CenturyLink warned by Oregon regulators to improve customer response time

Regulators in Portland, Ore., warned telco CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) that it needs to improve its customer service or it could face financial penalties or ultimately lose its franchise deal with the city.

According to the Oregonian, the Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission issued a warning to CenturyLink notifying the company it isn't meeting its customer service standards laid out in its franchise deal with the city.  Although local authorities don't have oversight over CenturyLink's Internet service, they do monitor its cable TV service quality. 

Specifically, the commission said that the franchise deal requires CenturyLink to answer 90 percent of customer calls within 30 seconds.  In the third quarter, the company met that standards 87 percent of the time.  In addition, the franchise agreement said that 95 percent of technical appointments must occur within a four-hour appointment window.  Currently, CenturyLink is meeting that window about 91 percent of time.

For its part, the telco told the Oregonian that it is trying to meet those requirements by hiring more technicians and bringing in additional workers from other areas around the U.S. However, high demand for its services is to blame for it not being able to meet those standards, the company said.

According to the commission, the warnings like what CenturyLink received are infrequent but do happen.  Comcast received a penalty from the Mt. Hood commission for $30,000 when it failed to meet its phone answering standards in 2012 and 2013.

For more:
- See this Oregonian article

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