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ALJ/MD2/gd2 Date of Issuance 5/6/2011
Decision 11-05-008 May 5, 2011
BEFORE THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Order Instituting Investigation on the Commission's own motion into the operations and practices of Americatel Corporation (U5918C), to determine whether it has violated the laws, rules, and regulations governing the way in which consumers are billed for products or services, by billing consumers for dial-around long distance monthly service without authorization.
(Filed February 4, 2010)
DECISION APPROVING SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
This decision approves an all-party settlement agreement (Settlement Agreement) entered into by Americatel Corporation (Americatel) and the Commission's Consumer Protection and Safety Division (CPSD). Americatel and CPSD (collectively "Settling Parties") are the only parties and reflect the different interests affected by this proceeding. The Settlement Agreement1 establishes facts jointly agreed to by the Settling Parties. The terms and conditions of settlement represent a compromise of the Settling Parties respective litigation positions.
An Order Instituting Investigation (OII) was issued on February 4, 2010 to determine whether Americatel, or its agents, had violated Public Utilities Code § 2890 or any Commission rule, regulation, order, requirement, or state law, by billing consumers for dial-around long distance monthly service without consumers' authorization, and by applying incorrect rates on consumers' phone bills. The Settling Parties dispute their respective rights and liabilities arising out of the OII but mutually decided to settle the matter "to avoid the delay, expense, uncertainty, and inconvenience of protracted litigation."2 The Settlement Agreement provides for Americatel to assure all appropriate credits have been issued, make numerous operational improvements, and to make a settlement payment of $503,000 to the State of California General Fund.
1 The Settlement Agreement is attached hereto as Attachment A.
2 Settlement Agreement (Attachment A) at 4:9-12.