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telecommunications

Problems with telecommunications (phone, internet, and TV) are some of the most common consumer complaints in Oregon. Complaints often involve paying more than than expected, difficult cancellation policies, and poor reception or service quality.

Many headaches can be avoided by understanding what the available options are, and choosing the best one for your needs before you sign a contract.

Broadband internet, also known as "high-speed" internet access because it usually has a high rate of data transmission, can be delivered in a variety of different ways.

  • Cable – transmits a digital data signal over cable lines without interfering with cable reception. This is why it is often bundled with cable TV services.
  • DSL – Stands for Digital Subscriber Line and transmits digital data over the wires of a local telephone network.
  • Satellite – transmits digital data to a satellite dish and is available to most subscribers of satellite TV.
  • Mobile or Wireless - transmits digital data over the same cellular networks that mobile phones use.

Find the right option for you. Generally speaking, the most significant limitation consumers face when choosing a broadband internet provider (other than cost) is geography. The availability of a broadband signal, how it is delivered and how well it performs is very much dependant on where you live. Certain features, such as mountain ranges, can disrupt signals or contribute to poor reception or service quality.

The Oregon Broadband Mapping Project offers an interactive map to help Oregonians explore what broadband options are available in their area. Once, you’ve determine what type of broadband is right for you, www.cubconnects.org is a handy tool provided by the Citizens Utility Board to help you comparison shop between providers.

Promotional offers. Many complaints received by DOJ involve consumers being charged more than expected after signing up for special promotional offers like low introductory prices for new subscribers or by ordering more than one service (also known as "bundling"). When signing up for a new service, it is helpful to pay close attention to the terms of the offer. Don't be shy about asking if there are any additional costs or fees for a service, such as a monthly equipment charge, or on what date a promotional offer will end.

If you experience a problem you cannot resolve with your internet service provider, file a complaint with the Public Utility Commission,contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or complete an online Consumer Complaint Form anytime. Make copies of any supporting documentation - such as your contract or billing statements - and have them ready to submit with your complaint.

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