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Public Act 093-1002


 

Public Act 1002 93RD GENERAL ASSEMBLY

 


 
Public Act 093-1002
 
SB2731 Enrolled LRB093 17673 AMC 43349 b

    AN ACT concerning utilities.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 5. The Public Utilities Act is amended by adding
Sections 13-230, 13-231, 13-232, 13-233, 13-404.1, and
13-404.2 as follows:
 
    (220 ILCS 5/13-230 new)
    Sec. 13-230. Prepaid calling service. "Prepaid calling
service" means telecommunications service that must be paid for
in advance by an end user, enables the end user to originate
calls using an access number or authorization code, whether
manually or electronically dialed, and is sold in predetermined
units or dollars of which the number declines with use in a
known amount. A prepaid calling service call is a call made by
an end user using prepaid calling service. "Prepaid calling
service" does not include prepaid wireless telephone service as
defined in Section 10 of the Wireless Emergency Telephone
Safety Act.
 
    (220 ILCS 5/13-231 new)
    Sec. 13-231. Prepaid calling service provider. "Prepaid
calling service provider" means and includes every
corporation, company, association, joint stock company or
association, firm, partnership, or individual and their
lessees, trustees, or receivers appointed by any court
whatsoever that contracts directly with a telecommunications
carrier to resell or offers to resell telecommunications
service as prepaid calling service to one or more distributors,
prepaid calling resellers, prepaid calling service retailers,
or end users.
 
    (220 ILCS 5/13-232 new)
    Sec. 13-232. Prepaid calling service retailer. "Prepaid
calling service retailer" means and includes every
corporation, company, association, joint stock company or
association, firm, partnership, or individual and their
lessees, trustees, or receivers appointed by any court
whatsoever that sells or offers to sell prepaid calling service
directly to one or more end users.
 
    (220 ILCS 5/13-233 new)
    Sec. 13-233. Prepaid calling service reseller. "Prepaid
calling service reseller" means and includes every
corporation, company, association, joint stock company or
association, firm, partnership, or individual and their
lessees, trustees, or receivers appointed by any court
whatsoever that purchases prepaid calling services from a
prepaid calling service provider or distributor and sells those
services to one or more distributors of prepaid calling
services or to one or more prepaid calling service retailers.
 
    (220 ILCS 5/13-404.1 new)
    Sec. 13-404.1. Prepaid calling service authority; rules.
    (a) The General Assembly finds that it is necessary to
require the certification of prepaid calling service providers
to protect and promote against fraud the legitimate business
interests of persons or entities currently providing prepaid
calling service to Illinois end users and Illinois end users
who purchase these services.
    (b) On and after July 1, 2005, it shall be unlawful for any
prepaid calling service provider to offer or provide or seek to
offer or provide to any distributor, prepaid calling service
reseller, prepaid calling service retailer, or end user any
prepaid calling service unless the prepaid calling service
provider has applied for and received a Certificate of Prepaid
Calling Service Provider Authority from the Commission. The
Commission shall approve an application for a Certificate of
Prepaid Calling Service Provider Authority upon a showing by
the applicant, and a finding by the Commission, after notice
and hearing, that the applicant possesses sufficient
technical, financial, and managerial resources and abilities
to provide prepaid calling services. The Commission shall
approve an application for a Certificate of Prepaid Calling
Service Provider Authority without a hearing upon a showing by
the applicant that the Commission has issued an appropriate
Certificate of Service Authority (whether a Certificate of
Interexchange Service Authority or Certificate of Exchange
Service Authority or both) to the applicant or the
telecommunications carrier whose service the applicant is
seeking to resell, provided that the telecommunications
carrier remains in good standing with the Commission. The
Commission may adopt rules necessary for the administration of
this subsection.
    (c) Upon issuance of a Certificate of Prepaid Calling
Service Provider Authority to a prepaid calling service
provider, the Commission shall post a list that contains the
full legal name of the prepaid service provider, the docket
number of the provider's certification proceeding, and the
toll-free customer service number of the certified prepaid
calling service provider on the Commission's web site on a link
solely dedicated to prepaid calling service providers. If the
certified prepaid calling service provider changes its
toll-free customer service number, it is the duty of the
certified prepaid calling service provider to provide the
Commission with notice of the change and with the provider's
new toll-free customer service number at least 24 hours prior
to changing its toll-free customer service number. The
Commission may adopt rules that further define the
administration of this subsection.
    (d) Any and all enforcement authority granted to the
Commission under this Article over any Certificate of Service
Authority shall apply equally and without limitation to
Certificates of Prepaid Calling Service Provider Authority.
 
    (220 ILCS 5/13-404.2 new)
    Sec. 13-404.2. Prepaid calling service standards. The
Commission, by rule, may establish and implement minimum
service quality standards for prepaid calling service. The
rules may include, but are not limited to, requiring access to
a live customer service attendant through the customer service
number, reporting requirements, fines, penalties, customer
credits, remedies, and other enforcement mechanisms to ensure
compliance with the service quality standards.
 
    Section 10. The Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business
Practices Act is amended by adding Section 2QQ as follows:
 
    (815 ILCS 505/2QQ new)
    Sec. 2QQ. Prepaid calling service.
    (a) For purposes of this Section 2QQ, the terms "Prepaid
Calling Service", "Prepaid Calling Service Provider", "Prepaid
Calling Service Retailer", and "Prepaid Calling Service
Reseller" shall have the same definitions as those in Sections
13-230, 13-231, 13-232, and 13-233, respectively, of the Public
Utilities Act.
    For the purposes of this Section, "international preferred
destination" means a prepaid calling service that advertises a
specific international destination either on the card, the
packaging material accompanying the card, or through an
offering of sale of the service.
    (b) On and after July 1, 2005, it is an unlawful practice
under this Act for any prepaid calling service provider or
prepaid calling service reseller to sell or offer to sell
prepaid calling service to any prepaid calling service retailer
unless the prepaid calling service provider has applied for and
received a Certificate of Prepaid Calling Service Provider
Authority from the Illinois Commerce Commission pursuant to the
Public Utilities Act and the prepaid calling service provider
or prepaid calling service reseller shows proof of the prepaid
calling service provider's Certificate of Prepaid Calling
Service Provider Authority to the prepaid calling service
retailer.
    (c) On and after July 1, 2005, it is an unlawful practice
under this Act for any prepaid calling service retailer to sell
or offer to sell prepaid calling service to any consumer unless
the prepaid calling service retailer retains proof of
certification of the prepaid calling service provider by the
Illinois Commerce Commission pursuant to the Public Utilities
Act. The prepaid calling service retailer must retain proof of
certification for one year or the duration of the contract with
the reseller, whichever is longer. A prepaid calling service
retailer with multiple locations selling prepaid calling cards
under contract with a prepaid calling service provider may keep
the certification at a central location provided, however, that
the prepaid calling service retailer make a copy of the
certification available upon reasonable request within 48
hours.
    (d) On and after July 1, 2005, no prepaid calling service
provider or prepaid calling service reseller shall sell or
offer to sell prepaid calling service, as those terms are
defined in Article XIII of the Public Utilities Act, to any
Illinois consumer, either directly or through a prepaid calling
service retailer, unless the following disclosures are made
clearly and conspicuously:
        (1) At a minimum, the following terms and conditions
    shall be disclosed clearly and conspicuously on the prepaid
    calling card, if applicable:
            (A) the full name of the Prepaid Calling Service
        Provider as certificated by the Illinois Commerce
        Commission;
            (B) the toll-free customer service number;
            (C) an access number that is toll-free or a number
        local to the prepaid calling retailer; and
            (D) the refund policy or a statement that the
        refund policy is located on the packaging materials.
        (2) At a minimum, all the material terms and conditions
    pertaining to the specific prepaid calling card shall be
    disclosed clearly and conspicuously on the packaging
    materials accompanying the prepaid calling card including,
    but not limited to, the following, if applicable:
            (A) the value of the card in minutes or the
        domestic rate per minute of the card;
            (B) all surcharges and fees applicable to the use
        of the domestic prepaid calling service;
            (C) all applicable rates for international
        preferred destinations;
            (D) all applicable surcharges and fees for
        international preferred destinations;
            (E) a disclosure statement indicating that all
        rates, surcharges, and fees applicable to
        international calls are available through the
        toll-free customer service number and a statement
        disclosing if international rates vary from domestic
        rates; and
            (F) the expiration policy.
        (3) At a minimum, the following information shall be
    disclosed clearly and conspicuously and accurately through
    the toll-free customer service telephone number through
    which the customer is able to speak with a live customer
    service representative:
            (A) the Illinois Commerce Commission certificate
        number of the Prepaid Calling Service Provider;
            (B) all applicable rates, terms, surcharges, and
        fees for domestic and international calls;
            (C) all information necessary to determine the
        cost of a given call;
            (D) the balance of use in the consumer's account;
        and
            (E) the applicable expiration date or period.
    The disclosures required under this subsection (d) do not
apply to the recharging of dollars or minutes to a previously
purchased card allowing prepaid calling service.

Effective Date: 1/1/2005