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Public Act 097-0822


 

Public Act 0822 97TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
Public Act 097-0822
 
HB5211 EnrolledLRB097 18755 JLS 63990 b

    AN ACT concerning business.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 5. The Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business
Practices Act is amended by changing Section 2HHH as follows:
 
    (815 ILCS 505/2HHH)
    Sec. 2HHH. Product Authorization and verification for
product and service charges to be billed on a telephone bill
prohibited.
    (a) Definitions. For purposes of this Section:
    "Billing agent" means a person that submits charges for
services or goods to a telecommunications carrier on behalf of
a third-party vendor.
    "Third-party vendor" means an entity not affiliated with a
telecommunications carrier that sells services or goods to a
consumer.
    "Telecommunications carrier" has the same meaning as
defined in Section 13-202 of the Public Utilities Act.
    (b) A third-party vendor shall not bill, directly or
through an intermediary, a consumer for goods or services that
will appear as a charge on a consumer's telephone bill.
    (c) A billing agent, on behalf of a third-party vendor,
shall not submit, directly or through an intermediary, a charge
to a telecommunications carrier for goods or services that will
appear as a charge on a consumer's telephone bill.
    (d) Any person who violates this Section commits an
unlawful practice within the meaning of this Act.
    (e) This Section does not apply to:
        (1) services or goods provided by a telecommunications
    carrier subject to the provisions of Section 13-903 of the
    Public Utilities Act;
        (2) services or goods sold by any affiliate of the
    telecommunications carrier issuing the bill to the
    consumer;
        (3) services or goods sold by any third-party vendor
    that has a direct contractual arrangement for the joint or
    cooperative sale of such services or goods with the
    telecommunications carrier issuing the bill to the
    consumer; provided however, that the telecommunications
    carrier issuing the bill to the consumer shall be
    responsible for assuring that such services or goods are
    not sold without the informed authorization of the
    consumer;
        (4) wireless services, as described in Section 13-804
    of the Public Utilities Act and any other services or goods
    billed by or through a provider of wireless services;
        (5) message telecommunications services that are
    initiated by dialing 1+, 0+, 0-, or 1010XXX and calls that
    are subject to the Pay-Per-Call Services Consumer
    Protection Act; or
        (6) contributions to any charitable organization
    subject to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
    "Billing agent" means any entity that submits charges to
the billing carrier on behalf of itself or any service
provider.
    "Billing carrier" means any telecommunications carrier, as
defined in Section 13-202 of the Public Utilities Act, that
issues a bill directly to a customer for any product or service
not provided by a telecommunications carrier.
    "Service provider" means any entity that offers a product
or service to a consumer and that directly or indirectly
charges to or collects from a consumer's bill received from a
billing carrier an amount for the product or service.
    (b) This Section does not apply to the provision of
services and products by a telecommunications carrier subject
to the provisions of Section 13-903 of the Public Utilities
Act, by a telecommunications carrier's affiliates, or an
affiliated cable or video provider, as that term is defined in
Section 22-501 of the Public Utilities Act, or by a provider of
public mobile services, as defined in Section 13-214 of the
Public Utilities Act.
    (c) Requirements for submitting charges.
        (1) A service provider or billing agent may submit
    charges for a product or service to be billed on a
    consumer's telephone bill on or after the effective date of
    this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly only if:
            (A) the service provider offering the product or
        service has clearly and conspicuously disclosed all
        material terms and conditions of the product or service
        being offered, including, but not limited to, all
        charges; and the fact that the charges for the product
        or service shall appear on the consumer's telephone
        bill;
            (B) after the clear and conspicuous disclosure of
        all material terms and conditions as described in
        paragraph (A) of this item (1), the consumer has
        expressly consented to obtain the product or service
        offered and to have the charges appear on the
        consumer's telephone bill and the consent has been
        verified as provided in item (2) of this subsection
        (c);
            (C) the service provider offering the product or
        service or any billing agent for the service provider
        has provided the consumer with a toll-free telephone
        number the consumer may call and an address to which
        the consumer may write to resolve any billing dispute
        and to answer questions; and
            (D) the service provider offering the product or
        service or the billing agent has taken effective steps
        to determine that the consumer who purportedly
        consented to obtain the product or service offered is
        authorized to incur charges for the telephone number to
        be billed.
        (2) The consumer consent required by item (1) of this
    subsection (c) must be verified by the service provider
    offering the product or service before any charges are
    submitted for billing on a consumer's telephone bill. A
    record of the consumer consent and verification must be
    maintained by the service provider offering the product or
    service for a period of at least 24 months immediately
    after the consent and verification have been obtained. The
    method of obtaining consumer consent and verification must
    include one or more of the following:
            (A) A writing signed and dated by the consumer to
        be billed that clearly and conspicuously discloses the
        material terms and conditions of the product or service
        being offered in accordance with paragraph (A) of item
        (1) of this subsection (c) and clearly and
        conspicuously states that the consumer expressly
        consents to be billed in accordance with paragraph (B)
        of item (1) of this subsection (c) as follows:
                (i) if the writing is in electronic form, then
            it shall contain the consumer disclosures required
            by Section 101(c) of the federal Electronic
            Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act;
            and
                (ii) the writing shall be a separate document
            or easily separable document or located on a
            separate screen or webpage containing only the
            disclosures and consent described in item (1) of
            this subsection (c).
            (B) Third party verification by an independent
        third party that:
                (i) clearly and conspicuously discloses to the
            consumer to be billed all of the information
            required by paragraph (A) of item (1) of this
            subsection (c);
                (ii) operates from a facility physically
            separate from that of the service provider
            offering the product or service;
                (iii) is not directly or indirectly managed,
            controlled, directed, or owned wholly or in part by
            the service provider offering the product or
            service;
                (iv) does not derive commissions or
            compensation based upon the number of sales
            confirmed;
                (v) tape records the entire verification
            process, with prior consent of the consumer to be
            billed; and
                (vi) obtains confirmation from the consumer to
            be billed that he or she authorized the purchase of
            the offered good or service.
            (C) All verifications must be conducted in the same
        language that was used in the underlying sales
        transaction.
        (3) Unless verification is required by federal law or
    rules implementing federal law, item (2) of this subsection
    (c) does not apply to customer-initiated transactions with
    a certificated telecommunications carrier for which the
    service provider has the appropriate documentation.
        (4) This Section does not apply to message
    telecommunications service charges that are initiated by
    dialing 1+, 0+, 0-, 1010XXX, or collect calls and charges
    for video services if the service provider has the
    necessary records to establish the billing for the call or
    service.
    (d) Records of disputed charges.
        (1) Every service provider or billing agent shall
    maintain records of every disputed charge for a product or
    service placed on a consumer's bill.
        (2) The record required under this subsection (d) shall
    contain for every disputed charge all of the following:
            (A) any affected telephone numbers and, if
        available, addresses;
            (B) the date the consumer requested that the
        disputed charge be removed from the consumer's bill;
            (C) the date the disputed charge was removed from
        the consumer's telephone bill; and
            (D) the date action was taken to refund or credit
        to the consumer any money that the consumer paid for
        the disputed charges.
        (3) The record required by this subsection (d) shall be
    maintained for at least 24 months.
    (e) Billing agents shall take reasonable steps designed to
ensure that service providers on whose behalf they submit
charges to a billing carrier comply with the requirements of
this Section.
    (f) Any service provider or billing agent who violates this
Section commits an unlawful practice within the meaning of this
Act.
(Source: P.A. 96-827, eff. 11-30-09.)
 
    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect January
1, 2013.

Effective Date: 1/1/2013