Who can I talk to regarding problems with my utility?
Because South Carolina’s utilities provide basic and necessary services to so many residents, complaints about service arise regularly. The complaints include such things as billing issues, service problems, and service or installation delays. If you have a complaint about one of your utilities, we recommend a three-step approach.
Here’s the process for trying to resolve complaints:
- First, call the utility directly to make it aware of the issue. In many cases, the utility can resolve the problem. Provide the utility with a detailed description of the problem and all relevant facts. The utility should investigate your issue and let you know the action that it plans to take.
- If you do not hear from the utility within a reasonable time, or if you are not satisfied with the company’s action, you may contact the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff, (ORS) 1-800-922-1531. The ORS is staffed from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday, except on state holidays. The Office of Regulatory Staff is an agency separate from the Public Service Commission. It represents the public interest of South Carolina in regulation of all utilities. The ORS also is responsible for assisting the public with complaints against regulated utilities. Be prepared to provide some basic information, the nature of your complaint and the resolution you hope to achieve. The ORS will begin an investigation and contact the utility. The ORS will contact you with the utility’s response within 30 days of beginning the investigation. Many of the complaints received at the ORS are resolved in an informal manner through discussions involving the customer, the company, and the ORS Consumer Services Division. However, if you are not satisfied with the results of the ORS investigation, you may file a formal complaint with the Public Service Commission.
- To file a formal complaint, fill out the PSC Individual Complaint Form. Once you file a complaint, it will be assigned a docket number and a hearing examiner will be appointed. A hearing will be scheduled at the discretion of the Public Service Commission.
If you have a billing complaint, it is important to continue paying the undisputed amount of your bill while your case is pending or your service could be disconnected.