News Release

Staff Report Filed in APS Customer Disconnection Inquiry

News Release

For Immediate Release | 6-25-19

Media Contact | Holly Ward

Direct | 602-542-3847

Email | hward@azcc.gov

 

Staff report filed in APS customer disconnection inquiry

PHOENIX — The Arizona Corporation Commission staff released its report today in response to Commissioner requests for an inquiry into what occurred in the Arizona Public Service Company (APS) incident involving the disconnection of a 72-year-old’s electricity service in September 2018.

The report, filed in Corporation Commission docket E-00000A-19-0128, details APS and staff timelines of events involving the disconnection of service.

Based on the Corporation Commission’s staff review of the record, it shows the APS customer’s daughter called the Corporation Commission’s Consumer Services section to request information on the Commission’s disconnection policy and notice requirements on September 17, 2018. Based on the report, the woman mentioned her mother had passed away. There is no indication there was a link between her mother passing away and the request for information on the Commission’s disconnection policy.

“Ms. Smith never communicated to Consumer Services that she believed that Ms. Pullman’s death was in any way related to APS’s disconnection of service. Ms. Smith inquired about disconnection policies but did not file a complaint,” reads the report.

The Consumer Services section assists customers of utilities with a variety of matters involving utility service, rates, disconnection of service, requests for deposits, refusal of service, a utility’s policies and procedures, installations, quality of service, responsibility for a bill, and complaints.

In developing the report, staff was also directed to determine if APS complied with the Commission’s rules and its own disconnection policy.

The report found there was no APS documentation of person-to-person contact made with the customer at critical times and what might have been said. “While staff is not disputing APS’s assertions that it took certain actions to comply with the rules, staff simply cannot substantiate with documentation APS’s actions in all cases.”

Additional findings in the report include conclusions regarding the utility company’s lack of personal contact with its customer when it may have been helpful. APS’s timeline of customer contact included reported placement of a door hanger on the customer’s door on two separate occasions. The report determines APS’s door hanger, as compared to other regulated entities, did not provide detailed information that would be helpful and informative in assuring the customer is aware of the customer’s specific actions to resolve billing issues.

The report concludes based on the limited information provided by the utility, staff cannot confirm that APS precisely followed disconnection protocol as prescribed by Corporation Commission regulation.

The staff report and all documentation related to this matter may be found in the Corporation Commission’s online docket at http://edocket.azcc.gov and by entering docket number E-00000A-19-0128.

Direct link to staff report: https://docket.images.azcc.gov/0000198772.pdf

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The Arizona Corporation Commission was established by the state’s constitution to regulate public utilities and business incorporation. The Corporation Commission is Arizona’s co-equal, fourth branch of government. The five Commissioners elected to the Corporation Commission oversee executive, legislative, and judicial proceedings on behalf of Arizonans when it comes to their water, electricity, telephone, and natural gas resources as well as the regulation of securities, pipeline, and railroad safety. To learn more about the Arizona Corporation Commission and its Commissioners, visit http://azcc.gov.

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