Ask the Telecom Pro
Charge Disputes | Customer Service Records (CSRs)
Q: My company closed a small business office 6 months ago. It was cheaper to keep the broadband services for the remainder of the contract term than to cancel the service, so we did not cancel it when we moved. The new tenants at that building ordered a technician from the carrier to fix some services and we were billed on our broadband account for the service call claiming that it was our unused service that needed repair. How do I dispute this charge?
A: Contact the carrier and formally dispute the legitimacy of the charge. If they do not credit the charge, request details of the approval for the service call including the name and contact information of the person that placed the service call order and any signature information obtained by the technician onsite. Whomever placed the service call and signed off on the service ticket will not be an authorized party for your company on the account and you can use the fact that a service call was ordered by an unauthorized party to substantiate the dispute claim.
Q: Are CSRs necessary when building and validating a service inventory?
A: Yes. Customer service records (CSRs) offer service, configuration and charge detail for local exchange carrier services at a deeper level than most invoices. Common details that are available on CSRs that do not always appear on invoices include service address, line features, line configuration details, circuit mileage, surcharge detail, and tax detail. This information allows a complete validation and reconciliation of the services invoiced.
Timothy C. Colwell is a telecom management industry thought leader exploring the impact of technology as a business accelerator and social capital enabler.