Mailing glitch adds to phone confusion
Could you please, please help us? In our July bill from Hawaiian Telcom, a postcard about Customer Proprietary Network Information was enclosed, with a check box saying, "I wish to restrict the use of my information to offer services as described in the CPNI Special Notice" (see enclosed). There was no special notice enclosed. We looked at our bill and nothing was notated. Now, what is going on at Hawaiian Telcom? I called 643-3343 (billing) and, after 10 minutes, was told they could not help me and to call 643-0099 (order department). I waited 15 minutes and hung up. We are so disgusted with Hawaiian Telcom.
Answer: As indicated in the title, CPNI includes customer account information, including products and equipment you use and calling patterns.
"We never sell this data to outside companies," said Hawaiian Telcom spokeswoman Ann Nishida, adding that the company "vigorously protects this information to ensure customer privacy."
However, it will use this information "occasionally" to send customers special offers about products and services, she said.
Federal law requires companies to offer customers the opportunity to "opt out" of receiving such offers, although they still can receive bill inserts or mailers about "local service enhancements," Nishida said.
Every two years, Hawaiian Tel will offer customers the opportunity to opt out, and began sending such notices to residential customers this month. All customers should receive the notice by September.
The notice should have included an explanation on your bill. However, as in other areas of operations since taking over from Verizon earlier this year, there were glitches.
The first batch of July bills, including yours, had the cards but not the explanatory message on the bills, Nishida said.
"We apologize for any confusion this may have caused," she said. The message will be printed on your next bill, and you will also get another reply card, as well, she said.
Meanwhile, Nishida also explained that customers who opted out under Verizon do not have to do so again.
Additionally, she said customers can make an opt-out request by letter. The letter, with the customer's name, phone number and Hawaiian Telcom account number, should be sent to Hawaiian Telcom CPNI Special Notice, P.O. Box 135029, Honolulu, HI 96801-9972.
Information about CPNI can be found on the Web site www.hawaiiantel.com or in a brief recorded message at 643-3267.
Tax prep volunteers
The AARP TAX-AIDE Foundation is again looking for volunteers to help prepare simple tax returns for seniors and people with low to moderate income during next year's tax season.
Volunteers also are being sought on Oahu, Hawaii, Maui and Kauai to act as greeters and site managers.
Call Pat Henderson at 808-955-5776 for information.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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