Telecommunications Contracts and Disputes

Please Note: Randolph H. Wolf is General Counsel to Monmouth Telecom Corporation and cannot offer any advice or legal services with respect to telecommunications issues to any customer of Monmouth Telecom.

Often times businesses do not see eye-to-eye with their telecommunications service providers on contracts, service quality, port requests, and other matters. A dispute over any of these issues with your telecommunications service provider could result in litigation. There can be considerable financial interests at stake as well as potential interruption of service.  

Telecommunications providers are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). If your business is involved in a dispute with a telecommunication company, it is vital to have counsel that is knowledgeable of the FCC regulations that govern these entities on your side. An experienced telecommunications lawyer can not only negotiate a favorable resolution for your business, but can also represent you in the event that the matter proceeds into litigation.

Randolph H. Wolf is a proven litigator with over 36 years of trial experience. He currently serves as General Counsel to the telecommunications provider Monmouth Telecom, with its headquarters in Red Bank, New Jersey. Randolph H. Wolf understands the telecommunications business as well as the various types of disputes that can arise over telecommunications matters. He has over 20 years of experience representing parties in complex telecommunications matters before the FCC as well as in both state and federal court.

Wolf Law is prepared to represent your business on any matter pertaining to telecommunications. We provide a broad scope of business litigation services to meet the needs of businesses that are involved in disputes with telecommunications providers. Some of the most common issues involve:

  • Contract Termination
  • Telecom Service Provider Bankruptcy Filings
  • Telephone Number Porting
  • Changes in Contract Terms
  • Contract Negotiation

Litigation is expensive. An attorney who is experienced in telecommunications law and who has an in-depth understanding of the matters at hand is in the best position to help you negotiate your telecommunications contract and if there is is a dispute to try to resolve it without litigation.  Wolf Law will attempt to negotiate the best possible solution for your business.  

Some disputes will inevitably proceed into litigation. In that case, the assistance of a knowledgeable telecommunications attorney with extensive litigation and trial experience is essential.  If your dispute results in litigation, Randolph H. Wolf has the experience to represent you. Contact us today at (732) 741-4448 to set up a consultation to discuss your unique situation.

Contract Termination

Contract termination is often a source of dispute among businesses and their telecommunication service providers. Termination clauses in service agreements often include penalties for early termination.  These penalties could include early termination fees (ETFs), which can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars. Disputes often arise over whether a termination constitutes a termination for cause, as well as over the penalties imposed.

The success of many businesses is highly dependent upon the provision of telecommunications services, such as phones and internet. Dropped calls, slow service coverage, and other service interruptions can result in the loss of sales as well as the loss of current and prospective clients. This can have a devastating effect on businesses that rely upon phones and internet to communicate with customers.

If your business is currently under a long-term service contract and you are not happy with the quality of the service being provided by your current carrier, it may be possible to terminate your contract early, without being responsible for early termination fees or other penalties. Telecommunications providers, however, do not usually guarantee the quality of their services. For this reason, having an experienced telecommunications law attorney negotiate the terms of your termination is essential.

Telecom Service Provider Bankruptcy Filings

Disputes also frequently arise when a telecommunications provider files for bankruptcy. In this situation, customers that rely on the provider for their telecommunications infrastructure face significant risks. When Newark-based company NorVergence filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2004, for example, approximately 10,000 clients throughout the country – most of which were small businesses – faced abrupt service interruptions.

Many telecommunication providers have gone bankrupt in this manner, leaving their customers without service and scrambling to find new carriers. It typically takes five to ten business days to reconnect to a new service provider. During that time, businesses are left without service.

If your telecommunications provider has filed for either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy, or if you anticipate your service provider filing for either type of bankruptcy, contact us today at 732-741-4448. Randolph H. Wolf will review your contract and help you to understand your legal rights and options. 

Telephone Number Portability Disputes

Most businesses have invested a great deal of time, energy, and money into advertising their telephone numbers to their customer base. For this reason, business telephone numbers are invaluable assets and can be crucial to a company’s continued success.

Number portability is the process of switching your phone number from one telecommunications service provider over to another. It allows you to keep your telephone number when you switch service providers. The FCC mandated number porting in 1996. Thus, pursuant to federal law, telecommunications companies are required to offer telephone number portability. In other words, you have a right to keep your number when switching service providers.

Telecommunications providers are required to comply with the FCC’s regulations concerning telephone number porting requests from customers. These regulations impose numerous obligations including  requiring your current provider to accomplish porting within a specified period of time. Moreover, once you request service from a new company, FCC regulations prohibit your old provider from refusing to port your number, even if you owe money for an outstanding balance or for early termination fees so long as your service has not yet been interrupted.  

If you have decided to switch telecommunications providers and your current provider refuses or otherwise stalls in porting your number, your business could suffer service disruptions, which could have devastating effects on your business. If your provider wrongfully refuses to port your number, they could be liable for the resulting damages to your business.

Randolph H. Wolf is knowledgeable of the FCC regulations governing telephone porting requests and has experience in representing clients involved in porting disputes before the FCC as well as in both state and federal courts. If you are experiencing problems porting your phone number from one service provider to another, contact Wolf Law today to set up a consultation.

Change in Terms Disputes

If your telecom service provider changes the terms of your contract, such as by increasing the price for services, you may be able to terminate your contract without paying an early termination fee. Most telecom contracts require that the provider notify you of any “material” changes and give you a small window of time within which you may terminate the contract without paying an early termination fee. Carriers, however, will often dispute whether their proposed change constitutes a “material” change, so as to allow you to avoid early termination fees.

If your telecommunications provider notifies you of a change in term which you do not accept, an experienced telecommunication dispute attorney can either negotiate more favorable contract terms or for an early contract termination for cause.

Contract Negotiation

A Telecommunications Service Agreement is a binding contract.   Therefore, it is vital that the terms and conditions of the service agreement accurately reflect your intent. If you are contracting for telecommunication services for your business, your service agreement will most likely be highly technical. For these reasons, it is important to have an attorney that has an in-depth understanding of telecommunications issues and telecommunications law review and negotiate changes to your service agreement.