The full Assembly approved legislation, sponsored by Assemblymen Wayne DeAngelo, Benjie Wimberly, and Joseph Danielsen, aiming to protect customers from paying for VoIP service interruption. The bill passed the Assembly on Thursday, 70-1-0.
“We have worked tirelessly in the legislature and the committee to do more for the working class New Jerseyans and the burden of costly utility bills for families,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “By bringing consistency to the law, we can, hopefully, provide relief to significant residents.”
The measure (A-229) would direct the Board of Public Utilities to require telecommunications companies that offer Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and other internet-based telephone services, on a prorated basis, to adjust a customer’s bill, or provide a refund to the customer, who has experienced a service interruption for a period of 24 hours.
“Slight changes in the law can make a sizable difference to working families and paying their utility bills,” said Benjie Wimberly (D- Bergen, Passaic). “Household budgets should not be nickel and dimed by paying for interrupted services. This is a good pro-consumer measure that will put money back in the pockets of New Jersey’s families.”
“Customers should not have to pay for service they did not receive,” said Danielsen (D-Middlesex, Somerset). “Prorated bills or a refund to consumers for any inconvenience incurred is only fair.”
The bill also directs the companies to provide the bill adjustment or refund without requiring the customer to take any action.