RCA Consumer Advisory.

As we all continue to monitor the evolving impacts of COVID-19, we want you to know that we are here to do our best to keep you informed about public utility services and some of the safety precautions recently implemented to keep utility employees and customers safe.    

·    While certain utilities and service providers have already halted front-counter services or closed their lobbies to the public, payments can still be made by phone, online, or payment kiosks.  Please visit your public utility’s website for more information or contact a utility representative at the number provided on your utility bill.  A list of utility lobby closures is also posted separately on the RCA headlines.

·    Some utilities have also announced voluntary moratoriums on service disconnections for non-payment, but not all.  If you are having difficulty paying your bill on time, please contact your utility provider to request a deferred payment arrangement.  Customers experiencing financial difficulty should also contact the  Alaska 211.

·    In response to the Federal Communications Commission’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge,  many telecommunications providers have pledged to: (1) not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic; (2) waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and (3) open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.  Please contact your telecommunications provider for additional information regarding your telephone, Internet, wireless, and  cable services. 

·    We also ask Alaskans to exercise greater care when opening emails, answering phone calls, or opening doors to scammers posing as representatives from a utility company or government entity. Scammers are seeking to use the current COVID-19 situation to their advantage. 

If you have any questions or need assistance resolving your dispute against a utility company, the RCA’s Consumer Protection & Information Section is here to help.  You can access our services by:

·    Connecting with us via email at cp.mail@alaska.gov 
·    Using our complaint portal: File an Informal Complaint
·    Sending a fax to (907) 276-0160 (Attention: Consumer Protection)

Date Issued: 3/23/2020