Wholesale: Products & Services

Billing Information - Customer Records and Information System (CRIS) - V42.0

History Log

Description

Customer Records and Information System (CRIS) is one of the systems CenturyLink™ uses to bill various products and services, which are not billable via any other CenturyLink billing system.

CenturyLink will bill you for products and services you purchase from CenturyLink. The system used to format your bill depends on the type of output requested during the Getting Started process and the products and/or services purchased. CRIS is one of the systems CenturyLink uses to bill various charges.

If you are a new CLEC and are ready to do business with CenturyLink, view Getting Started as a Facility-Based CLEC or Getting Started as a Reseller. If you are an existing CLEC wishing to amend your Interconnection Agreement or your New Customer Questionnaire, you can find additional information in the Interconnection Agreement.

Customer Records and Information System (CRIS) is one of the CenturyLink billing systems.

Some of the charges billed by CRIS are:

  • Basic Business Services
  • Basic Residence Services
  • Centrex
  • Integrated Services Digital Network-Primary Rate Interface (ISDN-PRI)
  • Interim Number Portability (INP)
  • IntraLATA Toll
  • Local Number Portability (LNP)
  • Loops
  • Private Line (Digital Switched Services (DSS), Digital Service Level 1 (DS1), Digital Service Level 3 (DS3))
  • Commercial local exchange services products, e.g. CenturyLink™ Local Services Platform (CLSP™)

Availability

CenturyLink CRIS billing is offered in CenturyLink QC which are organized into three regions (Central, Eastern, Western). They are organized as follows:

Central Region Eastern Region Western Region
Arizona Iowa Idaho (Northern)
Colorado Minnesota Oregon
Idaho (Southern) Nebraska Washington
Montana North Dakota  
New Mexico South Dakota  
Utah    
Wyoming    

Each region has a separate CRIS billing system. There are some regional differences which could cause the bills to look slightly different; however, the basic information appearing on the bill will be the same.

Bill Formats

The bill format media is specified on the CenturyLink New Customer Questionnaire. If you wish to change your bill format media after initial establishment, refer to Getting Started to update your media choice and forward it to the person listed on the questionnaire.

Your CRIS bill can be received in the following media in all CenturyLink regions:

  • Paper - The CenturyLink Official Bill of Record, unless one of the following electronic media is selected as the CenturyLink Official Bill of Record.
  • EDI via Network Data Mover (NDM) (dedicated circuit)
  • EDI via Value Added Network (VAN)
  • EDI via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) (dedicated circuit)
  • EDI via the Web
  • Carrier Access Billing System/Billing Output Specifications (CABS/BOS) format in an Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code (EBCDIC) file. This format is available for certain commercial local exchange services products, including CLSP and Unbundled Loop type of accounts only.

The following electronic media is available only with the CRIS paper bill as the CenturyLink Official Bill of Record:

  • ASCII files via the Web
  • eBilling via the Web GET only
  • CRIS CSR web Delivery only

CABS/BOS Format

Bill and CSR data provided in the CABS/BOS format is available as an EBCDIC file available via NDM or a downloadable ASCII file from the CenturyLink Protected Internet Delivery (CPID) site. This type of billing format is available on certain commercial local exchange services products, including CLSP and Unbundled Local Loop type billing only. You must indicate on the UNE-P Amendment Questionnaire that you wish this type of format.

Deviations from the CABS/BOS standard are documented on a Differences List. If you have selected the CABS/BOS format in an EBCDIC file, then refer to CenturyLink's Bill Data Tape (BDT) Differences List.

The CABS/BOS format can be selected as the CenturyLink Official Bill of Record. When you choose the CABS/BOS format as the CenturyLink Official Bill of Record, the paper bill can be optionally suppressed.

CABS/BOS is a Telecom Industry Guideline format, which is copyrighted and maintained by Telcordia™. You must contact Telcordia directly in order to obtain the CABS/BOS documentation. Contact Telcordia at 800-521-2673 or http://www.telcordiatechnologies.com/ to order any or all of the CABS/BOS volumes.

The New Customer Questionnaire requires you to provide information concerning the type of bill(s) you will receive.

Paper Bills

Unless you otherwise specify, paper bills will be provided for all products and services ordered. The paper bill, unless otherwise specified, is considered the CenturyLink Official Bill of Record.

EDI

Another billing media option is Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). EDI is a series of standards for transmitting billing data electronically between companies in a structured data format. To receive and process EDI you must utilize the 811 transaction set, and you must have an EDI "translator" to translate the EDI data into a format your system can process. EDI can be delivered using one of the following methods that you select, NDM, FTP, VAN, or Web. More information regarding NDM and FTP can be found at CenturyLink Interconnect OSS Electronic Access. VAN is a data communications network. Typically, VAN buys basic transmission and switching services from a telecommunications provider and then adds something of "value" to the network. It normally acts as a "mailbox" to house data for end-users.

The EDI bill can be selected as the CenturyLink Official Bill of Record instead of paper. When you choose the EDI bill as your CenturyLink Official Bill of Record, the paper bill can be optionally/partially suppressed.

For additional information access the EDI User Guide

ASCII Media

ASCII media is a comma delimited format separated into logical subject areas such as payment, toll, monthly service, etc.The paper bill is considered the CenturyLink Official Bill of Record.

The customer may also request the 'partial suppression' of the paper bill (at no charge). The customer must be an ASCII or EDI subscriber to qualify for this option. The 'partial paper suppression' will provide the summary pages of the bill in the paper format. The related sub accounts will have the paper suppressed. This request can be accomplished by contacting the Service Delivery Coordinator (SDC) who will handle the necessary paper work to complete the transaction.

For additional information access the ASCII User Guide

Web

Electronic bill delivery via the Web, is either EDI or ASCII.

A Customer Guide is available to help explain more about EDI or ASCII.

Pricing

Rates

Cost Dockets are state-mandated rates, determined by each state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) or state regulatory agencies. You will be notified of Cost Docket rate changes when the rates in a specific Interconnection Agreement are updated. You can request a copy of the updated Interconnection Agreement from your CenturyLink Service Manager. If, after the billing systems have been updated with new rates, you would like to request USOC, Class of Service and Rates for the CRIS billed products affected by the Cost Docket, send a written request to your Service Manager. You will be notified by a second notification at least 15 days prior to the implementation of the new rates in the CenturyLink billing system.

Features/Benefits

Features Benefits
Summary Billing Allows you to manage your financials at the Summary Billing Level
Sub-Account billing Allows you to identify all rates and charges for services you have ordered for each specific end-user

Implementation

Summary Billing Account Number (BAN) Establishment

A requirement prior to any Local Service Request (LSR) activity is the establishment of the Summary Billing Account Number (BAN). The Summary BAN will be established 30 to 45 days after the New Customer Questionnaire is completed, any required deposits paid. Once the BAN is established and a CenturyLink Billing Service Delivery Coordinator (SDC) is assigned to your account, you will be notified of the Summary BAN number and the LSR activity can begin.

Overview of CRIS Billing

When you submit a LSR, CenturyLink will complete the requested work and send the service order(s) information to the CRIS billing system. You will receive a daily report of completed orders.

Once the CRIS billing system receives the completed service order(s), it does the following:

  • Rates each Universal Service Order Code (USOC) on the order(s), based on tariff information and/or information from your Interconnection Agreement
  • Updates the accounts to ensure all information is correct including end-user toll usage
  • Updates the CenturyLink Customer Service Record (CSR) when the account is processed for billing
    • CRIS will update a CenturyLink CSR within three to five business days. Exception would be if the service order should error. Errors are manually worked and once the error has been fixed, then the service order will take the three to five business days to post.
    • Some errors, due to system constraints, delay the posting of the service order within the first three to five business days. Some examples of these conditions are:
      • Subsequent Order Activity
        • T&F orders
        • N&D order
        • Multiple Orders on the same Summary Ban posting on the same day that have errored.
      • Rate Table Changes
      • Contract Updates
      • Summary Bill Processing Period

You are billed out of the CRIS billing system on a Summary Bill. A Summary Bill provides one bill and payment document per month for multiple accounts, within the same state (mixed Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs) acceptable). The Summary Bill contains Sub Accounts for each end-user account number and depicts detailed charges associated with each end-user. Your Summary Bill will summarize all the billing data from the end-users accounts.

There is a limit of 6000 Sub Accounts per Summary Bill. If you have more than 6000 end-users in one state, CenturyLink will establish a new Summary Bill. Your Service Delivery Coordinator (SDC) will notify you a minimum of three business days prior to the new Summary Bill effective date. Once a new Summary Bill account number has been established, any new end-user accounts should not be assigned to an old Summary Bill account number. Your CenturyLink Billing SDC will advise you when you have reached the limit and will advise you of the new Summary Bill account number. The new Summary account number will be assigned for new services and changes as the order flows into CenturyLink via IMA.

The components of the Summary Account Number will include NPA, Numeric Numbering Plan (NXX), line number (XXXX), and customer code (XXX). Summary Bill accounts are assigned a unique account number, which varies by region as follows:

  • Central Region - The Summary Account Number will contain an alpha character in the NXX area. An example for Colorado would be 303-B11-XXX-XXXX.

The Central CRIS region paper Summary Bills will have the NXX value converted to a numeric value. So B11 would become 111. Because this value is changed, a unique alpha letter precedes the account number and customer code. This is known as an alpha type account. The State Alpha code is assigned by state as follows:

STATE ALPHA
Arizona J
Colorado K
Idaho L
Montana M
New Mexico N
Utah O
Wyoming P

The account appearance on the paper Summary Bill for Colorado would be i.e., K-303-111- XXX-XXXX.

Summary Bills produced in ASCII would show 303111XXXXXXX K with the Alpha character floated behind any alpha account

Summary Bills produced in EDI would only show the numeric values. Ex: 303111XXXXXXX.

This is also the format used for Central Alpha sub accounts. The following table identifies the NPA values for each Central Alpha and the numeric conversion. Colorado examples are used but would reflect the same Alpha value to Numeric value for each Central state.

Central only NPA Conversion Values
C = 2 Ex 303-C22 is the same as K 303-222
D = 3 Ex 303-D22 is the same as K 303-322
E = 4 Ex 303-E20 is the same as K 303-420
F = 5 Ex 303-F30 is the same as K 303-530
G = 6 Ex 303-G91 is the same as K 303-691
H = 7 Ex 303-H22 is the same as K 303-722
No I value
J = 8 Ex 303-J30 is the same as K 303-830
K = 9 Ex 303-K89 is the same as K 303-985

  • Western Region - The Summary Bill account for the Western Region is referred to as a "Z" account ("Z" is the prefix for the Summary Account number). An example of the account appearance for the Western region would be 206 ZXX-XXXX-XXX.

  • Eastern Region - The Resale Summary Bill is referred to as an "R" account. The Resale account number consists of the Compressed area code (NPA) followed by "R", then the 2-digit billing date in the NXX field, the line number and customer code, e.g., E-R01-XXXX-XXX.

A UNE Summary Bill is referred to as a "Z" account. The UNE account number consists of the Compressed area code (NPA) followed by "Z", then the 2-digit billing date in the NXX field, the line number, customer code, e.g., E-Z01-XXXX-XXX.

The following Compressed NPA table to can be used to convert the compressed NPA to the full NPA, e.g., E-Z01-XXXX-XXX would be 712-Z01-XXXX-XXX.

State NPA Compressed NPA
Iowa 319
515
563
641
712
C
D
B
A
E
Minnesota 218
320
507
612
651
763
952
1
R
3
2
S
T
U
Nebraska 308
402
W
V
North Dakota 701 F
South Dakota 605 9

CRIS identifies, formats, rates, and stores all billable call detail records until the time for the calls to be billed on the end-users Sub Account. This only applies as long as CenturyLink is the underlying toll provider for all toll records of usage by your end-users.

Following usage processing, CRIS produces a Daily Usage File (DUF).

If you have purchased Centrex Plus products, you can elect to receive a Station Message Detail Recording (SMDR) file.

CenturyLink will establish separate Summary Billing accounts, per state, for the following product groupings:

  • Resale (See Note below)
  • Unbundled Network Elements (UNE)
  • Number Portability
  • Public Access Line (PAL)
  • Shared Tenant
  • Commercial local exchange services products

NOTE: For the states of Oregon and Washington, the Resale Summary Bills will be separated by CenturyLink Business accounts and Residence accounts.

CSR data is created when service order activity takes place on a Sub Account. Specific information is created for every main Billing Telephone Number (BTN) and Working Telephone Number (WTN). This includes all bill, listing, service and/or feature information, per line, for each account. CSRs can be requested in either paper or ASCII format (Web). NOTE: Click on the ASCII link to identify the state location. Once your state selection is made, the ASCII reference material will be accessed.

To request paper format CSR's refer to the Pre Ordering Overview.

To request ASCII format CSR's contact your CenturyLink Service Manager.

If EBCDIC billing files in CABS/BOS format are ordered, CSR information will also be included. Each sub account CSR requested appears in the same CABS/BOS format and will be delivered with the EBCDIC file.

Summary Bills and Sub Accounts must have the same bill date. Each Summary Bill is composed of various sections as follows:

  • Common Heading
  • Account Summary
  • Summary of Accounts

Bills are calculated as follows:

  • All Sub Account charges, including recurring, non-recurring, usage, taxes, surcharges, mileage, and adjustments are calculated.
  • All charges from associated Sub Accounts are summarized at the Summary Account Level.
  • Any payments, adjustments, past due charges, late payment charges if applicable, and/or resend charges are applied.

The following table provides some basic examples of commonly found bill charges. These charges could appear on the Summary Bill or Sub Accounts billing. (NOTE: Refer to either your individual Interconnection Agreement or the tariff for applicable rates and calculations).

Charge Basic Description
Cancellation Charges
  • Charge applied when a requested service is cancelled. (Applicable charge will depend upon how far the request for service has progressed in the ordering process)
Expedite Charges
  • Charge applied when you request services in less than a standard time frame
  • Does not apply for Unbundled Loop
Fractional Determining the daily rate in all three regions:
  • When service does not span an entire bill period (e.g., new connect or disconnect), the monthly recurring charge is prorated to bill or credit from the date the service was installed or disconnected. The pro-ration calculation is: rate per monthly recurring charge divided by 30 days equals the daily rate.

Determining the actual number of days billed:

  • Calculating the number of days to bill (fractionals) in the Eastern and Western Regions use the actual calendar days. For example, assume using October 29th as a new service connect with a bill date of November 2nd. The billing start date would be October 30th. Counting the actual days, would be October 30th, October 31st and November 1st. The Eastern and Western Regions would bill three days.
  • Calculating the number of days to bill (fractionals) in the Central Region always assumes a 30 day month. Using the same October 29th new service connect with the same November 2nd bill date, the billing start date would also be October 30th. Based on a 30 day month the days to bill would be October 30th and November 1st. The Central Region would bill 2 days.
Deposit Interest Credits
  • Credit assessed on money received in error
  • Credit assessed on money received to secure service (deposit)
  • Such credits are based on your Interconnection Agreement or tariff language
Late Payment Charges
  • Charge assessed when payment for a bill is not received in a specified time frame
  • Such charges are based on your Interconnection Agreement or tariff language
Minimum Billing Period
  • The minimum period for which services are provided and for which rates and charges are applicable.
  • When a service is discontinued prior to the expiration of the minimum period, charges are applicable, whether the service is used or not
  • Minimum Billing Periods may not apply to all types of services
Non Recurring
  • A charge for specific work activity (e.g. an installation charge)
  • Rates are either contained in your Interconnection Agreement or tariffed.
Out of Service Credits/Adjustments
  • Credits assessed when a circuit or service is not working.
  • Such credits can vary from product to product and may not apply in some instances based on your Interconnection Agreement or tariff language
Primary Interexchange Carrier (PIC)/Local Primary Interexchange Carrier (LPIC) Change Charge
  • Charge assessed to change pre-selected InterExchange Carrier (IXC) or local Toll Provider
Recurring
  • Flat rated monthly charges that apply to each bill period or fraction thereof
  • Rates are either in your Interconnection Agreement or tariffed.
  • For billing purposes, each bill period is based on 30 days
Subscriber Line Charge/Presubscribed Interexchange Carrier Charge (PICC)
  • Charge assessed to your end-user for access to long distance.
Surcharges
  • Various surcharges accessed by a governing body may be added to the bill, including but not limited to,: 911, Telephone Relay System (TRS), and LNP Cost Recovery
Taxes
  • Charges assessed by a governing body on services or products provided. Refer to Taxes and Tax Exemptions for more information.
Testing Charges
  • Charges applied to provide a CenturyLink technician to perform network testing (refer to specific product to determine if charges apply)
Usage Charges
  • Charges can be applied on a per minute of use, a per call, or per query basis.
  • Usage Charges can include the following:
    IntraLATA Toll (Local Access and Transport Area) Local Measured Service
    Pay Per Use items (i.e., 3 Way Calling, Last Call Return, 976 Calls)

Toll Guide Information

To ensure correct billing, CenturyLink uses a Toll Guide record. This record resides within CRIS and is able to identify and ensure that once any type of usage has been processed through CRIS, it is correctly stored and passed to the correct billing number. A Toll Guide is created for each main line and each additional line. Toll Guides may change at times, such as when service orders are issued that add, change, or delete any of the following:

  • Telephone number
  • Account number
  • Calling plan
  • The end-user responsible for the account

A Toll Guide is a telephone number and date-based record which reads the billing number and the date of the usage record to identify which account should be billed that usage. This also ensures that accounts, which have changes, are billed for the correct usage. The guide is not time sensitive, only date sensitive.

When a new account is established, the completion date on the service order will be the Toll Guide established date. When a service order has been issued to establish service on a specific date, any toll from that date forward will be guided to that account until a change or disconnect occurs. For example, a new service order completion date is 6-1-01, the account and guide will establish on the same date, 6-1-01, unless the new account is associated with a disconnect on the same day. In this case, the new guide will establish on the next date, 6-2-01.

When a CLEC responsible for a service is changing, the new account information and Toll Guide establish date will be the completion date plus one-day. This allows the system to final out the old account and Toll Guide effective with the service order date. The new account is established along with the guide the following day. For example, if a change of responsibility service order is completed on 6-1-01 the new account information would be established 6-2-01. This allows any usage created for the old account on 6-1-01 to be properly guided and billed to the old account. This applies to all retail and wholesale migration scenarios including the following types of account migrations:

  • CLEC to CLEC
  • Retail to commercial local exchange services products
  • Retail to Resale
  • Resale to commercial local exchange services products
  • Resale to Retail
  • Commercial local exchange services products to Resale
  • Commercial local exchange services products to Retail

When disconnect orders are issued, the service order completion date is used as the date of final service for that account. For example, a disconnect is issued with a completion date of 6-1-01, the guide would show an end date of 6-1-01.

Disputes

General dispute process activities are described in the Billing Information – Dispute Process.

Rate Validation

CenturyLink has a process for validation of rates. When CenturyLink determines a billed rate correction is necessary, you will be notified by your CenturyLink Billing SDC at least 10-days prior to the correction being made. The 10-day window will begin when the CenturyLink Billing SDC sends a detailed Rate Change Notification form to you. The Rate Change Notification form will include information explaining the old and new rates, effective date of the correction, etc.

There are three different Rate Correction Notifications Forms that may be received depending on the product/service that is being corrected. The forms are as follows:

You may contact your CenturyLink Billing SDC regarding any questions you have regarding the Rate Validation process and/or Rate Change Notification form.

Bill Resend

There may be times when you wish to have a copy of a bill resent to you. To do this, you should contact your CenturyLink Billing SDC.

  • Paper Bill - It normally will take 7-10 days for you to receive the requested bill. It is provided by CRIS and there is no additional charge for a paper copy.
  • EDI and Web Bill Media - It normally will take two business days for you to receive the requested bill.

EDI, ASCII, and Web may only be available up to 90 days from the bill date. After 90 days there is a potential that the information is no longer available.

When EDI resends are requested, you should refer to the specifics of your individual Interconnection Agreement for information regarding the charges for these services.

When ASCII resends are requested, there is no charge. The data is provided onto the Secured WEB site and will reside there for 31 days. An e-mail is provided to the customer advising the data is ready for their retrieval. After the 31 days the data is archived for 90 days.

If you have requested a resend of a bill and the time frame has passed in which you should have received it, you should contact your CenturyLink Billing SDC.

Training

Web-based training is available to assist in the interpretation of the various sections of the bill.

Local CenturyLink 101 "Doing Business With CenturyLink"

  • This introductory web-based training course is designed to teach the Local CLEC and Local Reseller how to do business with CenturyLink. It will provide a general overview of products and services, CenturyLink billing and support systems, processes for submitting service requests, reports, and web resource access information. Click here to learn more about this course and to register.

View additional CenturyLink courses by clicking on Course Catalog.

Contacts

Billing Questions, Disputes and Resends

  • Assigned CenturyLink Billing SDC (Refer to the telephone number printed on your bill). If you are not sure whom to contact, you should call your assigned CenturyLink Service Manager.

Bill Media Technical Questions (Once Established)

  • Contact your CenturyLink Service Manager

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What information is NOT included when the bill is produced via ASCII or EDI?

  • OCR Return Document
  • Page numbers
  • Subtotals
  • Major headings
  • Logo symbols or carrier names
  • Disclaimers, advertising narratives, informational legends
  • Line numbers for toll detail
  • Anything printed on the back of the bill

2. What is EDI?
EDI is a series of standards for transmitting billing data electronically between companies in a structured data format. For you to receive and process EDI transmissions you must utilize the 811 transaction set, requiring you to have an EDI "translator" at your end to translate the EDI data into a format your particular system can process. When you order EDI service you will be provided with an EDI Customer Guide.

3. Can a dispute be issued verbally?
No, all billing disputes must be submitted in writing.

Last Update: March 13, 2014

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