CenturyTel's Privacy Policy

Effective November 17, 2008

Our Commitment to Privacy

We respect and are committed to protecting the privacy of our customers. As a leading provider of telecommunications and related products and services, we recognize that we must maintain the confidentiality of every customer's telephone calling and other account information.

We also respect and protect the privacy of those who visit our Web sites. Advances in technology have led to the rapid expansion of online services, as well as privacy concerns unique to the online environment. We recognize the need to maintain the confidentiality of information that Web visitors reasonably expect to remain private.

In furtherance of our commitment to protect the privacy of our customers and Web visitors, we have established various policies and procedures designed to safeguard your personal information. This Privacy Policy ("Policy") describes those policies and procedures, as well as how we collect and use various types of information. We encourage you to read this Policy in its entirety.

Privacy policy contents

The Scope of This Privacy Policy

This Policy addresses the privacy of Web visitors in the United States. This Policy also identifies the types of data and information we collect, how we use it, how you can control its use and the steps we take to protect it.

This Policy supersedes and replaces all previously posted privacy policies.


Collection and Use of Personal Data

Personally identifying information

The primary focus of this Policy is non-public information that identifies or that is linked to the identity of a particular customer or Web visitor, sometimes referred to as "personally identifying information" or "PII." Examples of personally identifying information include combinations of name; address; e-mail address; user IDs and passwords; telephone number; billing, payment, usage, credit and transaction information (including credit card numbers, account numbers and/or social security number); and demographic information.

We collect personally identifying information regarding our Web visitors, including information visitors give us and information we obtain from other sources.

We also collect personally identifying information that our Web visitors choose to provide to us (e.g., name, address, telephone number, e-mail address) when registering on our Web sites; sending us e-mail; responding to our surveys; or entering contests or sweepstakes. As a general rule, you can visit this Web site without revealing personally identifying information. However, some portions of this Web site may be accessible to you only if you register with us and, if you choose to register with us, you may be asked to provide us with personally identifying information.

We use personally identifying information to better understand your needs and interests, and to provide you with better service. Once you choose to provide us with personally identifying information, it will be used to support your customer relationship with us, and we will not disclose your personal information to others in any manner contrary to the terms of this Policy. Notwithstanding the foregoing, please note that the decision to provide us with your personally identifying information is purely voluntary, and you will have an opportunity to decline to provide such information each time we request it.

When you supply information about yourself for a specific purpose, we use the information for that purpose. For example, we use your information to communicate with you, to provide service and support, or to update you on the latest news and information about the merger. We also may use your personally identifying information for the following general purposes:

  • To help us deliver the products and/or services you have requested.
  • To design or offer specific products or services that we believe will be useful to you.
  • To send you information about our company and some of our partners.
  • To manage and upgrade our Web sites.

We may aggregate the personally identifying information of different Web visitors to produce data about a group or category of services, customers or Web visitors. For example, we might use aggregate data about the types of services our customers have generally purchased at the same time in order to develop attractive bundled service offerings. Such aggregate data, however, will not reflect any personally identifying information of any specific customer or Web visitor.

Non-personally identifying information

Non-personally identifying information is data about usage and service operation that is not associated with the identity of a particular customer or Web visitor. Examples of non-personally identifying information include your browser type and the pages visited on our Web sites.

We collect and analyze non-personally identifying information to evaluate how visitors use our Web sites. Most non-personally identifying information is collected via cookies or other analysis technologies. Our Web pages use cookies, statistics tracking, and other technologies for data analysis and personalization services.

Personally identifying information we disclose to third parties

In general, we do not sell, lease or otherwise disclose personally identifying information to third parties without your consent. The following exceptions to this general rule apply:

  • We may provide personally identifying information to third parties to comply with court orders, subpoenas, or other legal or regulatory requirements. Please note that we do not release customer information to any agency or organization without proper authorization. Requests are processed by us, not by third parties, and are carefully verified by our in-house team. Our commitment to you extends beyond our service - that's the personal touch we deliver.
  • We may provide personally identifying information to third parties to notify law enforcement or any other responsible governmental entity if it is believed in good faith that such action is necessary to protect public safety or to protect our employees or property.
  • We may also provide personally identifying information to third parties who perform functions or services on our behalf. An example includes Web site development or advertising companies, who provide Web design, analysis and advertising services. When we provide such personally identifying information to third parties to perform such functions or services on our behalf, we require that they protect personally identifying information in a manner consistent with this Policy and do not allow them to use such information for other purposes.

"Do Not Call" Lists

We comply with all applicable laws and regulations regarding "Do Not Call" lists.

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Collection and Use of Online Data

Web usage information we collect and use

When Web visitors access our Web sites, we automatically receive certain Web usage information. For example, our Web servers automatically collect statistical information about your visit such as your IP address, your Web browser and operating system types, and the identity of the Web page from which your browser entered our Web site. In addition, primarily through the use of cookies or Web beacons, we may collect other Web usage information, such as the Web pages the browser visits on our Web sites, the amount of time spent on such Web pages and whether the browser re-visits our Web sites/pages. None of this Web usage information is linked to you as an individual. We use this statistical information to monitor our Web sites' performance and to provide our customers and Web visitors with a richer, more relevant Web surfing experience.

Cookies and Web beacons

We collect information about your computer hardware and software - for example, your IP address, domain name, and access times - using "cookies." Cookies are files that Web browsers place on the computer of a Web visitor and that identify such visitor as a unique user.

We, or a third party acting on our behalf, may use cookies to tailor and improve the content we deliver to our Web visitors, to improve our Web site by assessing which areas, features, and products are most popular, and to personalize our Web site and make recommendations based on information, including product choices, a particular visitor has previously provided. For example, we may use a cookie to identify your phone number so we do not ask you to enter it more than once. We also use cookies to store user preferences, complete online order activity and keep track of transactions.

We, or a third party acting on our behalf, may use Web beacons (also known as "clear gifs" or "one-pixel gifs") in certain of our Web pages and e-mails to gauge the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns and e-mail correspondence. For example, we may use Web beacons in our HTML-based e-mails to let us know which e-mails have been opened by the recipients.

You can configure your Web browser to alert you when a Web site is attempting to send a cookie to your computer and allow you to accept or refuse the cookie. You can also set your browser to disable the capacity to receive cookies or you can delete cookies previously accepted. Some Web pages may not work correctly if you have cookies disabled.

When you interact with our Web site, we strive to make that experience easy and meaningful. Our site uses session cookies to track Web visitor behavior and to allow our customers to immediately save their user IDs, as well as personal settings on specific pages. This allows us to process your information and quickly log you into the product. Session cookies also help us make sure you are who you say you are after you have logged in.

We use only session cookies, which only we can read and use, to identify the fact that you are a prior CenturyTel Web site visitor. These cookies are automatically deleted when you close your browser. We are especially careful about the security and confidentiality of the information stored in these cookies. Users who disable their Web browsers' ability to accept cookies will still be able to browse our Web sites; however, they may lose some of the functionality provided by the use of cookies.

You can prevent our Web sites from using cookies or be notified when a cookie is being used by following the instructions below.

How to enable cookies

To enable cookies, follow the instructions below for the browser version you are using.

Mozilla Firefox 2.0+

  • Go to the "Tools" menu.
  • Select "Options".
  • Select the "Privacy" icon in the top panel.
  • Check the box corresponding to "Accept cookies from sites".
  • Click "OK" to save changes.

Mozilla Firefox 1.0 final release and earlier

  • Go to the "Tools" menu.
  • Select "Options".
  • Select the "Privacy" icon in the top panel.
  • Check the box corresponding to "Allow sites to set cookies".
  • Click "OK" to save changes.

Netscape 7.1/Mozilla 5.0

  • Select "Preferences" from the Edit menu.
  • Click on the arrow next to "Privacy & Security" in the scrolling window to expand.
  • Under "Privacy & Security", select "Cookies."
  • Select "Enable all cookies".
  • Click "OK".

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0

  • Select "Internet Options" from Tools menu.
  • Click on the "Privacy" tab.
  • Click the "Default" button (or manually slide the bar down to "Medium") under "Settings".
  • Click "OK".

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0

  • Select "Internet Options" from Tools menu.
  • Click on the "Privacy" tab.
  • Click the "Default" button (or manually slide the bar down to "Medium") under "Settings".
  • Click "OK".

Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.x

  • Select "Internet Options" from Tools menu.
  • Click on the "Security" tab.
  • Click the "Custom Level" button.
  • Scroll down to the "Cookies" section.
  • To enable:
    • Set "Allow cookies that are stored on your computer" to "Enable".
    • Set "Allow per-session cookies" to "Enable"
  • Click "OK".

Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.x

  • Select "Internet Options" from View menu.
  • Click on the "Advanced" tab.
  • Scroll down to find "Cookies" within the "Security" section.
  • To enable:
    • Select "Always accept cookies".
  • Click "OK".

Netscape Communicator 4.x

  • Select "Preferences" from the Edit menu.
  • Find the "Cookies" section in the "Advanced" category.
  • To enable:
    • Select "Accept all cookies" (or "Enable all cookies").
  • Click "OK".

Apple Safari 3.x

  • Select "Edit" from Safari menu
  • Click on "Security" padlock icon.
  • Under the Accept Cookies option, check the radio button for "Always" or "Only from sites you navigate to".
  • Close the Security dialog to apply changes.

Apple Safari 1.31

  • Select "Preferences" from Safari menu.
  • Click on "Security" padlock icon.
  • Under the Accept Cookies option, check the radio button for Always.
  • Click OK and close the Preferences dialog to apply changes.

How to disable cookies

At any time, you may choose to change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please be aware that cookies may be required to complete certain functions on our Web sites, such as ordering online. To disable cookies, follow the instructions below for the browser version you are using.

Mozilla Firefox 2.0+

  • Go to the "Tools" menu.
  • Select "Options".
  • Select the "Privacy" icon in the top panel.
  • Uncheck the box corresponding to "Accept cookies from sites".
  • Click "OK" to save changes.

Mozilla Firefox 1.0 final release and earlier

  • Go to the "Tools" menu.
  • Select "Options".
  • Select the "Privacy" icon in the left panel.
  • Uncheck the box corresponding to "Allow sites to set cookies".
  • Click "OK" to save changes.

Netscape 7.1/Mozilla 5.0

  • Select "Preferences" from the Edit menu.
  • Click on the arrow next to "Privacy & Security" in the scrolling window to expand.
  • Under "Privacy & Security", select "Cookies".
  • Select "Disable cookies".
  • Click "OK".

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0

  • Select "Internet Options" from the Tools menu.
  • Click on the "Privacy" tab.
  • Manually slide the bar up to "High" or "Block All Cookies" under "Settings".
  • Click "OK".

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0

  • Select "Internet Options" from the Tools menu.
  • Click on the "Privacy" tab.
  • Manually slide the bar up to "High" or "Block All Cookies" under "Settings".
  • Click "OK".

Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.x

  • Select "Internet Options" from the Tools menu.
  • Click on the "Security" tab.
  • Click the "Custom Level" button.
  • Scroll down to the "Cookies" section.
  • To disable:
    • Set "Allow cookies that are stored on your computer" to "Disable" or "Prompt."
    • Set "Allow per-session cookies" to "Disable" or "Prompt".
  • Click "OK".

Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.x

  • Select "Internet Options" from the View menu.
  • Click on the "Advanced" tab.
  • Scroll down to find "Cookies" within the "Security" section.
  • To disable:
    • Select "Never accept cookies" or "Prompt before accepting cookies."
  • Click "OK".

Netscape Communicator 4.x

  • Select "Preferences" from the Edit menu.
  • Find the "Cookies" section in the "Advanced" category.
  • To disable:
    • Select "Warn me before accepting a cookie."
  • Click "OK".

Netscape Communicator 3.x

  • Select "Edit" from Safari menu.
  • Click on "Security" padlock icon.
  • Under the Accept Cookies option, check the radio button for "Never".
  • Close the Security dialog to apply changes.

Apple Safari 1.31

  • Select "Preferences" from Safari menu.
  • Click on "Security" padlock icon.
  • Under the Accept Cookies option, check the radio button for "Never" or "Prompt".
  • Click OK and close the Preferences dialog to apply changes.

If you are not using one of the browsers listed above, select "Help" from the toolbar of your browser window for additional information. For additional information about cookies, visit www.cookiecentral.com.

Our policy on online access by children

This Web site is not designed to attract children under the age of 13, and we do not knowingly collect personally identifying information from anyone under the age of 18. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which requires the consent of a parent or guardian for the collection of personally identifiable information from children under the age of 13.

Links to other Web sites

This Web site may provide links to Web sites maintained by third parties. We provide these links for your convenience. We make no endorsements or representations regarding the content, security or privacy of any third-party Web site.

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How We Protect Your Information

As stated above, CenturyTel respects and is committed to protecting the privacy of our customers. All CenturyTel employees are subject to the CenturyTel Principles of Business Conduct, as well as various federal and state laws and regulations. The CenturyTel Principles require all our employees to follow every law, rule, regulation, court and/or commission order that applies to our business at all times. In addition, the Principles specifically require compliance with legal requirements and company policies related to the privacy of communications and the security and privacy of customer records. Employees who fail to meet any of the standards embodied in the Principles of Business Conduct may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

We employ security measures designed to protect against unauthorized access to or unauthorized alteration, disclosure or destruction of data, including personally identifying information. We have implemented technology and security features and strict policy guidelines to safeguard the privacy of your personally identifying information. For example:

  • We maintain and protect the security of our servers, and we typically require some form of identity authentication (e.g., user names and/or passwords) to access sensitive data.
  • Unless you authorize unencrypted transmission, we use industry standard encryption methods to protect your data transmission.
  • We limit access to personally identifying information to those employees, contractors, and agents who need access to such information to develop, deliver, or improve our services and products.

If we determine that a security breach has occurred and that such breach creates a risk of identity theft or service disruption, we will make reasonable attempts to notify you.

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Changes to this Policy

We reserve the right to update this Policy to reflect any changes we make in order to continue to serve the best interests of our customers and Web visitors and will timely post those changes. Please periodically check our Web sites for changes to this Policy. You should be able to readily determine whether any changes have been made by comparing the date stamp at the top of this Web page with the date stamp at the top of the Web page on which the revised Policy is located.

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Contact Us with Your Privacy Questions or Concerns

If, after reviewing this Policy, you still have questions or concerns about your privacy, feel free to email IT-privacypolicy@centurytel.com. We will be delighted to answer your questions.

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