New Repair Window; Cancellation Period Approved for Phone Service

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - State regulators gave phone companies one less day to repair lines before they have to give customers a month of service for free.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio today set new minimum standards for telephone companies for the first time in six years. The rules affect only land lines, not cell phones.

Outages now must be fixed within 72 hours or customers get a month's credit. Before the credit was required after 96 hours.

However, state consumer advocates say the previous rules also gave a smaller credit anytime an outage lasted more than 20 hours. That's gone now.

The new rules also give consumers 30 days to change or cancel new services they order such as call-waiting or Caller ID without a penalty.