ASSURANCE WIRELESS CALIFORNIA LIFELINE SERVICE PRODUCT GUIDE

The terms set forth in this California Product Guide are applicable to participants in the California LifeLine Program. The California Product Guide supplements the sections indicated below of the Assurance Wireless General Terms and Conditions and Assurance Wireless Important Service/Product Specific Terms, which are available at www.assurancewireless.com.

Service Activation

Your service activation date is the date you call AW to activate your handset. You may terminate service within 14 days of service activation without incurring early termination fees. If service is cancelled within 3 days of service activation, excluding national holidays, Assurance Wireless will refund any applicable service connection charges and deposits. If you received your phone in the mail, to activate your Assurance Wireless service, program your handset using the account PIN provided with your Assurance Wireless Welcome Letter.

Nature of our Service

In California, the California LifeLine Program is administered by the California Public Utilities Commission and its designee, the California LifeLine Administrator. The California LifeLine program is funded by California ratepayers. The California LifeLine Program is subject to all applicable California and federal laws.

Payments and Chargebacks

California LifeLine participants may pay their phone bills in person without being assessed a fee.

Taxes & Government Fees Surcharges

California LifeLine participants are exempt from taxes and surcharges, CPUC user fee, federal excise tax, local franchise taxes, and State 911 tax associated with telephone service.

Assurance Wireless California Rates
(only available to California LifeLine FREEdom® Plan customers)

Customers should always check the Assurance Wireless Website here to see the current rates (domestic and international), terms and conditions for California LifeLine Service, which are subject to change and may not be current as shown in this booklet, depending on the date it was printed and distributed.

Additional California Terms:

Unless a California LifeLine participant subscribes to a service plan with unlimited voice minutes, airtime minutes are deducted for all incoming and outgoing calls, including incoming call waiting calls, simultaneous calls, calls to toll-free numbers, 411, 800 or 800-like toll-free services and to access your voice mail. Assurance Wireless provides free access to the California Relay Service via 711; however, associated calls made using the 711 relay service may count against airtime minutes. 

Assurance Wireless will provide access to two California LifeLine discounted telephone lines to participants in the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program. Calls to 911 and Assurance Wireless Customer Care are free and unlimited for Assurance Wireless's California LifeLine participants and do not count against allotted voice minutes or number of calls. 

California LifeLine participants are not required to purchase bundled plans with video, data, and/or other services to receive California LifeLine discount. Assurance Wireless does not require service contracts for its prepaid services.

Limitations on Subsidy for Service Connection/Activation Charges

Assurance Wireless will provide both verbal and written notice to LifeLine customers in compliance with Conclusion of Law 11 and Ordering Paragraph 1 of Decision 17-01-032. Conclusion of Law 11 provides: 

11. California LifeLine wireless telephone service providers should be required to inform consumers verbally prior to service initiation and in writing that: 1) the California LifeLine Program will not subsidize service connection/activation charges more than twice per year; and 2) the consumer or the California LifeLine wireless telephone service provider will be responsible for paying the service connection/activation charges beyond the two for which reimbursement is provided, and if such additional charges are incurred, specify how much that charge will be. This consumer education requirement should continue until the Commission adopts or alters this disclosure requirement. California LifeLine wireless telephone service providers should also include the information in their annual notice.

Ordering Paragraph 1 provides:

1. The reimbursement rate capped at $39.00 for service connection/ activation charges for California LifeLine wireless telephone services, with a limit of not more than two discounts per California LifeLine participant per year, shall continue until the California Public Utilities Commission addresses the issue in a subsequent decision or resolution. The two types of reimbursable activities for reimbursements of service connection/activation charges for California LifeLine wireless telephone services are i) when the California LifeLine participant establishes California LifeLine wireless telephone service for the first time; and ii) when switching from one California LifeLine telephone service provider, whether wireline or wireless, to a California LifeLine wireless telephone service provider.

Specifically, pursuant to Ordering Paragraph 4 of Decision 17-01-032, prior to service initiation, reestablishment of service or carrier change through the live sales agent channel, Assurance Wireless’ sales agents will provide verbal and written notification by reading the following script on a tear-off sheet given to the customer: 

The California LifeLine fund will pay for no more than two connection/activation/ conversion fees per year per LifeLine-eligible household. Assurance Wireless, and not the customer, is responsible for any activation or conversion fee that is not eligible for reimbursement from the LifeLine fund.

The notification will be included in pre-sale disclosures (flyers, application letters, web copy and the terms of service in the California Product Guide, which are available online for any person to review at any time). This information will also be posted on AW's web site and will be provided to any LifeLine customer who requests it from an AW sales agent. Written notification will also be provided through provision to the customer of this California Product Guide (which is provided to a new LifeLine customer together with the AW Welcome Letter). 

Pursuant to Ordering Paragraph 5 of Decision 17-01-032, AW will include information about the rules that are contained in the Decision 17-01-032, as noted above, in its annual notice to LifeLine customers. 

AW will comply with Conclusion of Law 27 of Decision 17-01-032. Conclusion of Law 27 provides: 

27. California LifeLine participants who change to a different service plan offered by their current California LifeLine service provider, to a different service address, or to a different phone number should not be eligible for discounts for service activation/connection charges.

 

Limitations on Requesting California LifeLine Discounts

Beginning June 1, 2017, the California LifeLine Program (California LifeLine) has a new limitation on consumers requesting the California LifeLine discounts for phone services. 

New Limitation #1 = 30 Day Waiting Period for an Enrollment Request for the California LifeLine Discounts for Cell Phone Service 
When a consumer submits an enrollment request to receive the California LifeLine discounts for cell phone service the consumer has to wait up to 30 days to submit another enrollment request. A consumer CANNOT have multiple enrollment requests for the California LifeLine discounts for cell phone service going at the same time. The 30-day waiting period ends when either 1) the California LifeLine Administrator sends the final eligibility decision, 2) the enrollment request is cancelled, or 3) the 30 days have passed since the enrollment request, whichever occurs first. After the 30-day clock stops, a consumer may then submit another enrollment request for the California LifeLine discounts for cell phone service, as applicable. A consumer can independently cancel an enrollment request by contacting the California LifeLine Administrator by phone at 877-858-7463 or going to Check Your Status at www.californialifeline.com. The cell phone company can also cancel an enrollment request. 

 

Coverage; Where Your Device Will Work; Service Speeds
911 or Other Emergency Calls ("California Safety Disclosure")

Unlike a traditional wireline phone, a wireless handset may be removed from the home. By removing your wireless cell phone from a residence that does not have other phone services, residents may not have a way to make 911 calls during an emergency. Your handset will not work if it is not charged. A commercial power outage will interfere with the ability to recharge the handset. In addition, if a commercial power outage interferes with the operation of wireless towers and related equipment and the backup power source for such equipment does not function, you will not be able to use your wireless service, even if your handset is charged. 

When you are outside of the coverage area of Assurance Wireless but within another wireless carrier's service area, pursuant to FCC rules, that wireless service provider is required to transmit your 911 call, regardless of whether you subscribe to that carrier's service. 

Wireless service may experience interruptions due to weather conditions, terrain or gaps in service coverage. California LifeLine participants are entitled to a voice-grade connection. If an Assurance Wireless California LifeLine participant fails to receive a voice-grade connection and notifies Assurance Wireless, Assurance Wireless will (1) promptly restore the voice-grade connection, or if not possible, (2) provide telephone service to that participant using a different technology if one is available from Assurance Wireless and if the participant agrees. However, if a voice-grade connection cannot be provided, the participant may contact Assurance Wireless to terminate California Lifeline Service without penalty.

Our Right to Suspend or Terminate Service

Assurance Wireless will provide 30-days' notice before it withdraws from offering California LifeLine services.

Using Assurance Wireless Services after Termination of Lifeline Service

Customers on the Assurance Wireless Transitional Plan may continue to use the service for so long as they meet the requirements for maintaining an active account.

State Dispute Resolution Information

Unresolved questions or complaints regarding LifeLine service may be directed to the following state offices or agencies: California: CPUC Consumer Affairs Branch, California Public Utilities Commission, 505 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102; telephone: 1-800-649-7570, online at:http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/cab/

Certificate of Compliance with CTIA Consumer Code for Wireless Service

ctia-icon.pngA certificate evidencing Assurance Wireless' Compliance with the CTIA Code for Wireless Service is attached to this document as Exhibit A. Assurance Wireless provides LifeLine Service in California in full compliance with all requirements of the CTIA Code for Wireless Service.

Unlocking Policy

Upon request, Assurance Wireless will unlock your Assurance Wireless mobile phone pursuant to the following Unlocking Policy: 

Unlocking your device
Assurance Wireless appreciates your interest in learning more about device unlocking. Device unlocking is a complicated technical issue which has evolved over the past few years. Please read carefully the information below to better understand the facts and Sprint's policies on this matter. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Unlocking a device is a general term that refers to one or more types of device unlocking. MSL unlocking refers to providing an MSL code in order to disable software that sets device parameters and prevents the device from activation on a different network. Unlocking also refers to enabling the SIM slot of your device to allow you to insert another carrier's SIM card (either domestically or internationally.) Unlocking a device will not necessarily make a device interoperable with another carrier's network. In other words, a device designed for one network is not made technologically compatible with another network merely by unlocking it. Additionally, unlocking a device may enable some functionality of the device but not all (e.g., an unlocked device may support voice services but not data services when activated on a different network). 

Assurance Wireless will only activate devices certified to work with Assurance Wireless services and may not activate unlocked devices from other carriers/service providers, including devices manufactured for Sprint, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. 


General Eligibility for Unlocking
Assurance Wireless will unlock a device (i.e., provide the MSL Code and/or perform a domestic SIM unlock (DSU)) under the following circumstances:

  • The device has not been reported as lost or stolen or otherwise flagged as ineligible to be unlocked
  • The device has been active on the associated account for at least 12 months with the account active at that time

Assurance Wireless may refuse any unlock request that would result in an abuse of these policies or is part of an effort to defraud Assurance Wireless or its customers. These policies are subject to change at Assurance Wireless' discretion without advance notice. 

For more information on the Unlocking Commitment, please visit the following link:
https://www.virginmobileusa.com/unlock/ 

For more unlocking details, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) at the following link:
https://virginmobileusa.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5815/

 

California LifeLine Service Handset Policies

AW's Policies for Replacement of Wireless Handsets
Under certain conditions, as outlined below, AW will provide a replacement wireless handset if AW provided the original device to the California LifeLine Service customer. The replacement device for a feature phone will be a feature phone; the replacement device for an Android phone will be an Android phone. The replacement model provided by AW may not be the exact same model as the original device; AW may provide a new or refurbished device. Customers should call Assurance Wireless Customer Service for assistance. 

Lost and Stolen Phones

  • Customers are entitled to one free replacement device once every 12 months if the customer is still an AW California LifeLine Service customer.
  • Customers who request a second replacement phone within the 12-month period following the first free replacement may be required to pay for the second replacement phone; the price of the second replacement phone will vary based on device offered, but will not exceed the retail price of that device.
  • AW will ship a replacement phone at standard shipping intervals at no additional charge. California LifeLine Service customers may obtain expedited shipping at a cost to be specified by AW at the time it is requested.
  • Customers may also choose to purchase any Assurance Wireless-compatible device at retail or use any Assurance Wireless-compatible device.


Broken Phones

  • Customers with broken phones that are within the one-year warranty period will receive a free replacement phone ("like for like," as explained above).
  • Customers with broken phones that are outside the one-year warranty period may be required to pay for a replacement device; the price of the device will vary based on device offered, but will not exceed the retail price of that device.
  • AW will ship a replacement for a broken phone at standard shipping intervals at no additional charge. California LifeLine Service customers may obtain expedited shipping at a cost to be specified by AW at the time it is requested.
  • Customers are required to return broken phones within 45 days or their account will be suspended. A prepaid postage envelope/return package is provided with the replacement phone.
  • Customers can also choose to purchase any Assurance Wireless compatible device at retail or use any Assurance Wireless compatible device.


AW Policies for Upgrade of Wireless Devices - Current Feature Phone Customers

  • Current feature phone customers can upgrade to an Android phone by calling Assurance Wireless Customer Service for assistance.
  • Customers who request an upgraded device may be required to pay for the device; the price of the device will vary based on device offered, but will not exceed the retail price of that device.
  • AW will ship an upgraded device at standard shipping intervals at no additional charge. California LifeLine Service customers may obtain expedited shipping at a cost to be specified by AW at the time it is requested.
  • AW will provide only one upgrade to feature phone customers.
  • AW does not require customers to return their feature phone when upgrading to an Android phone.
  • AW will not exchange an Android phone for a different Android phone.
  • Customers can also choose to purchase any Assurance Wireless compatible device at retail or use any Assurance Wireless compatible device.