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§24D-1-22. Complaints; violations; penalties.

(a) Complaints of affected parties regarding the operation of a cable system must be made in writing and filed with the commission. The commission shall take up such complaints with the cable operator complained against in an endeavor to bring about satisfaction of the complaint without formal hearing. The commission shall not consider any complaint involving programming or any other issue that is preempted by federal law.

(b) The commission shall resolve all complaints, if possible informally. No form of informal complaint is prescribed, but the writing must contain the essential elements of a complaint, including the name and address of the complainant, the correct name of the cable operator against which the complaint is made, a clear and concise statement of the facts involved and a request for affirmative relief.

(c) In the event that the commission cannot resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of all parties, the complainant may file a formal request to the commission and the complainant and cable operator shall be afforded all rights including the right of appeal as set forth in chapter twenty-four of this code.

(d) A cable operator may be subject to a fine or civil penalty in accordance with subsection (e) hereof, upon a determination by the commission or court that the cable operator has violated any of the following:

(1) The material terms of its cable franchise; or

(2) Substantial compliance with this article or rules or orders prescribed by the commission.

(e) The commission may fine or obtain civil penalties against a cable operator for each violation of subsection (d) of this section in an amount not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 for each violation. Any penalty assessed under this section is in addition to any other costs, expenses or payments for which the cable operator is responsible under other provisions of this section.

(f) In addition to fines and civil penalties, the commission may determine and declare and by order require for violation of subsection (d) of this section the cable operator to comply with the terms of its franchise or the requirements of this article or orders prescribed by the commission.

 (g)No cable operator may raise rates or retier and charge subscribers without providing to his or her subscribers sufficient advance written notice and opportunity to discontinue service.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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