My aunt has a billing dispute with a Telco. Telco apologises and promises to resolve the billing issues but nothing has been done.

Her lines are disconnected twice in a month because of the outstanding balance in the account. The outstanding balance is due to the billing error on Telco's end that they failed to resolve in time. The disconnections are triggered by the system. Her lines are disconnected for 5 days each time which adversely affected her work and routine.

What's the consumer's rights in this situation? Is this considered a breach of SLA (Service Level Agreement)?

  • 2
    Yes, there is a breach of contract each time the company disconnects the line. It also is in violation of consumer protection laws, but the statutory specifics vary by jurisdiction. In which jurisdiction is this happening? Dec 3, 2022 at 11:27
  • In the uk it seems they are responsible for giving you a refund for the time you had no access. 5 days cut off = refund for 1/6th of the month for a consumer line. I could get the exact service that I get as “commercial” for three times the monthly money. The difference is that in a situation like yours or just with a technical problem someone will work on it and fix it immediately.
    – gnasher729
    Dec 3, 2022 at 11:31
  • Thanks @IñakiViggers In UK. From my aunt's narrative, Telco does not take that seriously. What can a consumer do when the service provider violates the consumer protection act?
    – Skies
    Dec 3, 2022 at 22:35
  • @gnasher729 Thanks. It is not a technical problem. It is human error that caused the additional charges. They failed to rectify the billing error in time and the system automatically triggered the termination due to the outstanding balance. I'm thinking Telco could be liable for more than just a refund of the days they disconnected the service.
    – Skies
    Dec 3, 2022 at 22:44

1 Answer 1


Such action would seem to violate contract law. In many jurisdictions telephone companies are specially regulated, and there are procedures which must be followed before service can be terminated for nonpayment. These procedures, and the remedies which are available under them vary considerably from one jurisdiction to another. In the US these are maters of state law, not federal. In Canada, I believe these are matters of provincial law.

A customer who has been disconnected without just cause could sue for contract violation, probably in a court of limited jurisdiction, such as a small claims court. But following the specific procedures for utility violations.

In some US states there is a "Board of Public Utilities" or some agency with a similar name that will accept such complaints. Some are more responsive to consumers than others. In some cases involving the officed of a member of a state legislator can be helpful, as such boards typically require regular legislative budget approvals. In other cases, media attention may be of value. The exact procedures available in the jurisdiction will matter a good deal. The current political situation may also matter.

  • Thanks! I guess I need to open a new thread for a new question as per the stackexchange's rule.
    – Skies
    Dec 4, 2022 at 5:14
  • @Skies Yes that is the better way. Ypu can link to an earlier related question. Dec 4, 2022 at 20:27

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