The Hamilton County’s Emergency Communications District is suing AT&T of Tennessee for what it says was an intentional decision to under-report and under-charge customers the monthly $1-3 911 fee levied on residential and commercial phone lines. Hamilton County, which includes the city of Chattanooga, Tenn., ironically discovered the “intentional under-collection” of the mandatory 911 fees when it received a proposal from the phone company to provide telephone service to the county at a lower rate than competitors could offer, in part because AT&T offered to
discount or eliminate the 911 surcharge. The county 911 agency, through its lawsuit, suggests most of the under-reporting is taking place with business customers who are using AT&T’s multiplexed Centrex phone service. AT&T provides up to 23 voice phone lines over a single circuit, but only charges 911 fees on a single line, the lawsuit alleges.
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