Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB5211
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Full Text of HB5211  97th General Assembly




HB5211 EnrolledLRB097 18755 JLS 63990 b

1    AN ACT concerning business.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business
5Practices Act is amended by changing Section 2HHH as follows:
6    (815 ILCS 505/2HHH)
7    Sec. 2HHH. Product Authorization and verification for
8product and service charges to be billed on a telephone bill
10    (a) Definitions. For purposes of this Section:
11    "Billing agent" means a person that submits charges for
12services or goods to a telecommunications carrier on behalf of
13a third-party vendor.
14    "Third-party vendor" means an entity not affiliated with a
15telecommunications carrier that sells services or goods to a
17    "Telecommunications carrier" has the same meaning as
18defined in Section 13-202 of the Public Utilities Act.
19    (b) A third-party vendor shall not bill, directly or
20through an intermediary, a consumer for goods or services that
21will appear as a charge on a consumer's telephone bill.
22    (c) A billing agent, on behalf of a third-party vendor,
23shall not submit, directly or through an intermediary, a charge



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1to a telecommunications carrier for goods or services that will
2appear as a charge on a consumer's telephone bill.
3    (d) Any person who violates this Section commits an
4unlawful practice within the meaning of this Act.
5    (e) This Section does not apply to:
6        (1) services or goods provided by a telecommunications
7    carrier subject to the provisions of Section 13-903 of the
8    Public Utilities Act;
9        (2) services or goods sold by any affiliate of the
10    telecommunications carrier issuing the bill to the
11    consumer;
12        (3) services or goods sold by any third-party vendor
13    that has a direct contractual arrangement for the joint or
14    cooperative sale of such services or goods with the
15    telecommunications carrier issuing the bill to the
16    consumer; provided however, that the telecommunications
17    carrier issuing the bill to the consumer shall be
18    responsible for assuring that such services or goods are
19    not sold without the informed authorization of the
20    consumer;
21        (4) wireless services, as described in Section 13-804
22    of the Public Utilities Act and any other services or goods
23    billed by or through a provider of wireless services;
24        (5) message telecommunications services that are
25    initiated by dialing 1+, 0+, 0-, or 1010XXX and calls that
26    are subject to the Pay-Per-Call Services Consumer



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1    Protection Act; or
2        (6) contributions to any charitable organization
3    subject to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
4    "Billing agent" means any entity that submits charges to
5the billing carrier on behalf of itself or any service
7    "Billing carrier" means any telecommunications carrier, as
8defined in Section 13-202 of the Public Utilities Act, that
9issues a bill directly to a customer for any product or service
10not provided by a telecommunications carrier.
11    "Service provider" means any entity that offers a product
12or service to a consumer and that directly or indirectly
13charges to or collects from a consumer's bill received from a
14billing carrier an amount for the product or service.
15    (b) This Section does not apply to the provision of
16services and products by a telecommunications carrier subject
17to the provisions of Section 13-903 of the Public Utilities
18Act, by a telecommunications carrier's affiliates, or an
19affiliated cable or video provider, as that term is defined in
20Section 22-501 of the Public Utilities Act, or by a provider of
21public mobile services, as defined in Section 13-214 of the
22Public Utilities Act.
23    (c) Requirements for submitting charges.
24        (1) A service provider or billing agent may submit
25    charges for a product or service to be billed on a
26    consumer's telephone bill on or after the effective date of



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1    this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly only if:
2            (A) the service provider offering the product or
3        service has clearly and conspicuously disclosed all
4        material terms and conditions of the product or service
5        being offered, including, but not limited to, all
6        charges; and the fact that the charges for the product
7        or service shall appear on the consumer's telephone
8        bill;
9            (B) after the clear and conspicuous disclosure of
10        all material terms and conditions as described in
11        paragraph (A) of this item (1), the consumer has
12        expressly consented to obtain the product or service
13        offered and to have the charges appear on the
14        consumer's telephone bill and the consent has been
15        verified as provided in item (2) of this subsection
16        (c);
17            (C) the service provider offering the product or
18        service or any billing agent for the service provider
19        has provided the consumer with a toll-free telephone
20        number the consumer may call and an address to which
21        the consumer may write to resolve any billing dispute
22        and to answer questions; and
23            (D) the service provider offering the product or
24        service or the billing agent has taken effective steps
25        to determine that the consumer who purportedly
26        consented to obtain the product or service offered is



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1        authorized to incur charges for the telephone number to
2        be billed.
3        (2) The consumer consent required by item (1) of this
4    subsection (c) must be verified by the service provider
5    offering the product or service before any charges are
6    submitted for billing on a consumer's telephone bill. A
7    record of the consumer consent and verification must be
8    maintained by the service provider offering the product or
9    service for a period of at least 24 months immediately
10    after the consent and verification have been obtained. The
11    method of obtaining consumer consent and verification must
12    include one or more of the following:
13            (A) A writing signed and dated by the consumer to
14        be billed that clearly and conspicuously discloses the
15        material terms and conditions of the product or service
16        being offered in accordance with paragraph (A) of item
17        (1) of this subsection (c) and clearly and
18        conspicuously states that the consumer expressly
19        consents to be billed in accordance with paragraph (B)
20        of item (1) of this subsection (c) as follows:
21                (i) if the writing is in electronic form, then
22            it shall contain the consumer disclosures required
23            by Section 101(c) of the federal Electronic
24            Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act;
25            and
26                (ii) the writing shall be a separate document



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1            or easily separable document or located on a
2            separate screen or webpage containing only the
3            disclosures and consent described in item (1) of
4            this subsection (c).
5            (B) Third party verification by an independent
6        third party that:
7                (i) clearly and conspicuously discloses to the
8            consumer to be billed all of the information
9            required by paragraph (A) of item (1) of this
10            subsection (c);
11                (ii) operates from a facility physically
12            separate from that of the service provider
13            offering the product or service;
14                (iii) is not directly or indirectly managed,
15            controlled, directed, or owned wholly or in part by
16            the service provider offering the product or
17            service;
18                (iv) does not derive commissions or
19            compensation based upon the number of sales
20            confirmed;
21                (v) tape records the entire verification
22            process, with prior consent of the consumer to be
23            billed; and
24                (vi) obtains confirmation from the consumer to
25            be billed that he or she authorized the purchase of
26            the offered good or service.



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1            (C) All verifications must be conducted in the same
2        language that was used in the underlying sales
3        transaction.
4        (3) Unless verification is required by federal law or
5    rules implementing federal law, item (2) of this subsection
6    (c) does not apply to customer-initiated transactions with
7    a certificated telecommunications carrier for which the
8    service provider has the appropriate documentation.
9        (4) This Section does not apply to message
10    telecommunications service charges that are initiated by
11    dialing 1+, 0+, 0-, 1010XXX, or collect calls and charges
12    for video services if the service provider has the
13    necessary records to establish the billing for the call or
14    service.
15    (d) Records of disputed charges.
16        (1) Every service provider or billing agent shall
17    maintain records of every disputed charge for a product or
18    service placed on a consumer's bill.
19        (2) The record required under this subsection (d) shall
20    contain for every disputed charge all of the following:
21            (A) any affected telephone numbers and, if
22        available, addresses;
23            (B) the date the consumer requested that the
24        disputed charge be removed from the consumer's bill;
25            (C) the date the disputed charge was removed from
26        the consumer's telephone bill; and



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1            (D) the date action was taken to refund or credit
2        to the consumer any money that the consumer paid for
3        the disputed charges.
4        (3) The record required by this subsection (d) shall be
5    maintained for at least 24 months.
6    (e) Billing agents shall take reasonable steps designed to
7ensure that service providers on whose behalf they submit
8charges to a billing carrier comply with the requirements of
9this Section.
10    (f) Any service provider or billing agent who violates this
11Section commits an unlawful practice within the meaning of this
13(Source: P.A. 96-827, eff. 11-30-09.)
14    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect January
151, 2013.