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(815 ILCS 505/2EE)
Electric service provider selection.
An electric service provider shall not submit or execute
a change in a subscriber's selection of a provider of electric
service unless and until (i) the provider first discloses all material terms and conditions of the offer to the subscriber; (ii) the provider has obtained the subscriber's express agreement to accept the offer after the disclosure of all material terms and conditions of the offer; and (iii) the provider has confirmed the request for a change in accordance with one of the following procedures:
(a) The new electric service provider has obtained the
written or electronically signed
authorization in a form that meets the
(1) An electric service provider shall obtain any
necessary written or electronically signed authorization from a subscriber for a change in electric service by using a letter of agency as specified in this Section. Any letter of agency that does not conform with this Section is invalid.
(2) The letter of agency shall be a separate document
(an easily separable document containing only the authorization language described in subparagraph (a)(5) of this Section) whose sole purpose is to authorize an electric service provider change. The letter of agency must be signed and dated by the subscriber requesting the electric service provider change.
(3) The letter of agency shall not be combined with
inducements of any kind on the same document.
(4) Notwithstanding subparagraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2)
of this Section, the letter of agency may be combined with checks that contain only the required letter of agency language prescribed in subparagraph (a)(5) of this Section and the necessary information to make the check a negotiable instrument. The letter of agency check shall not contain any promotional language or material. The letter of agency check shall contain in easily readable, bold-face type on the face of the check, a notice that the consumer is authorizing an electric service provider change by signing the check. The letter of agency language also shall be placed near the signature line on the back of the check.
(5) At a minimum, the letter of agency must be
printed with a print of sufficient size to be clearly legible, and must contain clear and unambiguous language that confirms:
(i) The subscriber's billing name and address;
(ii) The decision to change the electric service
provider from the current provider to the prospective provider;
(iii) The terms, conditions, and nature of the
service to be provided to the subscriber must be clearly and conspicuously disclosed, in writing, and an electric service provider must directly establish the rates for the service contracted for by the subscriber; and
(iv) That the subscriber understand that any
electric service provider selection the subscriber chooses may involve a charge to the subscriber for changing the subscriber's electric service provider.
(6) Letters of agency shall not suggest or require
that a subscriber take some action in order to retain the subscriber's current electric service provider.
(7) If any portion of a letter of agency is
translated into another language, then all portions of the letter of agency must be translated into that language.
(b) An appropriately qualified independent third party has obtained, in accordance with the procedures set forth in this subsection (b), the subscriber's oral authorization to change electric suppliers that confirms and includes appropriate verification data. The independent third party (i) must not be owned, managed, controlled, or directed by the supplier or the supplier's marketing agent; (ii) must not have any financial incentive to confirm supplier change requests for the supplier or the supplier's marketing agent; and (iii) must operate in a location physically separate from the supplier or the supplier's marketing agent.
Automated third-party verification systems and 3-way conference calls may be used for verification purposes so long as the other requirements of this subsection (b) are satisfied.
A supplier or supplier's sales representative initiating a 3-way conference call or a call through an automated verification system must drop off the call once the 3-way connection has been established.
All third-party verification methods shall elicit, at a minimum, the following information: (i) the identity of the subscriber; (ii) confirmation that the person on the call is authorized to make the supplier change; (iii) confirmation that the person on the call wants to make the supplier change; (iv) the names of the suppliers affected by the change; (v) the service address of the supply to be switched; and (vi) the price of the service to be supplied and the material terms and conditions of the service being offered, including whether any early termination fees apply. Third-party verifiers may not market the supplier's services by providing additional information, including information regarding procedures to block or otherwise freeze an account against further changes.
All third-party verifications shall be conducted in the same language that was used in the underlying sales transaction and shall be recorded in their entirety. Submitting suppliers shall maintain and preserve audio records of verification of subscriber authorization for a minimum period of 2 years after obtaining the verification. Automated systems must provide consumers with an option to speak with a live person at any time during the call.
(c) When a subscriber initiates the call to the prospective electric supplier, in order to enroll the subscriber as a customer, the prospective electric supplier must, with the consent of the customer, make a date-stamped, time-stamped audio recording that elicits, at a minimum, the following information:
(1) the identity of the subscriber;
(2) confirmation that the person on the call is
authorized to make the supplier change;
(3) confirmation that the person on the call wants to
make the supplier change;
(4) the names of the suppliers affected by the change;
(5) the service address of the supply to be switched;
(6) the price of the service to be supplied and the
material terms and conditions of the service being offered, including whether any early termination fees apply.
Submitting suppliers shall maintain and preserve the audio records containing the information set forth above for a minimum period of 2 years.
(d) Complaints may be filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission under this Section by a subscriber whose electric service has been provided by an electric service supplier in a manner not in compliance with this Section. If, after notice and hearing, the Commission finds that an electric service provider has violated this Section, the Commission may in its discretion do any one or more of the following:
(1) Require the violating electric service provider
to refund to the subscriber charges collected in excess of those that would have been charged by the subscriber's authorized electric service provider.
(2) Require the violating electric service provider
to pay to the subscriber's authorized electric supplier the amount the authorized electric supplier would have collected for the electric service. The Commission is authorized to reduce this payment by any amount already paid by the violating electric supplier to the subscriber's authorized provider for electric service.
(3) Require the violating electric subscriber to
pay a fine of up to $1,000 into the Public Utility Fund for each repeated and intentional violation of this Section.
(4) Issue a cease and desist order.
(5) For a pattern of violation of this Section or
for intentionally violating a cease and desist order, revoke the violating provider's certificate of service authority.
(e) For purposes of this
Section, "electric service provider"
shall have the meaning given that phrase in
Section 6.5 of the
Attorney General Act.
(Source: P.A. 95-700, eff. 11-9-07.)