RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Department of Insurance has fined Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina $3.6 million over customer service issues, officials said.

Since January, the NCDOI received complaints from BCBSNC customers about the company’s customer service department.

The complaints said customer service was not readily available by telephone or through its website.

Other complaints said consumers did not receive valid identification cards or proof of coverage and that consumers experienced problems in billings and crediting of premium payments.

“As your Insurance Commissioner, and an advocate for consumers across North Carolina, Blue Cross Blue Shield had to be held accountable,” said Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. “A record fine has been paid.”

The $3.6 million will come from BCBSNC surplus and will not affect any customer premiums, which was part of a previous agreement.

In May, BCBSNC CEO Brad Wilson spoke with CBS North Carolina about its customer service issues the insurer’s plan to fix them.

CBS North Carolina will update this story as more information becomes available.