complaints to REPs or aggregators. A customer or
applicant for service may submit a complaint in person, or by letter,
facsimile transmission, e-mail, or by telephone to a REP or aggregator.
The REP or aggregator must promptly investigate and advise the complainant
of the results within 21 days. A customer who is dissatisfied with
the REP's or aggregator's review must be informed of the right to
file a complaint with the REP's or aggregator's supervisory review
process, if available, and, if not available, with the commission
and the Office of Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division.
Any supervisory review conducted by the REP or aggregator must result
in a decision communicated to the complainant within ten business
days of the request. If the REP or aggregator does not respond to
the customer's complaint in writing, the REP or aggregator must orally
inform the customer of the ability to obtain the REP's or aggregator's
response in writing upon request.
(e) Complaints to the commission.
(1) Informal complaints. If a complainant is dissatisfied
with the results of a REP's or aggregator's complaint investigation
or supervisory review, the REP or aggregator must advise the complainant
of the commission's informal complaint resolution process and the
following contact information for the commission: Public Utility Commission
of Texas, Customer Protection Division, P.O. Box 13326, Austin, Texas
78711-3326; (512) 936-7120 or in Texas (toll-free) 1-888-782-8477,
fax (512) 936-7003, e-mail address: email@example.com, Internet
website address: www.puc.texas.gov, and Relay Texas (toll-free) 1-800-735-2989.
(A) Requirements applicable to informal complaints.
(i) A complaint must include sufficient information
to identify the complainant and the company for which the complaint
is made and describe the issue specifically. The following information
must be included in the complaint:
(I) The account holder's name, billing and service
addresses, and telephone number;
(II) The name of the REP or aggregator;
(III) The customer account number or electric service
(IV) An explanation of the facts relevant to the complaint;
(V) The complainant's requested resolution; and
(VI) Any documentation that supports the complaint,
including copies of bills or terms of service documents.
(ii) All REPs and aggregators must provide the commission
an email address to receive notification of customer complaints from
(iii) The REP or aggregator must investigate all informal
complaints and advise the commission in writing of the results of
the investigation within 15 days after the complaint is forwarded
to the REP or aggregator. For complaints filed with the commission
before September 1, 2023, the deadline is 21 days after the complaint
(iv) The commission must review the complaint information
and the REP or aggregator's response and notify the complainant of
the results of the commission's investigation.
(B) Prohibited activities during pendency of informal
complaint. While an informal complaint process is pending:
(i) The REP or aggregator must not initiate collection
activities, including disconnection of service or report the customer's
delinquency to a credit reporting agency with respect to the disputed
portion of the bill.
(ii) A customer must pay any undisputed portion of
the bill and the REP may pursue disconnection of service for nonpayment
of the undisputed portion after appropriate notice.
(C) Informal complaint record retention. The REP or
aggregator must keep a record for two years after closure by the commission
of all informal complaints forwarded to it by the commission. This
record must show the name and address of the complainant, the date,
nature and adjustment or disposition of the complaint. Protests regarding
commission-approved rates or rates and charges that are not regulated
by the commission, but which are disclosed to the customer in the
terms of service disclosures, need not be recorded.
(2) Formal complaints. If the complainant is not satisfied
with the results of the informal complaint process, the complainant
may file a formal complaint with the commission within two years of
the date on which the commission closes the informal complaint. This
process may include the formal docketing of the complaint as provided
in §22.242 of this title (related to Complaints).
|Source Note: The provisions of this §25.485 adopted to be effective January 15, 2001, 26 TexReg 125; amended to be effective June 1, 2004, 29 TexReg 4756; amended to be effective March 8, 2007, 32 TexReg 1286; amended to be effective April 26, 2023, 48 TexReg 2089