In 2004, the Consumer Advocate successfully stopped an attempt by BellSouth to improperly increase the rates it charges its customers. BellSouth proposed to the Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA) a rate increase for telephone service in 55 communities across the State of Tennessee. The rate increases sought varied between 4% and 21%.
The Consumer Advocate intervened by filing objections to the proposed rate increase on the grounds that the proposed increase violated Tennessee statutes capping any such increase at 1.7%. The Consumer Advocate successfully argued that the proposed tariff would have violated the state’s price regulation law that the Legislature passed in 1995. The plan violated a provision of the price regulation law, which prohibits a company from raising residential telephone rates by more than the national inflation rate.
A three-member panel hearing the case unanimously voted to grant the Consumer Advocate’s Motion for Summary Judgment on the grounds that BellSouth’s proposal would increase residential telephone rates by more than the rate of inflation. As a result of the work of the Consumer Advocate, BellSouth customers in Tennessee will save $2,000,000 annually. There are approximately 288,753 BellSouth customers in the telephone exchanges affected by the TRA’s decision.
This list includes only significant filings and is not intended to be a complete record of the matter.