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State regulators fine Frontier Communications $41,400 for check policy

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.

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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John Stucke John Stucke is a deputy city editor who helps build local news coverage and writes about health care, bankruptcy and rural affairs.

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Alison Boggs Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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