California LifeLine Service Product Guide ("California 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.
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 at http://assurancewireless.virginmobileusa.com/ca-rate-table/ 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.
New Limitation #2 = 60 Day Freeze for Transferring the California LifeLine Discounts (also called Discount Transfer Freeze) for Phone Services
Once the California LifeLine Administrator approves the applicant's eligibility to receive the California LifeLine discounts, the California LifeLine participant has to keep the California LifeLine discounts with the same phone company for 60 days. The 60-day clock begins when the California LifeLine discounts start. After staying with the same phone company for 60 days, the California LifeLine participant may choose to remain with the same phone company or to change to a different phone company while keeping the California LifeLine discounts. This requirement means that the California LifeLine participant can only transfer the California LifeLine discounts to a different phone company once every 60 days. Transferring the California LifeLine discounts to a different phone company restarts the 60-day clock.
The California LifeLine participant MAY cancel phone service or switch phone companies at any time. However, if the California LifeLine participant is still within the 60-day clock and cancels the phone service or switches phone companies, then the California LifeLine participant will stop receiving the California LifeLine discounts.
However, there are ways to transfer the California LifeLine discounts to a different phone company sooner, which are as follows:
1. the California LifeLine participant moves to a new address
2. the phone company no longer offers phone service or otherwise fails to provide phone service
3. the phone company charged late fees greater than the monthly out of pocket cost for the phone service
4. the phone company was found in violation of either the California LifeLine Program's, the California Public Utilities Commission's, or the Federal Communications Commission's rules and that rule violation impacted the California LifeLine participant.
How to Transfer the California LifeLine Discounts Before the 60-Day Clock Ends When the Phone Company Fails to Provide the California LifeLine Discounted Phone Service
A California LifeLine participant is entitled to a voice-grade connection. If the California LifeLine participant is experiencing a service failure, the California LifeLine participant should immediately inform the phone company of the service failure so the phone company can try and resolve the service failure. If the phone company does not resolve the service failure, the California LifeLine participant can request an exception to the discount transfer freeze due to a service failure (also called a service failure exception). Before requesting a service failure exception, the California LifeLine participant should immediately inform the phone company of the service failure.
Examples of what would NOT constitute as a failure to provide cell phone service:
a) The California LifeLine participant's dissatisfaction with the feature(s) of the service, the service rate(s), or the quality of customer service.
b) The California LifeLine participant's confusion about the phone service.
c) Another cell phone company is offering a better handset. If the handset works and the cell phone service has coverage where needed, then a "better" handset is not a service failure.
d) The California LifeLine participant wants a handset upgrade provided by the cell phone company.
e) The California LifeLine participant breaks or otherwise damages the handset provided by the cell phone company, which renders the handset as non-operable.
f) The California LifeLine participant loses the handset provided by the cell phone company.
g) The handset provided by the cell phone company was stolen.
h) The California LifeLine participant lacks understanding or knowledge to utilize the handset provided by the cell phone company.
A California LifeLine participant can contact the California LifeLine Administrator by phone at 877-858-7463 or going to "Check Your Status" at www.californialifeline.com to request a service failure exception to the discount transfer freeze. The California LifeLine Administrator will then determine whether it is appropriate to start the exception process. If the California LifeLine Administrator grants the exception order, the California LifeLine participant can transfer the California LifeLine discounts to a different phone company prior to the discount transfer freeze ending.
A California LifeLine participant MUST DO these 4 things for the California LifeLine Administrator to grant the exception order:
1. give the existing phone company an opportunity to resolve the service failure
2. order a service failure exception from the California LifeLine Administrator
3. after the phone company's opportunity lapses to resolve the service failure, confirm that the service failure still exists - a California LifeLine participant has 1 week to submit this confirmation
4. contact a different phone company and ask to receive phone service with the California LifeLine discounts; the preferred phone company will submit the transfer request on the California LifeLine participant's behalf to the California LifeLine Administrator.
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://consumers.cpuc.ca.gov/cab/
Certificate of Compliance with CTIA Consumer Code for Wireless Service
A 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.
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.assurancewireless.com/legal/ctia-regulatory
For more unlocking details, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) at the following link: https://www.assurancewireless.com/legal/ctia-regulatory
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 will be a smartphone. 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
o Customers may be required to pay for a replacement device; the price of the replacement phone will vary based on device offered, but will not exceed the retail price of that device.
o AW may charge for shipping at a cost to be specified by AW at the time it is requested.
o Customers may also choose to purchase any Assurance Wireless-compatible device at retail or use any Assurance Wireless-compatible device.
- Broken Phones
o Customers with broken phones that are within the one-year warranty period will receive a free replacement phone. Because AW has not offered feature phones to LifeLine customers in more than 18 months, only Android phones could still be within the warranty period and therefore eligible for warranty replacement. All warranty replacements will be a smartphone, but the specific model is dependent on inventory available and cannot be guaranteed.
o 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 Customers with broken phones that are within the one-year warranty period will receive a free replacement phone. Because AW has not offerewill vary based on device offered, but will not exceed the retail price of that device.
o AW will ship a replacement for a broken phone that is within the one-year warranty period 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.
o Customers are required to return broken phones that are within the one-year warranty period within 45 days or their account will be suspended. A prepaid postage envelope/return package is provided with the replacement phone.
o Customers may be charged shipping for broken phones that are outside the one-year warranty period
o 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
o Current feature phone customers can upgrade to a smartphone by calling Assurance Wireless Customer Service for assistance.
o 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.
o AW will ship an upgraded device at standard shipping intervals. Customers may be required to pay for standard or expedited shipping at a cost to be specified by AW at the time it is requested.
o AW does not require customers to return their feature phone when upgrading to a smartphone.
o AW will not exchange an Android phone for a different smartphone.
o Customers can also choose to purchase any Assurance Wireless compatible device at retail or use any Assurance Wireless c
Certificate of Compliance with CTIA Consumer Code for Wireless Service