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(220 ILCS 5/13-902)
(Section scheduled to be repealed on December 31, 2026)
Authorization and verification of a subscriber's change in
(a) Definitions; scope.
(1) "Submitting carrier" means any telecommunications
carrier that requests on behalf of a subscriber that the subscriber's telecommunications carrier be changed and seeks to provide retail services to the end user subscriber.
(2) "Executing carrier" means any telecommunications
carrier that effects a request that a subscriber's telecommunications carrier be changed.
(3) "Authorized carrier" means any telecommunications
carrier that submits a change, on behalf of a subscriber, in the subscriber's selection of a provider of telecommunications service with the subscriber's authorization verified in accordance with the procedures specified in this Section.
(4) "Unauthorized carrier" means any
telecommunications carrier that submits a change, on behalf of a subscriber, in the subscriber's selection of a provider of telecommunications service but fails to obtain the subscriber's authorization verified in accordance with the procedures specified in this Section.
(5) "Unauthorized change" means a change in a
subscriber's selection of a provider of telecommunications service that was made without authorization verified in accordance with the verification procedures specified in this Section.
(6) "Subscriber" means:
(A) the party identified in the account records
of a common carrier as responsible for payment of the telephone bill;
(B) any adult person authorized by such party to
change telecommunications services or to charge services to the account; or
(C) any person contractually or otherwise
lawfully authorized to represent such party.
This Section does not apply to retail business subscribers served by
more than 20 lines.
(b) Authorization from the subscriber. "Authorization" means an express,
act by a subscriber agreeing to the change in the subscriber's
telecommunications carrier to
another carrier. A subscriber's telecommunications service shall be provided
telecommunications carrier selected by the subscriber.
(c) Authorization and verification of orders for telecommunications service.
(1) No telecommunications carrier shall submit or
execute a change on behalf of a subscriber in the subscriber's selection of a provider of telecommunications service except in accordance with the procedures prescribed in this subsection.
(2) No submitting carrier shall submit a change on
the behalf of a subscriber in the subscriber's selection of a provider of telecommunications service prior to obtaining:
(A) authorization from the subscriber; and
(B) verification of that authorization in
accordance with the procedures prescribed in this Section.
The submitting carrier shall maintain and preserve
records of verification of subscriber authorization for a minimum period of 2
years after obtaining such verification.
(3) An executing carrier shall not verify the
submission of a change in a subscriber's selection of a provider of telecommunications service received from a submitting carrier. For an executing carrier, compliance with the procedures described in this Section shall be defined as prompt execution, without any unreasonable delay, of changes that have been verified by a submitting carrier.
(4) Commercial mobile radio services (CMRS) providers
shall be excluded from the verification requirements of this Section as long as they are not required to provide equal access to common carriers for the provision of telephone toll services, in accordance with 47 U.S.C. 332(c)(8).
(5) Where a telecommunications carrier is selling
more than one type of telecommunications service (e.g., local exchange, intraLATA/intrastate toll, interLATA/interstate toll, and international toll), that carrier must obtain separate authorization from the subscriber for each service sold, although the authorizations may be made within the same solicitation. Each authorization must be verified separately from any other authorizations obtained in the same solicitation. Each authorization must be verified in accordance with the verification procedures prescribed in this Section.
(6) No telecommunications carrier shall submit a
preferred carrier change order unless and until the order has been confirmed in accordance with one of the following procedures:
(A) The telecommunications carrier has obtained
the subscriber's written or electronically signed authorization in a form that meets the requirements of subsection (d).
(B) The telecommunications carrier has obtained
the subscriber's electronic authorization to submit the preferred carrier change order. Such authorization must be placed from the telephone number or numbers on which the preferred carrier is to be changed and must confirm the information in subsections (b) and (c) of this Section. Telecommunications carriers electing to confirm sales electronically shall establish one or more toll-free telephone numbers exclusively for that purpose. Calls to the toll-free telephone numbers must connect a subscriber to a voice response unit, or similar mechanism, that records the required information regarding the preferred carrier change, including automatically recording the originating automatic number identification.
(C) An appropriately qualified independent third
party has obtained, in accordance with the procedures set forth in paragraphs (7) through (10) of this subsection, the subscriber's oral authorization to submit the preferred carrier change order that confirms and includes appropriate verification data. The independent third party must not be owned, managed, controlled, or directed by the carrier or the carrier's marketing agent; must not have any financial incentive to confirm preferred carrier change orders for the carrier or the carrier's marketing agent; and must operate in a location physically separate from the carrier or the carrier's marketing agent.
(7) Methods of third party verification. Automated
third party verification systems and three-way conference calls may be used for verification purposes so long as the requirements of paragraphs (8) through (10) of this subsection are satisfied.
(8) Carrier initiation of third party verification. A
carrier or a carrier's sales representative initiating a three-way conference call or a call through an automated verification system must drop off the call once the three-way connection has been established.
(9) Requirements for content and format of third
party verification. All third party verification methods shall elicit, at a minimum, the identity of the subscriber; confirmation that the person on the call is authorized to make the carrier change; confirmation that the person on the call wants to make the carrier change; the names of the carriers affected by the change; the telephone numbers to be switched; and the types of service involved. Third party verifiers may not market the carrier's services by providing additional information, including information regarding preferred carrier freeze procedures.
(10) Other requirements for third party verification.
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. In accordance with the procedures set forth in paragraph (2)(B) of this subsection, submitting carriers shall maintain and preserve audio records of verification of subscriber authorization for a minimum period of 2 years after obtaining such verification. Automated systems must provide consumers with an option to speak with a live person at any time during the call.
(11) Telecommunications carriers must provide
subscribers the option of using one of the authorization and verification procedures specified in paragraph (6) of this subsection in addition to an electronically signed authorization and verification procedure under paragraph (6)(A) of this subsection.
(d) Letter of agency form and content.
(1) A telecommunications carrier may use a written or
electronically signed letter of agency to obtain authorization or verification, or both, of a subscriber's request to change his or her preferred carrier selection. A letter of agency that does not conform with this Section is invalid for purposes of this Section.
(2) The letter of agency shall be a separate document
(or an easily separable document) or located on a separate screen or webpage containing only the authorizing language described in paragraph (5) of this subsection having the sole purpose of authorizing a telecommunications carrier to initiate a preferred carrier change. The letter of agency must be signed and dated by the subscriber to the telephone line or lines requesting the preferred carrier change.
(3) The letter of agency shall not be combined on the
same document, screen, or webpage with inducements of any kind.
(4) Notwithstanding paragraphs (2) and (3) of this
subsection, the letter of agency may be combined with checks that contain only the required letter of agency language as prescribed in paragraph (5) of this subsection 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 front of the check, a notice that the subscriber is authorizing a preferred carrier change by signing the check. The letter of agency language 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 type of sufficient size and readability to be clearly legible and must contain clear and unambiguous language that confirms:
(A) The subscriber's billing name and address and
each telephone number to be covered by the preferred carrier change order;
(B) The decision to change the preferred carrier
from the current telecommunications carrier to the soliciting telecommunications carrier;
(C) That the subscriber designates (insert the
name of the submitting carrier) to act as the subscriber's agent for the preferred carrier change;
(D) That the subscriber understands that only one
telecommunications carrier may be designated as the subscriber's interstate or interLATA preferred interexchange carrier for any one telephone number. To the extent that a jurisdiction allows the selection of additional preferred carriers (e.g., local exchange, intraLATA/intrastate toll, interLATA/interstate toll, or international interexchange) the letter of agency must contain separate statements regarding those choices, although a separate letter of agency for each choice is not necessary; and
(E) That the subscriber may consult with the
carrier as to whether a fee will apply to the change in the subscriber's preferred carrier.
(6) Any carrier designated in a letter of agency as a
preferred carrier must be the carrier directly setting the rates for the subscriber.
(7) Letters of agency shall not suggest or require
that a subscriber take some action in order to retain the subscriber's current telecommunications carrier.
(8) 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. Every letter of agency must be translated into the same language as any promotional materials, oral descriptions, or instructions provided with the letter of agency.
(9) Letters of agency submitted with an
electronically signed authorization must include the consumer disclosures required by Section 101(c) of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.
(10) A telecommunications carrier shall submit a
preferred carrier change order on behalf of a subscriber within no more than 60 days after obtaining a written or electronically signed letter of agency.
(11) If a telecommunications carrier uses a letter of
agency, the carrier shall send a letter to the subscriber using first class mail, postage prepaid, no later than 10 days after the telecommunications carrier submitting the change in the subscriber's telecommunications carrier is on notice that the change has occurred. The letter must inform the subscriber of the details of the telecommunications carrier change and provide the subscriber with a toll free number to call should the subscriber wish to cancel the change.
(e) A switch in a subscriber's selection of a provider of telecommunications
complies with the rules promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission
amendments thereto shall be deemed to be in compliance with the provisions of
(f) The Commission shall promulgate any rules necessary to administer this
The rules promulgated under this Section shall comport with the rules, if any,
the Attorney General pursuant to the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business
and with any rules promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission.
(g) Complaints may be filed with the Commission under this Section by a
whose telecommunications service has been provided by an unauthorized
carrier as a result of an unreasonable delay, by a subscriber whose
has been changed to another telecommunications carrier in a manner not in
by a subscriber's authorized telecommunications carrier that has been removed
subscriber's telecommunications carrier in a manner not in compliance with this
authorized submitting carrier whose change order was delayed unreasonably, or
Commission on its own motion. Upon filing of the complaint, the parties may
to submit the complaint to the Commission's established mediation process.
Remedies in the
mediation process may include, but shall not be limited to, the remedies set
forth in this
subsection. In its discretion, the Commission may deny the availability of the
process and submit the complaint to hearings. If the complaint is not
submitted to mediation
or if no agreement is reached during the mediation process, hearings shall be
held on the
complaint. If, after notice and hearing, the Commission finds that a
has violated this Section or a rule promulgated under this Section, the
Commission may in its
discretion do any one or more of the following:
(1) Require the violating telecommunications carrier
to refund to the subscriber all fees and charges collected from the subscriber for services up to the time the subscriber receives written notice of the fact that the violating carrier is providing telecommunications service to the subscriber, including notice on the subscriber's bill. For unreasonable delays wherein telecommunications service is provided by an unauthorized carrier, the Commission may require the violating carrier to refund to the subscriber all fees and charges collected from the subscriber during the unreasonable delay. The Commission may order the remedial action outlined in this subsection only to the extent that the same remedial action is allowed pursuant to rules or regulations promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission.
(2) Require the violating telecommunications carrier
to refund to the subscriber charges collected in excess of those that would have been charged by the subscriber's authorized telecommunications carrier.
(3) Require the violating telecommunications carrier
to pay to the subscriber's authorized telecommunications carrier the amount the authorized telecommunications carrier would have collected for the telecommunications service. The Commission is authorized to reduce this payment by any amount already paid by the violating telecommunications carrier to the subscriber's authorized telecommunications carrier for those telecommunications services.
(4) Require the violating telecommunications carrier
to pay a fine of up to $1,000 into the Public Utility Fund for each repeated and intentional violation of this Section.
(5) Issue a cease and desist order.
(6) For a pattern of violation of this Section or for
intentionally violating a cease and desist order, revoke the violating telecommunications carrier's certificate of service authority.
(Source: P.A. 100-20, eff. 7-1-17