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Telegraph Company to furnish the same class of service it had furnished prior to the war at pre-war rates; and after thorough deliberation and weeks of consideration, the Commission is of the opinion that in order to render the patrons of the Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company the best service that is possible under existing conditions, an increase in rates over those of pre-war times is absolutely necessary. The Commission is fully convinced that the rates in effect in 1917 would mean confiscation of property if adequate service is to be furnished at this time. In view of the above and many other facts entering into this question,
IT IS ORDERED, That the present schedule of rates now in effect for telephone service in South Carolina be made the legal rate for all intrastate telephone service rendered by the Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company at its several exchanges and toll stations in South Carolina;
Provided, That this order is passed with the full understanding that the rate herein granted is purely a test rate, and is granted subject to the review and revision by this Commission at any time it so desires, and is granted only until the further orders of this Commission.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, That the Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company shall keep its books in such way that if, after reviewing the rates herein referred to, it appears to the Commission that the rate granted is excessive, then such amount as may be hereafter determined by this Commission can be refunded to the party or parties paying same; and that a full, complete and accurate financial report, made under oath, shall be submitted by the said Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company to the Railroad Commission of South Carolina quarterly, as follows-March 31st, June 30th, September 30th and December 31st, or at other times a demand may be made by this Commission, so long as these rates remain in force, or until further orders of this Commission, the Commission reserving to itself the right to demand of the Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company any other information or reports that it may deem necessary at any time.
The above relates to rates for service actually rendered by the Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company, and that only.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED: First. That where a long distance call is put up and the operator is unable to locate the party calling and the mere statement is reported that the telephone company is unable to locate the party called, no charge shall be made; but if the party calling demands of the telephone company to know the reason why the party cannot be located, then a charge as hereinafter provided shall be made against the party calling
Second. That where a long distance call is put up with the request from the party calling that the party called talk at a certain time and the telephone operator reports that the individual called will talk at a given time, and the calling party either refuses or neglects to complete the call at the time appointed, then a report charge as hereinafter provided shall be made against the party placing the call.
Third. When a party places a call for an individual who has no telephone and cannot be located by the telephone company, then the party calling shall pay a report charge as hereinafter provided for messages of this kind. This would also apply when a request for messenger service is made and the messenger is unable to locate the party called. It would also apply on a message where the party called refuses to accept reverse charges. In all of these instances the telephone company would be performing the service requested and because the call was not completed would not be the fault of the telephone company.
Fourth. Before any report charge can be assessed against any subscriber or other person using a telephone a report must be made to the party calling within thirty minutes after the call has been properly given to the telephone company.
Fifth. When report charges are made under the terms of this order the telephone operator must at the time notify the party calling of the amount of such charge.
Sixth. In no instance shall the report charge exceed twentyfive per cent. of the station-to-station call rate, with a minimum of five (50) cents where the twenty-five per cent. charge would be less than that amount.
The provisions as to report charges set out in this order are made effective strictly until further orders of this Commission and until then only. By order of the Commission.
FRANK W. SHEALY, (Seal)
Chairman; JAMES CANSLER,
H. H. ARNOLD, J. P. DARBY,
General Rules of the Railroad Commission of South
Subject to Change Without Notice
COMPLAINT AND ANSWERS. Rule No. 1. All complaints or petitions to the Commission must plainly and distinctly state the grounds of complaint, the items being numbered, and clearly set forth in writing.
In like manner, all defenses must be distinctly made in writing, and the items correspondingly numbered, as above stated.
These specifications, whether of complaint or of defense, may be accompanied, if the parties so desire, by any explanation or argument, or by any suggestion touching the proper remedy or policy.
The parties may also be heard in person, or by attorney, or by written argument, upon such written statements being first filed.
AFFIDAVITS REQUIRED. Rule No. 2. When expressly ordered, upon the hearing of any cause that may hereafter come on to be heard before the Commission, the respective parties shall present the testimony of their witnesses by affidavits, in like manner as the same are now by law required to be submitted upon the hearing of applications for injunctions.
COPIES OF AFFIDAVITS TO BE FURNISHED OPPO
SITE SIDE. Rule No. 3. All affidavits, intended to be offered by either party, shall be served upon the opposite party, his counsel or agent, having control of his case, at least five days, and all counter-affidavits at least twelve hours, before the day for their hearing. This rule of procedure will be varied only when, in the exercise of a sound discretion, this Commission shall be of the opinion that a departure from this letter thereof may be necessary to the attainment of substantial justice.
PUBLIC SESSIONS, WHEN HELT). Rule No. 4. The regular sessions of the Commission for the hearing of contested cases will be held at its office in Columbia, S. C., Wednesday of each week at 10 o'clock a. m., unless otherwise ordered by the Commission. When special sessions are held at other places such regulations as may be necessary will be made by the Commission.
SUSPENSION OF RULES.
Rule No. 5. The Commission reserves the right to suspend or modify, at its discretion, the enforcement of any of its rules, rates, orders or other regulations, where, in its opinion, the conditions are such in any particular instance, that a strict enforcement of such rules or other regulations would result in hardships or injustice.
NOTICE TO BE POSTED. Rule No. 6. All railroad companies, operating in South Carolina as common carriers, shall be required to have printed in large type and kept posted in a conspicuous place in each waiting room at their depots in South Carolina, the following notice:
"All railroad companies are required, under the laws of South Carolina and the rules of the Railroad Commission, to bulletin trains when late, to furnish good, wholesome drinking water to passengers, to keep waiting rooms and passenger coaches clean, well lighted, properly ventilated, and comfortably heated when necessary.
“The Railroad Commission of South Carolina would appreciate the prompt reporting to its office at Columbia, S. C., of the failure of any company or its agents to comply with these requirements."
OPENING WAITING ROOMS.
Rule No. 7. At junction points, railroad companies shall be required to open their depot waiting rooms for the accommodation of the traveling public at least thirty minutes before the schedule time for the arrival of all passenger trains, or trains carrying passengers.