Terms & Conditions
I. The Agreement
Your agreement with Norstar Telecommunications consists of (1) this Customer Service Agreement (“CSA”), (2) the current per-minute rates, and (3) the applicable schedule associated with the calling plan to which you are subscribed (“Calling Plan Schedule”) (the three components are collectively, the “Agreement”).
BY SUBSCRIBING TO, USING, OR PAYING FOR THE SERVICES, YOU AGREE TO THE PRICES, CHARGES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS IN THIS AGREEMENT. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THESE PRICES, CHARGES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS, DO NOT USE THE SERVICES.
This Agreement applies if you have subscribed to a Direct Dial long distance or Mobile Connect service offering (the “Services”). Norstar reserves the right to change the terms of this Agreement (“Terms”) at any time.
This Agreement applies to state-to-state and international long-distance calls. State regulations and requirements, including tariffs filed with the State Public Service Commissions, apply to your intrastate telecommunications services. Except that this Agreement applies to calls made within a state in those states that do not require Norstar to file tariffs.
In its sole discretion, Norstar may accept or reject your order for Services for any lawful reason. Before activation of any Service, Norstar may check your credit, verify your identity, charge a deposit, prepayment or other fee to establish or maintain Services, or require that you execute any authorizations and verifications it deems necessary. For any number of reasons, the Services may not be activated immediately.
B) Notice of Rate Changes
Norstar may change the per-minute rates, Surcharges (the term surcharges is defined in section III.A) and other Terms of the Agreement from time to time. Norstar may decrease per-minute rates, Surcharges or both, without providing advance notice. Any increase in the per-minute rates, Surcharges or other Terms of this Agreement that may materially disadvantage you, will become effective only after Norstar notifies you at least 15 days in advance of such change by postcard, letter message within your invoice, telephone or email. Written notice to you will be sent to your last known address as reflected in Norstar’s records and is deemed to be accepted after deposit in the U.S. mail, postage prepaid, and properly addressed according to the address in Norstar’s records.
Notwithstanding the above, in the event that Norstar’s cost of terminating calls to a particular destination increases with less than 15 days notice to Norstar, Norstar may increase its rates without providing written notice to you. Instead, Norstar will post the rate increase on its website at www.norstartelecom.com, Norstar will not provide advance notice of changes to taxes and other charges required by law. Your continued use of the Services after any change in the per-minute rates, Surcharges or other Terms of this Agreement constitutes your acceptance of the changes. Notwithstanding the above, per-minute rates and Surcharges applicable to your Norstar prepaid service will not change after you have made the prepayment.
C) Credit Limits and Deposits
If Norstar bills you for the Services and we determine that you may be a credit risk because of (1) fraudulent or abusive use of any Norstar Services; (2) Late payments for current or prior bills; or (3) High volume usage of the Services, we may require a deposit (or an advance payment as permitted by state law) to ensure payment for the Services. If you fail to pay for the Services when due, Norstar may use the deposit to pay your balance without giving notice to you. Similarly, Norstar may set a credit limit based on your payment history. If you exceed the limit, Norstar reserves the right to restrict your access to the Services, and will provide notice of such restriction as soon as reasonably practicable. Norstar may also require that you pay its charges in less than the standard 21 days from the invoice date.
D) Cancellation of Service by Customer
If you want to cancel your service and receive no additional invoices from Norstar, you should
(1) call Norstar at 1-888-755-7776 to notify it of your desire to terminate, and
(2) call your local telephone company and tell them that Norstar is your long distance provider and that you wish to cancel your Norstar Service. It may take a few days for the local exchange carrier to process your order, and you will continue to be responsible for Norstar charges until the local exchange carrier completes the cancellation.
E) Restrictions on Use of Service – Prepaid Service Fee
The Service cannot be used in an unlawful, fraudulent or abusive manner. If you do not recharge your prepaid balance within twelve (12) months from the date of purchase or recharge, you will be assessed an administrative fee equal to the remaining balance in your account.
“UNLIMITED” DOES NOT MEAN EXCESSIVE OR UNREASONABLE USE. Voice services are provided solely for live dialog between two individuals. Voice services may not
be used for conference calling, call forwarding, monitoring services, data transmissions, transmission of broadcasts, transmission of recorded material, or other connections that do not consist of uninterrupted live dialog between two individuals. If Norstar finds that you are using the Norstar voice service for anything other than live dialog between two individuals, or that your usage is excessive or unreasonable, Norstar may, at its option, terminate your service or, with notice to you, change your plan to one with no unlimited usage components.
F) Discontinuation of Services by Norstar
Norstar may immediately discontinue or otherwise limit your use of the Services without notice if
(1) Norstar has reasonable grounds to believe that you have used the Service in an unlawful, fraudulent or abusive manner,
(2) you fail to pay for the Services,
(3) Norstar determines that you are a credit risk,
(4) you refuse to pay a deposit or adhere to a credit limit, required by Norstar to reduce your credit risk,
(5) you fail to provide information, or provide false information, that is essential for billing,
(6) Norstar has received notice from your local telephone company that the local telephone company has canceled your local exchange service,
(7) you have breached this Agreement,
(8) you have acted in a manner that is threatening, obscene, harassing, or abusive to Norstar personnel and
(9) Your telephone equipment fails to pass back to Norstar the appropriate signal to start and stop billing for a call. The discontinuance of the Services by Norstar does not relieve you of any obligation to pay Norstar for charges due and owing for Services furnished up to the time of discontinuance.
G) Unauthorized Use
You are responsible for preventing the unauthorized use of the Services, and you are responsible for payment for any such unauthorized use.
III. Payment Obligations
A) Calling Plan Rates and Charges
You agree to pay Norstar for all Services at the rates associated with the calling plan that you selected. Payments must be in U.S. currency. The per-minute rates associated with the calling plans currently marketed by Norstar are set forth in the appropriate Calling Plan Schedule. You also agree to pay applicable Surcharges that are not taxes or otherwise required by the government to be assessed on you (“Surcharges”). Surcharges associated with particular calling plans are similarly set forth in the appropriate Calling Plan Schedule. You agree to pay any taxes and fees that are required to be paid by the government (“Government Mandated Charges”). The Government Mandated Charges vary by state and are not set forth on Norstar’s website. Norstar will not issue prepaid customers refunds or credits. Norstar will issue postpaid customers credits in its sole discretion.
B) Surcharges Generally
In addition to any applicable per-minute rates, Norstar may invoice you the following additional Surcharges that are not taxes or otherwise required by the government:
(A) Carrier Cost Recovery Fee that is assessed on your state-to-state and international long distance charges;
(B) Minimum Usage Fee that is assessed if you do not have a minimum amount of charges on your bill; and
(C) Universal Service Fee that is assessed on all per-minute and other charges and
(D) fixed monthly fee. To view the exact Surcharges that apply to your plan, please refer to the applicable Calling Plan Schedule.
C) Government Mandated Charges
In addition to any applicable per-minute rates and Surcharges, Norstar will invoice you for taxes, fees and other charges as may be required by any federal, state or local government. These are referred to in this Agreement as Government Mandated Charges. They are charges that Norstar is required to assess on its customers by law.
D) Payment of Invoices
Invoices must be paid within 21 days from the invoice date.
E) Late Payments
Norstar may charge you interest equal to the lesser of 1.5% per month or the maximum rate allowed by law, for all late payments. The interest will be applied to the entire unpaid balance. Norstar may charge you a fee equal to the lesser of $25 or the maximum rate allowed by law, if your check, bank draft or electronic funds transfer is returned for insufficient funds.
F) Collection Agency
If Norstar hires a collection agency to collect, or attempt to collect, any charges owed Norstar, you will be liable to Norstar for an additional payment of $25, where permitted by applicable law. If Norstar incurs any fees or expenses, including attorneys’ fees, in collecting, or attempting to collect, any charges owed Norstar other than hiring a collection agency, you will be liable to Norstar for the payment of all such fees and expenses reasonably incurred.
Disputes concerning any charges must be raised within 30 days of the invoice date. Disputes may be raised by calling customer service at 1-888-755-7776. Any charges not disputed within 30 days of the invoice date will be considered accepted. If after an investigation Norstar determines that the disputed amounts are in fact due, Norstar will require payment and, if necessary, may refer the account to a collections agency for collection.
You agree that startec should not be responsible for any third-party claims against startec that arise from your use of the services. Further, you agree to reimburse startec for all costs and expenses related to the defense of any such claims, including attorneys’ fees, unless such claims are based on startec’s willful misconduct or gross negligence. This provision will continue to apply after the agreement ends.
B) Limitation of Liability
Nothing in this agreement limits startec’s liability, if any, for startec’s willful or intentional misconduct. If startec’s negligence causes damage to person or property, startec will be liable for no more than the amount of direct damages to the person or property. If startec’s negligence causes damage of any other sort, startec will be liable for no more than the amount of startec’s charges for the services during the affected period. For all claims that are not the result of startec’s willful or intentional misconduct, startec will not be liable for punitive, reliance, or special damages (unless an applicable statute expressly authorizes such damages), and startec will not be liable for indirect or consequential damages, including but not limited to lost profits or revenue or increased costs of operation. These limitations apply even if the damages were foreseeable or startec was told they were possible, and they apply to any negligence claim that does not involve willful misconduct or intentional misconduct, no matter how that claim is styled or on what legal grounds (such as contract, tort, statute, misrepresentation) it is based.
Startec will not be liable for any damages if services are interrupted, or there is a problem with the interconnection of startec’s services with the services or equipment of some other party. This section iv.B continues to apply after the agreement ends.
Norstar will not be liable for any damages if services are interrupted, or there is a problem with the interconnection of norstar’s services with the services or equipment of some other party. This section IV.B continues to apply after the agreement ends.
V. Dispute Resolution
It is important that you read this entire section carefully. This section provides for resolution of disputes through final and binding arbitration before a neutral arbitrator instead of a court by a judge or jury or through a class action.
A) Arbitration, Generally
The arbitration process established by this section is governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), 9 U.S.C. §§ 1-16, except to the extent that the terms of this Agreement differ from the FAA, the terms of this Agreement control. Both you and Norstar have the right to take any dispute that qualifies to small claims court rather than arbitration. All other claims, controversies, or disputes between the parties will be resolved by arbitration regardless of the date of accrual of such claim, controversy or dispute. This includes any dispute based on any product, service or advertising having a connection with this Agreement and any dispute not finally resolved by a small claims court.
B) Number of Arbitrators
The arbitration will be conducted by one arbitrator.
C) Arbitration Costs and Fees
The arbitrator shall award to the prevailing party, as determined by the arbitrators, all costs and fees. The term “costs and fees” as used herein shall mean all amounts payable by the prevailing party on account of the arbitration, including the arbitrators’ fees, administrative fees, travel expenses, out-of-pocket expenses such as copying and telephone, court costs (if they are incurred to enforce the arbitration provisions of this Agreement or any award thereunder), witness fees, and attorneys’ fees.
D) Applicable Arbitration Rules
The arbitration of any dispute involving $10,000 or less shall be conducted in accordance with the Consumer Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), as modified by this Agreement, which are in effect on the date a dispute is submitted to the AAA. The AAA’s Commercial Arbitration Rules and fee schedules will apply to any disputes in excess of $10,000.
E) Arbitrator is Bound by Agreement
In conducting the arbitration and making any award, the arbitrator shall be bound by and strictly enforce the terms of this Agreement and may not limit, expand, or otherwise modify its terms.
F) Joining of Disputes
No dispute may be joined with another lawsuit, or in an arbitration with a dispute of any other person, or resolved on a class-wide basis.
G) Severability of Dispute Resolution
If any portion of this Dispute Resolution section is determined to be unenforceable, then the remainder shall be given full force and effect.
H) Contact Norstar
Before you take a dispute to arbitration or small claims court, you must first contact our Customer Care Department representative at the customer service number on your Norstar invoice for the Services, or write to us at the following address and give us an opportunity to resolve the dispute:
Attn: Legal Department
P.O Box 1433, Great Falls VA. 22066
Any written correspondence must include your account number. You must describe your dispute and provide Norstar with any supporting documentation. Likewise, if Norstar has a dispute with you, it will notify you by letter sent to your billing address and attempt to resolve it before pursuing arbitration.
I) Contact AAA
If the dispute cannot be satisfactorily resolved within sixty days from the date you or Norstar is notified by the other of a dispute, then either party may then contact the AAA in writing at AAA Service Center, 134555 Noel Road, Suite 1750, Dallas Texas 75240-6620 and request arbitration of the dispute. Information regarding how to initiate arbitration, about the arbitration process and the AAA’s Arbitration Rules and its fees are available from the AAA on the Internet at www.adr.org.
J) Written Submissions
The arbitration will be based only on the written submissions of the parties and the documents submitted to the AAA relating to the dispute, unless either party requests that the arbitration be conducted using AAA’s telephonic procedures. Additional charges may apply for these procedures. Any in-person arbitration will be conducted at a location that the AAA selects in the state of your primary residence.
Any arbitration shall remain confidential. Neither you nor Norstar may disclose the existence, content or results of any arbitration or award, except as may be required by law, or to confirm and enforce an award.
L) Time Limitation
Any claim or dispute arising out of or relating to this agreement must be brought within two years after the date the basis for the claim or dispute first arises.
M) Regulatory Complaints
In addition to the procedures described in this section for resolving a dispute, you may also file a complaint with an appropriate federal or state regulatory agency.
VI. Miscellaneous Provisions
A) Entire Agreement
This Agreement and the terms of any calling plan, promotion, and/or authorized written communications you have received constitute the entire Agreement between you and Norstar, and supersedes any and all prior agreements, oral or written, concerning the subject matter. If there is any inconsistency or conflict between the terms of any calling plan, promotion, and/or authorized written communications you have received and the provisions of this Agreement, the provisions of this Agreement will control.
B) No Obligation to Assist in Switching Carriers
If you voluntarily cancel your Norstar account or if Norstar cancels your service for any reason set forth above, Norstar will have no obligation whatsoever to assist you in any respect in switching from Norstar to another carrier.
You may not modify or assign this Agreement. In its sole discretion, Norstar may assign this Agreement.
D) No Waiver of Rights
No failure to enforce any right or remedy under this Agreement shall be considered a waiver of any other condition or provision or the same condition or provision at another time.
E) Binding Effect
This Agreement is binding upon you and Norstar, their respective heirs, successors and permitted assigns.
If any part or provision of this Agreement is finally determined to be invalid or unenforceable under applicable law, then that part or provision will be ineffective only to the extent of such invalidity or unenforceability, without in any way affecting the remaining parts or provisions of this Agreement.
G) Governing Law
This Agreement is governed by and construed by the Federal Communications Act to the full extent applicable, and otherwise by the laws of Commonwealth of Virginia, without regard to its choice of law principles, except that the arbitration provisions in the Dispute Resolution section shall be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act. This governing law provision applies no matter where you reside, or where you use or pays for the Services.
Any liability or obligation of a party to the other party under the Services section and the Payment Provisions section, will, in each case, survive cancellation or termination of this Agreement.
I) Headings of No Force or Effect
Headings in this Agreement are for reference only and have no effect on the meaning of any provision.
Service Agreement Schedules (Plan Information)