Wholesale: Products & Services

Third-Party Billing and Collection Services - V4.0

History Log

Product Description

Third-Party Billing Services are a family of products designed to provide you with billing solutions for your end-users that reside with CenturyLink QC and utilize CenturyLink™ as their local service provider. Third-Party Billing Services offer a range of options as alternatives to in-house or an outside vendor's billing systems. These services can provide you with, but are not limited to, Message Recording, Message Rating, Message and/or Invoice-type Processing, Marketing Messages, Bill Production and Collection Services for end-users that utilize Message Telephone Service (MTS), MTS related and/or other types of telecommunication related services and products.

With CenturyLink's Third-Party Billing Services, after you purchase our standard Third-Party Billing Services package, you then have the option to select a variety of ancillary services to further customize your selection. And, if CenturyLink's standard offering does not meet your needs we can customize services to suit your individual needs.

CenturyLink's "standard" Third-Party Billing Service offering includes the following package of services:

  • Message Receipt
  • Message Processing
  • Bill Production, Printing & Mailing
  • Accounts Receivable Management
  • Treatment and Collections
  • Remittance Processing; and
  • Standard Reporting

Optional Third-Party Billing Services you can package with our "standard" offering include:

  • Recording with Assembly and Editing
  • Message Rating
  • Invoice Builder Service
  • Market Messages
  • End-user Inquiry Service
  • Service Provider Labeling
  • Media Provisioning Service
  • Consulting Service
  • Custom Request Service

Whether you use your own in-house systems, or have another company perform billing services for you, several of our optional Third-Party Billing Services can help make your systems more cost-effective and productive.

All Third-Party Billing Services are available to Interexchange Carriers (IXCs), Clearing Agents/Billing Aggregators, Operator Service Providers (OSPs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), among others.

Recording Service

Recording Service is a highly reliable and accurate method of entering Feature Group C or D message detail on designated media by Automatic Message Accounting (AMA) equipment. The recorded message detail can then be billed by CenturyLink or, if you prefer, can be provided directly to you for your in-house or another vendor's billing needs.

Assembly and Editing (A&E)

Assembly and Editing is an aggregated process, which includes message detail assembly, message detail verification, message sorting and message detail conversion from an AMA-recorded format to an internal CenturyLink billing system or industry-standard Exchange Message Interface (EMI) format.

A&E is required when Recording Service is purchased.

A&E is offered with and without provisioning:

  • A&E with provisioning provides multiple aggregated processes that include message detail conversion to an EMI format and preparation of the message detail for direct provisioning to you. If you select A&E with provisioning, Media Provisioning Service will be required.
  • A&E without provisioning provides multiple combined processes that include message detail conversion to the CenturyLink internal billing system format and entry of the message detail into the CenturyLink billing system, for further processing and billing.

Message Rating

Message Rating is a service where CenturyLink calculates and applies the actual charge to each end-user message based on rate tables you have provided. Editing is also included when your rate tables change. Message Rating is available when you record your own message detail as well as when you purchase Recording from CenturyLink.

Message Rating is offered with or without provisioning.

Message Rating with provisioning Message Rating without provisioning
Calculation Calculation
Application of charges Application of charges
Message detail conversion to an EMI format Entry of the rated message detail into the CenturyLink billing system for further processing and billing
Preparation of the rated message detail for direct provisioning to you  

If you select Message Rating with provisioning, Media Provisioning Service will be required.

Message Processing

Message Processing provides for the receipt and accurate preparation of billing data for presentation in an end-user bill. Message Processing includes, but is not limited to:

  • toll masterfile processing
  • calculating and applying taxes (for MTS and MTS related services only)
  • posting of rated messages and 4) pre-billing message investigation

Pre-bill message investigation consists of the identification of messages CenturyLink is unable to bill and the research needed to ensure the eventual billing of such messages, when technically possible.

Invoice Builder Service

Invoice Builder Service is a value-added customized service that allows you to submit either non-Invoice EMI formatted records or non-standard non-EMI records for billing, with the expectation that CenturyLink will convert such records to the appropriate EMI Invoice record format needed to build an end-user Invoice. Invoice Builder also provides for additional Invoice records to be created, as needed, to complete the construction of the entire end-user Invoice.

Bill Production

Bill Production is an aggregate of services that encompass:

  • formatting and printing the end-user's charges in your portion of the CenturyLink shared-bill
  • calculating and applying taxes (on specific messages)
  • postage and mailing
  • processing end-user payments
  • management of your Purchase of Accounts Receivable (PAR)

Market Message

A Market Message is a value-added service that allows you to target specific end-users with marketing or other types of informational text on your portion of the CenturyLink shared-bill. You author Market Messages; however, CenturyLink retains final editorial judgement on the final wording, following the terms of the CenturyLink MTS Billing Policy.

Treatment and Collections

Treatment and Collection Service is an aggregate of activities, performed by CenturyLink on your behalf to obtain payments from end-users on past-due amounts that are billed within the CenturyLink shared-bill. Treatment and Collections may also include the denial of an end-user account, as appropriate, which may or may not include blocking the end-user's access to the long distance network.

CenturyLink will provide Treatment and Collection activities pursuant to our then current processes and, as appropriate, state and federal regulatory rules.

Inquiry Service

Inquiry Service is an aggregate of activities, performed by CenturyLink on your behalf that generally includes handling of telephone calls or written correspondence from end-users regarding your charges in the CenturyLink shared-bill. Inquiry Service also includes issuing adjustments against charges on the end-user's bill when a dispute arises.

Service Provider Labeling Service (Sub-CIC Processing)

Service Provider Labeling Service provides Clearing Agents with the ability to separately identify and sort their client's messages on their portion of the end-user bill.

Custom Request Service

Custom Request Service provides you with an avenue to make your individual billing needs known to CenturyLink for new billing services or enhancements to your existing billing services. Upon receiving detailed specifications from you, CenturyLink will provide a detailed estimate of a price and an estimate of implementation timeframes. At such time as you authorize your project, CenturyLink will provide design and development services, methods and procedures development and a fully tested implementation.

Media Provisioning Service

Media Provisioning Service provides for the exchange and delivery of billing data between CenturyLink and you, or your designated representative, or between you and CenturyLink.

Consulting Service

Consulting Service provides you with professional and/or technical advice and billing service support. Consulting Service includes, but is not limited to, providing CenturyLink personnel that will:

  • support internal and external audits
  • conduct training sessions
  • assist in business activities
  • assist in the development and preparation of your needs or specifications document

Availability

Third-Party Billing and Collection Services are available to CenturyLink served endusers located throughout CenturyLink QC.

Terms and Conditions

CenturyLink's Third-Party Billing Services are offered under contract only with specifically defined Terms and Conditions.

Technical Publications

Technical Publications section does not apply to Third-Party Billing and Collection Services.

Pricing

The Third-Party Billing Service family of products have both recurring (event- and non-event-based) which is billed on a monthly basis and non-recurring (event-based developmental) billing. These rates are identified in the specific Billing and Collection Services agreement between you and CenturyLink. A high-level summary of pricing, by element, is shown below.

Rate Structure

Recurring charges are comprised of the following rate elements:

  • Recording
  • Assembly and Editing
  • Message Rating
  • Invoice Builder Service
  • Bill Production
  • Market Messages
  • Treatment and Collections
  • Inquiry Service
  • Custom Request Service
  • Media Provisioning Service
  • Consulting Service

Nonrecurring charges are comprised of the following rate elements:

  • Recording
  • Assembly and Editing
  • Message Rating
  • Invoice Builder Service
  • Bill Production
  • Market Messages
  • Call Handler Labeling
  • Custom Request Service
  • Media Provisioning Service
  • Consulting Service

Rates

Rate Section does not apply to Third-Party Billing and Collection Services.

Tariffs, Regulations and Policies

Third-Party Billing and Collection Services are offered under contract only. Tariffs, Regulations and Policies section does not apply to Third-Party Billing and Collection Services.

Optional Features

Optional Features section does not apply to Third-Party Billing and Collection Services.

Features / Benefits

Features Benefits
CenturyLink is a recognized industry leader in Third-Party Billing solutions.
  • You will receive the benefit of being a part of a bill reflecting the CenturyLink name, while still maintaining your own brand.
  • CenturyLink offers a wide variety of high quality billing services and solutions, whether you bill your end-users through the CenturyLink bill, an in-house bill or through another billing vendor.
  • You can, in most cases, solve your billing needs with a "one-stop" shopping experience.
  • CenturyLink's Third-Party Bill format contains more billing detail than competitive Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) bills.
  • More detail helps allay end-user confusion and reduces calls into your service centers.
  • CenturyLink has an outstanding collection rate for Third-Party Billing that typically leads or is within the top 2% of the industry.
  • You will continue to see a consistent cash flow resulting from CenturyLink's collection efforts.
  • CenturyLink has the largest geographical presence of all LECs (more than 25% of all states), positioning it well within the industry.
  • When you roll out new national or regional telecommunication services, CenturyLink's territory is critical.
  • Applications

    The Third-Party Billing Services family of services offers you the opportunity to bill and communicate with your in-region end-users by utilizing the CenturyLink shared-bill. This allows you to reduce or eliminate your dependency on in-house billing systems and/or other billing vendors.

    Implementation

    Pre-Ordering

    Prior to ordering any Third-Party Billing Service for the first time, you are required to sign a:

    • Confidentiality Agreement
    • Letter of Intent
    • Billing and Collections agreement

    In addition, the New Billing Customer Questionnaire will need to be completed and returned to CenturyLink.

    All are available by contacting your CenturyLink Sales Executive.

    Ordering

    Establishing a new Third-Party Billing customer within CenturyLink's in-region Customer Records and Information System (CRIS) requires a coordinated effort that will be managed by a CenturyLink Project Manager.

    Provisioning and Installation

    Since Third-Party Billing Services can be a customized effort, the implementation timeframes for a new customer are highly dependent on your specific billing requirements as well as the availability of CenturyLink resources. In cases where CenturyLink's standard Third-Party Billing service offering is selected, implementation of a new customer can typically occur within 120 business days or less, depending on a variety of factors. For all other new customer requests, implementation is negotiated on an individual case basis.

    Maintenance and Repair

    Third-Party Billing Service maintenance is segmented based on the actual billing issue, as further described below:

    • Uncollectibles and Unbillables
    • End-user Billing Issues and Adjustments
    • Billing Enhancements
    • Customer Account Record Exchange (CARE)/Subscription Issues
    • Customer Data Input and Output
    • B&C Invoice Issues

    Billing

    Customer Records and Information System (CRIS) billing is described in Billing Information - Customer Records and Information System (CRIS).

    All recurring and non-recurring charges associated with Third-Party Billing Services are billed to you via a monthly Billing and Collection Invoice (B&C Invoice) statement. A separate B&C Invoice will be provided for each state where you do business and each will provide a detailed itemization of every Third-Party Billing service that you utilize. Payment for all Third-Party Billing Services is considered due and payable by the pay-by-date reflected on the B&C Invoice.

    Training

    View available CenturyLink courses by clicking on Course Catalog.

    Contacts

    CenturyLink contact information is located in Wholesale Customer Contacts.

    To inquire about a new Third-Party Billing Service implementation, you should contact your CenturyLink Sales Executive.

    For Service and Assurance Questions and Issues Regarding the Following:

    • Enhancements for Existing Third-Party Billing Service customers contact your existing CenturyLink Sales Executive
    • Unbillables, Uncollectibles and PAR Issues Contact your CenturyLink Service Manager
    • End-user Billing and Adjustments Issues Contact your CenturyLink Service Manager
    • CARE/Subscription Billing Issues Contact your CenturyLink Service Manager Service Provider (sub-CIC) Updates Contact your CenturyLink Service Manager
    • B&C Invoice Questions and Issues please contact the Des Moines Carrier Billing Center, Monday through Friday between the hours of 7AM and 4:30PM for assistance at 1-800-652-3158.
    • Escalations on Billing Issues Contact your existing CenturyLink Sales Executive

    For all other questions or issues not addressed here or if you require additional information, please contact your CenturyLink Sales Executive. If you do not know who your CenturyLink Sales Executive is, click here for additional information.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    This section is being compiled based on your feedback.

    Please contact your CenturyLink Sales Executive or Service Manager for information.

    Last Update: August 8, 2011