Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB0841
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Full Text of HB0841  102nd General Assembly

HB0841 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  

 


 
102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
State of Illinois
2021 and 2022
HB0841

 

Introduced 2/10/2021, by Rep. Theresa Mah

 

SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:
 
220 ILCS 5/22-501

    Amends the Public Utilities Act. Provides that cable or video providers shall cease charging customers for modems and routers, whether rented together or separately, when the customer has paid to the provider the wholesale cost of the modem or router, or modem and router if rented together, plus a reasonable mark-up not to exceed 5% of the modem, router, or modem and router wholesale cost to the provider. Provides that the cable and video provider shall provide notice regarding the discontinuance of rental charges to the customer in each billing statement. Provides that the notice shall include a disclosure of rights and responsibilities relating to the maintenance of modems and routers.


LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

 

 

A BILL FOR

 

HB0841LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1    AN ACT concerning regulation.
 
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
 
4    Section 5. The Public Utilities Act is amended by changing
5Section 22-501 as follows:
 
6    (220 ILCS 5/22-501)
7    Sec. 22-501. Customer service and privacy protection. All
8cable or video providers in this State shall comply with the
9following customer service requirements and privacy
10protections. The provisions of this Act shall not apply to an
11incumbent cable operator prior to January 1, 2008. For
12purposes of this paragraph, an incumbent cable operator means
13a person or entity that provided cable services in a
14particular area under a franchise agreement with a local unit
15of government pursuant to Section 11-42-11 of the Illinois
16Municipal Code or Section 5-1095 of the Counties Code on
17January 1, 2007. A master antenna television, satellite master
18antenna television, direct broadcast satellite, multipoint
19distribution service, and other provider of video programming
20shall only be subject to the provisions of this Article to the
21extent permitted by federal law.
22    The following definitions apply to the terms used in this
23Article:

 

 

HB0841- 2 -LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1    "Basic cable or video service" means any service offering
2or tier that includes the retransmission of local television
3broadcast signals.
4    "Cable or video provider" means any person or entity
5providing cable service or video service pursuant to
6authorization under (i) the Cable and Video Competition Law of
72007; (ii) Section 11-42-11 of the Illinois Municipal Code;
8(iii) Section 5-1095 of the Counties Code; or (iv) a master
9antenna television, satellite master antenna television,
10direct broadcast satellite, multipoint distribution services,
11and other providers of video programming, whatever their
12technology. A cable or video provider shall not include a
13landlord providing only broadcast video programming to a
14single-family home or other residential dwelling consisting of
154 units or less.
16    "Franchise" has the same meaning as found in 47 U.S.C.
17522(9).
18    "Local unit of government" means a city, village,
19incorporated town, or a county.
20    "Normal business hours" means those hours during which
21most similar businesses in the geographic area of the local
22unit of government are open to serve customers. In all cases,
23"normal business hours" must include some evening hours at
24least one night per week or some weekend hours.
25    "Normal operating conditions" means those service
26conditions that are within the control of cable or video

 

 

HB0841- 3 -LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1providers. Those conditions that are not within the control of
2cable or video providers include, but are not limited to,
3natural disasters, civil disturbances, power outages,
4telephone network outages, and severe or unusual weather
5conditions. Those conditions that are ordinarily within the
6control of cable or video providers include, but are not
7limited to, special promotions, pay-per-view events, rate
8increases, regular peak or seasonal demand periods, and
9maintenance or upgrade of the cable service or video service
10network.
11    "Service interruption" means the loss of picture or sound
12on one or more cable service or video service on one or more
13cable or video channels.
14    "Service line drop" means the point of connection between
15a premises and the cable or video network that enables the
16premises to receive cable service or video service.
17    (a) General customer service standards:
18        (1) Cable or video providers shall establish general
19    standards related to customer service, which shall
20    include, but not be limited to, installation,
21    disconnection, service and repair obligations; appointment
22    hours and employee ID requirements; customer service
23    telephone numbers and hours; procedures for billing,
24    charges, deposits, refunds, and credits; procedures for
25    termination of service; notice of deletion of programming
26    service; changes related to transmission of programming;

 

 

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1    changes or increases in rates; the use and availability of
2    parental control or lock-out devices; the use and
3    availability of an A/B switch if applicable; complaint
4    procedures and procedures for bill dispute resolution; a
5    description of the rights and remedies available to
6    consumers if the cable or video provider does not
7    materially meet its customer service standards; and
8    special services for customers with visual, hearing, or
9    mobility disabilities.
10        (2) Cable or video providers' rates for each level of
11    service, rules, regulations, and policies related to its
12    cable service or video service described in paragraph (1)
13    of this subsection (a) must be made available to the
14    public and displayed clearly and conspicuously on the
15    cable or video provider's site on the Internet. If a
16    promotional price or a price for a specified period of
17    time is offered, the cable or video provider shall display
18    the price at the end of the promotional period or
19    specified period of time clearly and conspicuously with
20    the display of the promotional price or price for a
21    specified period of time. The cable or video provider
22    shall provide this information upon request.
23        (3) Cable or video providers shall provide notice
24    concerning their general customer service standards to all
25    customers. This notice shall be offered when service is
26    first activated and upon request thereafter. The

 

 

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1    information in the notice shall also be available on the
2    cable or video providers' websites and shall include all
3    of the information specified in paragraph (1) of this
4    subsection (a), as well as the following: a listing of
5    services offered by the cable or video providers, which
6    shall clearly describe programming for all services and
7    all levels of service; the rates for all services and
8    levels of service; a telephone number through which
9    customers may subscribe to, change, or terminate service,
10    request customer service, or seek general or billing
11    information; instructions on the use of the cable or video
12    services; and a description of rights and remedies that
13    the cable or video providers shall make available to their
14    customers if they do not materially meet the general
15    customer service standards described in this Act.
16    (b) General customer service obligations:
17        (1) Cable or video providers shall render reasonably
18    efficient service, promptly make repairs, and interrupt
19    service only as necessary and for good cause, during
20    periods of minimum use of the system and for no more than
21    24 hours.
22        (2) All service representatives or any other person
23    who contacts customers or potential customers on behalf of
24    the cable or video provider shall have a visible
25    identification card with their name and photograph and
26    shall orally identify themselves upon first contact with

 

 

HB0841- 6 -LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1    the customer. Customer service representatives shall
2    orally identify themselves to callers immediately
3    following the greeting during each telephone contact with
4    the public.
5        (3) The cable or video providers shall: (i) maintain a
6    customer service facility within the boundaries of a local
7    unit of government staffed by customer service
8    representatives that have the capacity to accept payment,
9    adjust bills, and respond to repair, installation,
10    reconnection, disconnection, or other service calls and
11    distribute or receive converter boxes, remote control
12    units, digital stereo units, or other equipment related to
13    the provision of cable or video service; (ii) provide
14    customers with bill payment facilities through retail,
15    financial, or other commercial institutions located within
16    the boundaries of a local unit of government; (iii)
17    provide an address, toll-free telephone number or
18    electronic address to accept bill payments and
19    correspondence and provide secure collection boxes for the
20    receipt of bill payments and the return of equipment,
21    provided that if a cable or video provider provides secure
22    collection boxes, it shall provide a printed receipt when
23    items are deposited; or (iv) provide an address, toll-free
24    telephone number, or electronic address to accept bill
25    payments and correspondence and provide a method for
26    customers to return equipment to the cable or video

 

 

HB0841- 7 -LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1    provider at no cost to the customer.
2        (4) In each contact with a customer, the service
3    representatives or any other person who contacts customers
4    or potential customers on behalf of the cable or video
5    provider shall state the estimated cost of the service,
6    repair, or installation orally prior to delivery of the
7    service or before any work is performed, shall provide the
8    customer with an oral statement of the total charges
9    before terminating the telephone call or other contact in
10    which a service is ordered, whether in-person or over the
11    Internet, and shall provide a written statement of the
12    total charges before leaving the location at which the
13    work was performed. In the event that the cost of service
14    is a promotional price or is for a limited period of time,
15    the cost of service at the end of the promotion or limited
16    period of time shall be disclosed.
17        (5) Cable or video providers shall provide customers a
18    minimum of 30 days' written notice before increasing rates
19    or eliminating transmission of programming and shall
20    submit the notice of any rate increase to the local unit of
21    government in advance of distribution to customers,
22    provided that the cable or video provider is not in
23    violation of this provision if the elimination of
24    transmission of programming was outside the control of the
25    provider, in which case the provider shall use reasonable
26    efforts to provide as much notice as possible, and any

 

 

HB0841- 8 -LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1    rate decrease related to the elimination of transmission
2    of programming shall be applied to the date of the change.
3        (6) Cable or video providers shall provide clear
4    visual and audio reception that meets or exceeds
5    applicable Federal Communications Commission technical
6    standards. If a customer experiences poor video or audio
7    reception due to the equipment of the cable or video
8    provider, the cable or video provider shall promptly
9    repair the problem at its own expense.
10    (c) Bills, payment, and termination:
11        (1) Cable or video providers shall render monthly
12    bills that are clear, accurate, and understandable.
13        (2) Every residential customer who pays bills directly
14    to the cable or video provider shall have at least 28 days
15    from the date of the bill to pay the listed charges.
16        (3) Customer payments shall be posted promptly. When
17    the payment is sent by United States mail, payment is
18    considered paid on the date it is postmarked.
19        (4) Cable or video providers may not terminate
20    residential service for nonpayment of a bill unless the
21    cable or video provider furnishes notice of the
22    delinquency and impending termination at least 15 days
23    prior to the proposed termination. Notice of proposed
24    termination shall be mailed, postage prepaid, to the
25    customer to whom service is billed. Notice of proposed
26    termination shall not be mailed until the 24th day after

 

 

HB0841- 9 -LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1    the date of the bill for services. Notice of delinquency
2    and impending termination may be part of a billing
3    statement only if the notice is designed to be
4    conspicuous. The cable or video providers may not assess a
5    late fee prior to the 24th day after the date of the bill
6    for service.
7        (5) Every notice of impending termination shall
8    include all of the following: the name and address of
9    customer; the amount of the delinquency; the date on which
10    payment is required to avoid termination; and the
11    telephone number of the cable or video provider's service
12    representative to make payment arrangements and to provide
13    additional information about the charges for failure to
14    return equipment and for reconnection, if any.
15        (6) Service may only be terminated on days when the
16    customer is able to reach a service representative of the
17    cable or video providers, either in person or by
18    telephone.
19        (7) Any service terminated by a cable or video
20    provider without good cause shall be restored without any
21    reconnection fee, charge, or penalty; good cause for
22    termination includes, but is not limited to, failure to
23    pay a bill by the date specified in the notice of impending
24    termination, payment by check for which there are
25    insufficient funds, theft of service, abuse of equipment
26    or personnel, or other similar subscriber actions.

 

 

HB0841- 10 -LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1        (8) Cable or video providers shall cease charging a
2    customer for any or all services within one business day
3    after it receives a request to immediately terminate
4    service or on the day requested by the customer if such a
5    date is at least 5 days from the date requested by the
6    customer. Nothing in this subsection (c) shall prohibit
7    the provider from billing for charges that the customer
8    incurs prior to the date of termination. Cable or video
9    providers shall issue a credit no later than the
10    customer's next billing cycle following the determination
11    that a credit is warranted. Cable or video providers shall
12    issue a refund or return a deposit promptly, but not later
13    than either the customer's next billing cycle following
14    resolution of the request or 30 days, whichever is
15    earlier, or the return of equipment, if any, whichever is
16    later.
17        (9) The customers or subscribers of a cable or video
18    provider shall be allowed to disconnect their service at
19    any time within the first 30 days after subscribing to or
20    upgrading the service. Within this 30-day period, cable or
21    video providers shall not charge or impose any fees or
22    penalties on the customer for disconnecting service,
23    including, but not limited to, any installation charge or
24    the imposition of an early termination charge, except the
25    cable or video provider may impose a charge or fee to
26    offset any rebates or credits received by the customer and

 

 

HB0841- 11 -LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1    may impose monthly service or maintenance charges,
2    including pay-per-view and premium services charges,
3    during such 30-day period.
4        (10) Cable or video providers shall cease charging
5    customers for modems and routers, whether rented together
6    or separately, when the customer has paid to the provider
7    the wholesale cost of the modem or router, or modem and
8    router if rented together, plus a reasonable mark-up not
9    to exceed 5% of the modem, router, or modem and router
10    wholesale cost to the provider. Cable and video providers
11    shall provide notice regarding the discontinuance of
12    rental charges to the customer in each billing statement.
13    The notice shall include a disclosure of rights and
14    responsibilities relating to the maintenance of modems and
15    routers.
16    (d) Response to customer inquiries:
17        (1) Cable or video providers will maintain a toll-free
18    telephone access line that is available to customers 24
19    hours a day, 7 days a week to accept calls regarding
20    installation, termination, service, and complaints.
21    Trained, knowledgeable, qualified service representatives
22    of the cable or video providers will be available to
23    respond to customer telephone inquiries during normal
24    business hours. Customer service representatives shall be
25    able to provide credit, waive fees, schedule appointments,
26    and change billing cycles. Any difficulties that cannot be

 

 

HB0841- 12 -LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1    resolved by the customer service representatives shall be
2    referred to a supervisor who shall make his or her best
3    efforts to resolve the issue immediately. If the
4    supervisor does not resolve the issue to the customer's
5    satisfaction, the customer shall be informed of the cable
6    or video provider's complaint procedures and procedures
7    for billing dispute resolution and given a description of
8    the rights and remedies available to customers to enforce
9    the terms of this Article, including the customer's rights
10    to have the complaint reviewed by the local unit of
11    government, to request mediation, and to review in a court
12    of competent jurisdiction.
13        (2) After normal business hours, the access line may
14    be answered by a service or an automated response system,
15    including an answering machine. Inquiries received by
16    telephone or e-mail after normal business hours shall be
17    responded to by a trained service representative on the
18    next business day. The cable or video provider shall
19    respond to a written billing inquiry within 10 days of
20    receipt of the inquiry.
21        (3) Cable or video providers shall provide customers
22    seeking non-standard installations with a total
23    installation cost estimate and an estimated date of
24    completion. The actual charge to the customer shall not
25    exceed the estimated cost without the written consent of
26    the customer.

 

 

HB0841- 13 -LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1        (4) If the cable or video provider receives notice
2    that an unsafe condition exists with respect to its
3    equipment, it shall investigate such condition immediately
4    and shall take such measures as are necessary to remove or
5    eliminate the unsafe condition. The cable or video
6    provider shall inform the local unit of government
7    promptly, but no later than 2 hours after it receives
8    notification of an unsafe condition that it has not
9    remedied.
10        (5) Under normal operating conditions, telephone
11    answer time by the cable or video provider's customer
12    representative, including wait time, shall not exceed 30
13    seconds when the connection is made. If the call needs to
14    be transferred, transfer time shall not exceed 30 seconds.
15    These standards shall be met no less than 90% of the time
16    under normal operating conditions, measured on a quarterly
17    basis. The cable or video provider shall not be required
18    to acquire equipment or perform surveys to measure
19    compliance with these telephone answering standards unless
20    an historical record of complaints indicates a clear
21    failure to comply.
22        (6) Under normal operating conditions, the cable or
23    video provider's customers will receive a busy signal less
24    than 3% of the time.
25    (e) Under normal operating conditions, each of the
26following standards related to installations, outages, and

 

 

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1service calls will be met no less than 95% of the time measured
2on a quarterly basis:
3        (1) Standard installations will be performed within 7
4    business days after an order has been placed. "Standard"
5    installations are those that are located up to 125 feet
6    from the existing distribution system.
7        (2) Excluding conditions beyond the control of the
8    cable or video providers, the cable or video providers
9    will begin working on "service interruptions" promptly and
10    in no event later than 24 hours after the interruption is
11    reported by the customer or otherwise becomes known to the
12    cable or video providers. Cable or video providers must
13    begin actions to correct other service problems the next
14    business day after notification of the service problem and
15    correct the problem.
16        (3) The "appointment window" alternatives for
17    installations, service calls, and other installation
18    activities will be either a specific time or, at a
19    maximum, a 4-hour time block during evening, weekend, and
20    normal business hours. The cable or video provider may
21    schedule service calls and other installation activities
22    outside of these hours for the express convenience of the
23    customer.
24        (4) Cable or video providers may not cancel an
25    appointment with a customer after the close of business on
26    the business day prior to the scheduled appointment. If

 

 

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1    the cable or video provider's representative is running
2    late for an appointment with a customer and will not be
3    able to keep the appointment as scheduled, the customer
4    will be contacted. The appointment will be rescheduled, as
5    necessary, at a time that is convenient for the customer,
6    even if the rescheduled appointment is not within normal
7    business hours.
8    (f) Public benefit obligation:
9        (1) All cable or video providers offering service
10    pursuant to the Cable and Video Competition Law of 2007,
11    the Illinois Municipal Code, or the Counties Code shall
12    provide a free service line drop and free basic service to
13    all current and future public buildings within their
14    footprint, including, but not limited to, all local unit
15    of government buildings, public libraries, and public
16    primary and secondary schools, whether owned or leased by
17    that local unit of government ("eligible buildings"). Such
18    service shall be used in a manner consistent with the
19    government purpose for the eligible building and shall not
20    be resold.
21        (2) This obligation only applies to those cable or
22    video service providers whose cable service or video
23    service systems pass eligible buildings and its cable or
24    video service is generally available to residential
25    subscribers in the same local unit of government in which
26    the eligible building is located. The burden of providing

 

 

HB0841- 16 -LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1    such service at each eligible building shall be shared by
2    all cable and video providers whose systems pass the
3    eligible buildings in an equitable and competitively
4    neutral manner, and nothing herein shall require
5    duplicative installations by more than one cable or video
6    provider at each eligible building. Cable or video
7    providers operating in a local unit of government shall
8    meet as necessary and determine who will provide service
9    to eligible buildings under this subsection (f). If the
10    cable or video providers are unable to reach an agreement,
11    they shall meet with the local unit of government, which
12    shall determine which cable or video providers will serve
13    each eligible building. The local unit of government shall
14    bear the costs of any inside wiring or video equipment
15    costs not ordinarily provided as part of the cable or
16    video provider's basic offering.
17    (g) After the cable or video providers have offered
18service for one year, the cable or video providers shall make
19an annual report to the Commission, to the local unit of
20government, and to the Attorney General that it is meeting the
21standards specified in this Article, identifying the number of
22complaints it received over the prior year in the State and
23specifying the number of complaints related to each of the
24following: (1) billing, charges, refunds, and credits; (2)
25installation or termination of service; (3) quality of service
26and repair; (4) programming; and (5) miscellaneous complaints

 

 

HB0841- 17 -LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1that do not fall within these categories.
2    (h) To the extent consistent with federal law, cable or
3video providers shall offer the lowest-cost basic cable or
4video service as a stand-alone service to residential
5customers at reasonable rates. Cable or video providers shall
6not require the subscription to any service other than the
7lowest-cost basic service or to any telecommunications or
8information service, as a condition of access to cable or
9video service, including programming offered on a per channel
10or per program basis. Cable or video providers shall not
11discriminate between subscribers to the lowest-cost basic
12service, subscribers to other cable services or video
13services, and other subscribers with regard to the rates
14charged for cable or video programming offered on a per
15channel or per program basis.
16    (i) To the extent consistent with federal law, cable or
17video providers shall ensure that charges for changes in the
18subscriber's selection of services or equipment shall be based
19on the cost of such change and shall not exceed nominal amounts
20when the system's configuration permits changes in service
21tier selection to be effected solely by coded entry on a
22computer terminal or by other similarly simple method.
23    (j) To the extent consistent with federal law, cable or
24video providers shall have a rate structure for the provision
25of cable or video service that is uniform throughout the area
26within the boundaries of the local unit of government. This

 

 

HB0841- 18 -LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1subsection (j) is not intended to prohibit bulk discounts to
2multiple dwelling units or to prohibit reasonable discounts to
3senior citizens or other economically disadvantaged groups.
4    (k) To the extent consistent with federal law, cable or
5video providers shall not charge a subscriber for any service
6or equipment that the subscriber has not affirmatively
7requested or affirmatively agreed to by name. For purposes of
8this subsection (k), a subscriber's failure to refuse a cable
9or video provider's proposal to provide service or equipment
10shall not be deemed to be an affirmative request for such
11service or equipment.
12    (l) No contract or service agreement containing an early
13termination clause offering residential cable or video
14services or any bundle including such services shall be for a
15term longer than 2 years. Any contract or service offering
16with a term of service that contains an early termination fee
17shall limit the early termination fee to not more than the
18value of any additional goods or services provided with the
19cable or video services, the amount of the discount reflected
20in the price for cable services or video services for the
21period during which the consumer benefited from the discount,
22or a declining fee based on the remainder of the contract term.
23    (m) Cable or video providers shall not discriminate in the
24provision of services for the hearing and visually impaired,
25and shall comply with the accessibility requirements of 47
26U.S.C. 613. Cable or video providers shall deliver and pick-up

 

 

HB0841- 19 -LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1or provide customers with pre-paid shipping and packaging for
2the return of converters and other necessary equipment at the
3home of customers with disabilities. Cable or video providers
4shall provide free use of a converter or remote control unit to
5mobility impaired customers.
6    (n)(1) To the extent consistent with federal law, cable or
7video providers shall comply with the provisions of 47 U.S.C.
8532(h) and (j). The cable or video providers shall not
9exercise any editorial control over any video programming
10provided pursuant to this Section, or in any other way
11consider the content of such programming, except that a cable
12or video provider may refuse to transmit any leased access
13program or portion of a leased access program that contains
14obscenity, indecency, or nudity and may consider such content
15to the minimum extent necessary to establish a reasonable
16price for the commercial use of designated channel capacity by
17an unaffiliated person. This subsection (n) shall permit cable
18or video providers to enforce prospectively a written and
19published policy of prohibiting programming that the cable or
20video provider reasonably believes describes or depicts sexual
21or excretory activities or organs in a patently offensive
22manner as measured by contemporary community standards.
23        (2) Upon customer request, the cable or video provider
24    shall, without charge, fully scramble or otherwise fully
25    block the audio and video programming of each channel
26    carrying such programming so that a person who is not a

 

 

HB0841- 20 -LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1    subscriber does not receive the channel or programming.
2        (3) In providing sexually explicit adult programming
3    or other programming that is indecent on any channel of
4    its service primarily dedicated to sexually oriented
5    programming, the cable or video provider shall fully
6    scramble or otherwise fully block the video and audio
7    portion of such channel so that a person who is not a
8    subscriber to such channel or programming does not receive
9    it.
10        (4) Scramble means to rearrange the content of the
11    signal of the programming so that the programming cannot
12    be viewed or heard in an understandable manner.
13    (o) Cable or video providers will maintain a listing,
14specific to the level of street address, of the areas where its
15cable or video services are available. Customers who inquire
16about purchasing cable or video service shall be informed
17about whether the cable or video provider's cable or video
18services are currently available to them at their specific
19location.
20    (p) Cable or video providers shall not disclose the name,
21address, telephone number or other personally identifying
22information of a cable service or video service customer to be
23used in mailing lists or to be used for other commercial
24purposes not reasonably related to the conduct of its business
25unless the cable or video provider has provided to the
26customer a notice, separately or included in any other

 

 

HB0841- 21 -LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1customer service notice, that clearly and conspicuously
2describes the customer's ability to prohibit the disclosure.
3Cable or video providers shall provide an address and
4telephone number for a customer to use without a toll charge to
5prevent disclosure of the customer's name and address in
6mailing lists or for other commercial purposes not reasonably
7related to the conduct of its business to other businesses or
8affiliates of the cable or video provider. Cable or video
9providers shall comply with the consumer privacy requirements
10of Section 26-4.5 of the Criminal Code of 2012, the Restricted
11Call Registry Act, and 47 U.S.C. 551 that are in effect as of
12June 30, 2007 (the effective date of Public Act 95-9) and as
13amended thereafter.
14    (q) Cable or video providers shall implement an informal
15process for handling inquiries from local units of government
16and customers concerning billing issues, service issues,
17privacy concerns, and other consumer complaints. In the event
18that an issue is not resolved through this informal process, a
19local unit of government or the customer may request
20nonbinding mediation with the cable or video provider, with
21each party to bear its own costs of such mediation. Selection
22of the mediator will be by mutual agreement, and preference
23will be given to mediation services that do not charge the
24consumer for their services. In the event that the informal
25process does not produce a satisfactory result to the customer
26or the local unit of government, enforcement may be pursued as

 

 

HB0841- 22 -LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1provided in subdivision (4) of subsection (r) of this Section.
2    (r) The Attorney General and the local unit of government
3may enforce all of the customer service and privacy protection
4standards of this Section with respect to complaints received
5from residents within the local unit of government's
6jurisdiction, but it may not adopt or seek to enforce any
7additional or different customer service or performance
8standards under any other authority or provision of law.
9        (1) The local unit of government may, by ordinance,
10    provide a schedule of penalties for any material breach of
11    this Section by cable or video providers in addition to
12    the penalties provided herein. No monetary penalties shall
13    be assessed for a material breach if it is out of the
14    reasonable control of the cable or video providers or its
15    affiliate. Monetary penalties adopted in an ordinance
16    pursuant to this Section shall apply on a competitively
17    neutral basis to all providers of cable service or video
18    service within the local unit of government's
19    jurisdiction. In no event shall the penalties imposed
20    under this subsection (r) exceed $750 for each day of the
21    material breach, and these penalties shall not exceed
22    $25,000 for each occurrence of a material breach per
23    customer.
24        (2) For purposes of this Section, "material breach"
25    means any substantial failure of a cable or video service
26    provider to comply with service quality and other

 

 

HB0841- 23 -LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1    standards specified in any provision of this Act. The
2    Attorney General or the local unit of government shall
3    give the cable or video provider written notice of any
4    alleged material breaches of this Act and allow such
5    provider at least 30 days from receipt of the notice to
6    remedy the specified material breach.
7        (3) A material breach, for the purposes of assessing
8    penalties, shall be deemed to have occurred for each day
9    that a material breach has not been remedied by the cable
10    service or video service provider after the expiration of
11    the period specified in subdivision (2) of this subsection
12    (r) in each local unit of government's jurisdiction,
13    irrespective of the number of customers affected.
14        (4) Any customer, the Attorney General, or a local
15    unit of government may pursue alleged violations of this
16    Act by the cable or video provider in a court of competent
17    jurisdiction. A cable or video provider may seek judicial
18    review of a decision of a local unit of government
19    imposing penalties in a court of competent jurisdiction.
20    No local unit of government shall be subject to suit for
21    damages or other relief based upon its action in
22    connection with its enforcement or review of any of the
23    terms, conditions, and rights contained in this Act except
24    a court may require the return of any penalty it finds was
25    not properly assessed or imposed.
26    (s) Cable or video providers shall credit customers for

 

 

HB0841- 24 -LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1violations in the amounts stated herein. The credits shall be
2applied on the statement issued to the customer for the next
3monthly billing cycle following the violation or following the
4discovery of the violation. Cable or video providers are
5responsible for providing the credits described herein and the
6customer is under no obligation to request the credit. If the
7customer is no longer taking service from the cable or video
8provider, the credit amount will be refunded to the customer
9by check within 30 days of the termination of service. A local
10unit of government may, by ordinance, adopt a schedule of
11credits payable directly to customers for breach of the
12customer service standards and obligations contained in this
13Article, provided the schedule of customer credits applies on
14a competitively neutral basis to all providers of cable
15service or video service in the local unit of government's
16jurisdiction and the credits are not greater than the credits
17provided in this Section.
18        (1) Failure to keep an appointment or to notify the
19    customer prior to the close of business on the business
20    day prior to the scheduled appointment: $25.00.
21        (2) Violation of customer service and billing
22    standards in subsections (c) and (d) of this Section:
23    $25.00 per occurrence.
24        (3) Violation of the bundling rules in subsection (h)
25    of this Section: $25.00 per month.
26    (t) The enforcement powers granted to the Attorney General

 

 

HB0841- 25 -LRB102 13418 SPS 18762 b

1in Article XXI of this Act shall apply to this Article, except
2that the Attorney General may not seek penalties for violation
3of this Article other than in the amounts specified herein.
4Nothing in this Section shall limit or affect the powers of the
5Attorney General to enforce the provisions of Article XXI of
6this Act or the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business
7Practices Act.
8    (u) This Article applies to all cable and video providers
9in the State, including but not limited to those operating
10under a local franchise as that term is used in 47 U.S.C.
11522(9), those operating under authorization pursuant to
12Section 11-42-11 of the Illinois Municipal Code, those
13operating under authorization pursuant to Section 5-1095 of
14the Counties Code, and those operating under a State-issued
15authorization pursuant to Article XXI of this Act.
16(Source: P.A. 97-1108, eff. 1-1-13; 97-1150, eff. 1-25-13;
1798-45, eff. 6-28-13.)