OLDS FIBRE LTD.POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUALCATEGORY: A: Accounts Collection Policy
SUBJECT: Collection of Delinquent Accounts
Policy Number: A6
Board Approval:Review Date:
At Olds Fibre Ltd (OFL) (operating under the brand name O-NET and owned 100% by The Olds Institute for Community & Regional Development) we are committed to a fair treatment of members but also to the financial integrity of the community owned company.The terms of this Collection of Delinquent Accounts Policy (“Policy”) are subject to change, so we encourage periodic review of this page in order to check the changes that may have been made to this Policy. Every time OFL services or products are accessed, there is assumed to be agreement to the terms of the Policy as they exist at that time.
This Policy applies to all residential and business customers in which OFL is engaged and which are being billed for services.
No Obligation to provide Service
OFL is not required to provide service to an applicant where:(a) OFL would have to incur unusual expenses which the customer will not pay; for example, for securing rights of way or for special construction;(b) the customer owes amounts to OFL that are past due other than as a guarantor; or(c) the customer does not provide a reasonable deposit or alternative requiredWhere OFL does not provide service on application, it will provide the applicant with a written explanation upon request.
Methods of Payment:
- Paying though pre-authorized deductions:
- With your authorization, O-NET will automatically deduct your payment from the bank account of your choice. Contact our office for more information
- Paying by Mail:
- #8B, 5221 – 46 St., Olds, Alberta, T4H 1T5
- Paying in person:
- O-NET office,#8, 5221 – 46 St., Olds
- Cash, check, Visa and MasterCard are accepted
- Payment can be made through our web site
- All statements mailed to customers will contains this statement:” “Olds Fibre Ltd reserves the right to terminate all or any part of the services it delivers to customers with accounts wholly or partially in arrears for 30 days or more”
- Late Payment charge:
- A late payment charge may be applied to any unpaid balance 30 days after the billing date at a rate of 2% monthly or 26.8% per annum
- Payments sent by mail are credited the day they are receivedInterest rate applied to late payments can be found in the messages center of your monthly bill.The late payment charges may appear on your bill up to two months after the late payment occurred.To avoid late payment charges we offer pre-authorized payment options. To learn more about setting up pre-authorized payments, please contact our office at 403-556-6638
- In exceptional circumstances, for example when a customer has incurred a significant amount charges or if OFL has reasonable grounds to believe that the customer intends to defraud OFL and thus presents an abnormal risk of loss to OFL prior to the normal billing date, OFL may request payment from the customer on an interim basis for the non-recurring charges. In such cases, the charges can be considered past due three days after they are incurred or three days after OFL demands payment, whichever occurs later.
- No charge disputed by a customer will be considered past due unless OFL has reasonable grounds for believing that the purpose of the dispute is to evade or delay payment.
- NSF check charge:
- An amount will be charged each time a check is returned from a bank or other financial establishment due to insufficient funds. This charge is billed to offset costs for processing a returned check.
- OFL will not require deposits from a customer at any time unless the customer:(a) has no credit history with OFL and will not provide satisfactory credit information;(b) has an unsatisfactory credit rating with OFL due to payment practices in the previous two years regarding OFL services; or(c) clearly presents an abnormal risk of loss.
- OFL will inform the customer of the specific reason for requiring a deposit, and of the possibility of providing an alternative to a deposit, such as arranging for third party payment, a bank letter of credit or a written guarantee from a third person whose credit is established to the satisfaction of OFL.
- The total amount of all deposits and alternatives provided by or for a customer will not exceed three months’ charges for all services.
- OFL will review the continued appropriateness of deposits and alternative arrangements at six month intervals, when service is terminated or the conditions which originally justified them are no longer present. OFL will promptly refund the deposit, with interest, or return the guarantee or other written undertaking, retaining only any amount then owed to it by the customer.
- Interest on deposits held by O-NET for credit purposes is paid at the Bank of Canada interest rate + 1%. It is calculated on the balance of the deposit and the interest earned prior to the monthly billing period. Monthly accounts will show the total amount of credit deposits held, plus accrued interest.
- Bad Debts :
- The customer’s bad debt remains on his account until paid for or the customer is discarded permanently as a present or future customer.
- Bad Debit Allowance
- It is the practice of Olds Fibre Ltd to aggressively pursue the collection of all amounts owed for the provision of goods and services rendered pursuant to these policies. Accounts classified as Bad Debts are subject to a Bad Debt Allowance ((the amount as determined by OFL board (as of Sept 2015 the rate is 50%) from time to time)) before being forwarded to a collection agency.
- Olds Fibre Ltd shall consider any customer whose unpaid balance results in a write-off an unacceptable credit risk. Thereafter, such customers will only be provided goods and services on a prepaid base for a period not to exceed two (2) years, after which they may request to reestablish a credit relationship with Olds Fibre Ltd.
- Debt owed to Olds Fibre Ltd will be considered uncollectable and therefore written off, when either:√ The collection agency to which OFL refers an account determines the debt is uncollectable, or√ OFL receives and unfavorable or unenforceable judgement rendered in a small claims court case, or√ When the accounts receivable officer determines that there is documentation insufficient to pursue legal remedies.
Liability for Unbilled and Under Billed Charges
Unless there has been customer deception with regard to a charge, customers are not responsible for paying a previously unbilled or under billed charge except where:
(a) in the case of a recurring charge or a charge for an international long distance message it is correctly billed within a period of one year from date it was incurred; or(b) in the case of a non-recurring charge other than for an international long distance message, it is correctly billed within a period of 150 days from the date it was incurred.-In the circumstances described above, unless there has been customer deception, OFL will not charge the customer interest on the amount of the correction. If the customer is unable to promptly pay the full amount owing, OFL will attempt to negotiate a reasonable deferred payment agreement.
Liability for Charges that Should Not Have Been Billed and Those That Were Overbilled
- In the case of a recurring charge that should not have been billed or that was overbilled, a customer will be credited with the excess back to the date of the error, subject to applicable limitation periods provided by law. However, a customer who does not dispute the charge within one year of the date of an itemized statement which shows the charge correctly, loses the right to have the excess credited for the period prior to that statement.
- Non-recurring charges that should not have been billed or that were overbilled will be credited, provided that the customer disputes them within 150 days of the date of the bill.
- A customer who is credited with any amount that should not have been billed or that was overbilled will also be credited with interest on that amount at the rate payable for interest on deposits that applied during the period in question.
Cancellation before Service Commencement
The minimum contract period for OFL services is one month commencing from the date the service is provided,
- Except where OFL has stipulated a longer period in instances in which special construction is necessary or special assemblies are installed.
- A customer who cancels or delays a request for service before installation work has started will not be charged by OFL. Installation work is considered to have started when the customer has advised OFL to proceed, and OFL has incurred any related expense. A customer who cancels or delays a request for service after installation work has started, but before service has started, will be charged the lesser of the full charge for the entire minimum contract period plus the installation charge and the estimated costs incurred in installation less estimated net salvage. The estimated installation costs include the cost of un-salvaged equipment and materials specifically provided or used plus the cost of installing, including engineering, supply expense, labor and supervision, and any other disbursements resulting from the installation and removal work.
Customer Termination of Services
Customers who give OFL reasonable advance notice may terminate their service:
- After expiry of the minimum contract period, in which case they must pay charges due for service which has been furnished.
- Before expiry of the minimum contract period, customers may terminate their service in which case they must pay the full charges for the entire minimum contract period or, in the following circumstances, charges due for service which has been furnished:(a) In the event of the death of the customer during the minimum contract period, the termination is effective from the date OFL is notified of the death;(b) Where the customer’s premises are destroyed, damaged or condemned by reason of fire or other causes beyond the customer’s control, so that they must be abandoned, the termination is effective from the date OFL is notified;(c) Where a change to the base rate, exchange or local service area affects the customer service, the termination is effective from the date OFL is notified of the customer’s desire to terminate service;(d) Where a customer replaces any OFL service with another OFL service, the termination is effective from the date of the replacement, subject to the terms of the contract for the servicein question;
OFL Termination of Service
OFL may suspend or terminate a customer’s service where the customer:
(a) fails to pay an account of the customer that is past due, provided it exceeds fifty dollars or has been past due for more than two months;(b) fails to provide or maintain a reasonable deposit or alternative when required to do so pursuant to these Terms;(c) fails to comply with the terms of a deferred payment agreement;(d) Repeatedly fails to provide OFL with reasonable entry and access to customer provided facilities(e) uses or permits others to use any of OFL services so as to prevent fair and proportionate use by others;(f) uses or permits others to use any of OFL services for a purpose or in a manner that is contrary to law or for the purpose of making annoying or offensive calls;(g) fails to provide payment when requested by OFLPrior to suspension or termination, OFL will provide the customer with reasonable advance notice, stating:
(a) the reason for the proposed suspension or termination and the amount owing (if any);(b) the scheduled suspension or termination date;(c) that a reasonable deferred Payment agreement can be entered into (where the reason suspension or termination is failure to pay);(d) the reconnection charge;(e) the telephone number of an OFL representative with whom any dispute may be discussed; and(f) that disputes unresolved with this representative may be referred to the Accounts Receivable Officer
Where repeated efforts to contact the customer have failed,
- OFL will give notice via telephone or e-mail to the billing address.
- OFL will attempt to deliver such notice twenty-four hours prior to suspension or termination and advise the customer or another responsible person that suspension or termination is imminent, except where:(a) repeated efforts to so advise have failed;(b) immediate action must be taken to protect OFL from network harm resulting from customer-provided equipment; or(c) the suspension or termination occurs by virtue of a failure to provide payment when requested by OFL
- Except with customer consent or in exceptional circumstances, suspension or termination will occur only business days between 8 a.m. and 4p.m., unless the business day precedes a non-business day in which case disconnection will not occur after 12 noon.
- Suspension or termination does not affect the customer’s obligation to pay any amount owed to OFL
- In the case of services that have been suspended, unless suspension occurs during the minimum contract period, OFL will make a daily pro rata allowance based on the monthly charge for such services.
- OFL will restore service, without undue delay, where the grounds for suspension or termination no longer exist or a payment or deferred payment agreement has been negotiated.
- Where it becomes apparent that suspension or termination occurred in error or was otherwise improper, OFL will restore service during business hours on the next working day, at the latest, unless exceptional circumstances do not permit this, and no reconnection charges shall be levied.
Refunds in cases of service problems:
- Where there are omissions, interruptions, delays, errors or defects in transmission, or failure or defects in O-NET facilities, Olds Fibre Ltd’s (O/A O-NET) liability is limited to a refund of charges, on request, proportionate to, the length of time the problem existed. With regard to long distance and short period private line service, the refund shall be computed in a similar manner provided that O-NET is advised promptly of the problem. No request is necessary where a problem in primary telephone service lasts twenty-four hours or more from the time O-NET is advised of the problem. However, where the problem is occasioned by O-NET negligence, O-NET is also liable for the amount calculated in accordance with the following:
- Except with regard to physical injuries, death or damage to customer premises or other property occasioned by its negligence, OFL liability for negligence, including negligence with regard to intercept, reference of call service and breach of contract where breach results from the negligence of O-NET, is limited to the greater of $20.00 and three times the amounts refunded or cancelled in accordance to the above.
900 & 976 services
900 & 976 services are subject to specific charges established by the 900 / 976 service provider. Contact us at 403-556-6638 for more details.Call blocking feature: O-NET offers Call Blocking feature that prevents calls to 900 and 976 services from being completed. If you wish to avoid charges for these services altogether or to ensure that your line cannot be used to access these services, you can order this feature by calling us at 403-556-6638.The first time you subscribe, it’s free. If you remove the feature, a one-time charge of $10.00 will apply. A $10.00 charge will also apply each time you subsequently add or remove the feature.
Except where otherwise stipulated or by agreement, OFL will supply and install all equipment required to provide services.• Upon termination of services, the customer must return O-NET equipment• OFL will bear the expense of maintenance and repair of equipment required due to the normal wear and tear to its equipment except that OFL may charge for the additional expense incurred when the customer requires maintenance and repair work to be performed outside of regular working hours. His section does not apply if otherwise stipulated in special agreements.• A customer who has deliberately or by virtue of a lack of reasonable care, caused loss or damage to the O-NET equipment, may be charged the cost of restoration or replacement. In all cases, customers are liable for damage caused to O-NET equipment in customer provided facilities.
Right to Enter Facilities:
OFL agents and employees may,
- At reasonable hours, enter premises on which service is or is to be provided to install, inspect, repair and remove its equipment
- To inspect and perform necessary maintenance in cases of network-affected disruption involving customer provided facilities
- Prior to entering premises, OFL must obtain permission from the customer or other responsible person
- Entry is not subject to permission in cases of emergency or where entry is pursuant to a court order
- Upon request, O-NET agents and staff must show valid OFL identification prior to entering premises
In order to ensure compliance with this policy and applicable laws of Alberta, OFL has appointed an Accounts Receivable Officer. If there are any questions about the application of this policy, please contact OFL’s Accounts Receivable Officer:
Accounts Receivable Officer,Olds Fibre Limited,#8B, 5221 – 46 St.,Olds, Alberta, T4H 1T5
Accounts Receivable information and credit information of each of our member customers may be disclosed or transferred to another party (including The Olds Institute for Community & Regional Development) in the event of a change in ownership of, or a grant of a security interest in, all or part of OFL through a sale transaction or some other form of business combination, merger or joint venture. In addition, OFL may disclose credit information to third parties if at the sole discretion of the Accounts Receivable Officer it is required in the normal course of business to have third parties involved in the collection of past due accounts.
Accuracy and Retention of Credit Information:
OFL endeavors to ensure that any accounts receivable information in its possession is as accurate, current and complete as necessary for the purposes for which OFL uses that information. If credit information changes or is deemed to be not accurate, please notify OFL as soon as reasonably possible. Any request to verify or correct credit information must be made in writing to OFL’s Accounts Receivable Officer. In some circumstances, OFL may not agree to the request to change credit information unless the customer can show where billings have been made in error.OFL keeps credit information only as long as it is required by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). The length of time OFL retains information varies, depending on the product or service and the nature of the information. This period may extend beyond the end of a business relationship with OFL but it will only be for as long as it is necessary for OFL to have sufficient information to respond to any issues that may arise at a later date and to comply with applicable law and regulatory requirements. When OFL no longer requires credit information, OFL will either destroy or erase it, or OFL will make it anonymous such that it cannot be associated with or tracked.
Access to Your Credit Information:
OFL may amend this Accounts Receivable Policy from time to time to reflect changes in its legal or regulatory obligations or in the manner in which we deal with your credit information. We will post any revised version of this Policy on our website at www.O-NET.ca
Interpretation of this Policy:
The Accounts Receivable Officer has the responsibility and authority to interpret and administer this Policy. This Policy does not create or confer any additional rights or obligations to those imposed under provincial or federal privacy legislation. Should there be, in a specific case, any inconsistency between this Policy and applicable provincial or federal legislation, and then this Policy will be interpreted to give effect to and comply with such legislation.
APPROVED SEPT. 10, 2015