(1) As set forth in this section, a company may require a business applicant or customer to demonstrate satisfactory credit by reasonable means appropriate under the circumstances.
(2) Amount of deposit.
When a company requests a deposit from an applicant or customer, the amount of the deposit may not exceed two months' customary use for an applicant or customer with previous verifiable service of the same class, or two months' estimated use for an applicant or customer without previous verifiable service. Customary use is calculated using charges for the previous three months' service.
(3) Deposit payment.
Companies may withhold regulated services until the deposit amount associated with such services is paid in full.
(4) Deposit requirement notice.
(a) When a company requests a new deposit or a larger deposit amount after service has been established, the company must provide a written notice of the reasons for the request in writing to the customer, state the date the deposit must be paid, and the actions the company may take if the deposit is not paid.
(b) Except for circumstances described in subsection (5) of this section, the deposit or additional deposit amount may not be due and payable before 5:00 p.m. of the sixth business day after notice of the deposit requirement is mailed or 5:00 p.m. of the second business day following delivery if the notice is delivered in person to the customer.
(5) Deposit request for high toll.
(a) A company authorized by the commission to collect deposits or advanced payments may require a customer to pay a new or additional deposit amount to advanced toll charges when the customer's toll charges exceed the amount currently held as an interexchange deposit, or exceed customary use over the previous six months by twenty dollars or by twenty percent, whichever is greater. A company may toll restrict a customer's services if the customer is unable pay the toll or deposit amount.
(b) When a customer has exceeded the toll levels outlined in (a) of this subsection, the company may require payment before the close of the next business day following delivery of either written or oral notice to the customer indicating that failure to pay one of the following may result in toll restriction of the customer's service. The customer must be given the option to pay one of the following:
(i) All outstanding toll charges specified in the notice;
(ii) All toll charges accrued to the time of payment providing the customer was notified the customer would be liable for all unbilled toll charges that accrued between the time of the notice and time of the payment; or
(iii) Payment of a new or additional deposit in light of the customer's actual use based upon two months' customary use.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040 and 80.04.160. 03-01-065 (Docket No. UT-990146, General Order No. R-507), § 480-120-123, filed 12/12/02, effective 7/1/03.]