Washington state regulators fined Frontier Communications Northwest Inc. (DBA Frontier) for overcharging customers for returned checks.
Washington's Utilities and Transportation Commission found Frontier committed 414 violations of the state’s consumer protection rules and penalized the company $41,400 for improperly charging customers a higher fee than allowed for returned checks.
Frontier has 15 days to pay the fine, request a hearing to contest the violations or seek a mitigated solution and lower fine.
The company is not allowed to pass penalty costs to customers through rates.
The violations were found during an investigation of returned check fees charged to customers from Aug. 1, 2010, to March 31, 2012. UTC staff found Frontier was improperly charging $20 and $25 fees for returned customer checks, higher than the $15 the company is authorized to collect.
Frontier is the fifth-largest U.S. landline company. In Washington it has 321,300 phone lines; its Eastern Washington cities are Wenatchee, Kennewick, Pullman, Chelan, Richland and Newport.