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220 ILCS 5/13-903

    (220 ILCS 5/13-903)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on December 31, 2026)
    Sec. 13-903. Authorization, verification or notification, and dispute resolution for covered product and service charges on the telephone bill.
    (a) Definitions. As used in this Section:
        (1) "Subscriber" means a telecommunications carrier's
retail business customer served by not more than 20 lines or a retail residential customer.
        (2) "Telecommunications carrier" has the meaning
given in Section 13-202 of the Public Utilities Act and includes agents and employees of a telecommunications carrier, except that "telecommunications carrier" does not include a provider of commercial mobile radio services (as defined by 47 U.S.C. 332(d)(1)).
    (b) Applicability of Section. This Section does not apply to:
        (1) changes in a subscriber's local exchange
telecommunications service or interexchange telecommunications service;
        (2) message telecommunications 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 call detail record to establish the billing for the call or service; and
        (3) telecommunications services available on a
subscriber's line when the subscriber activates and pays for the services on a per use basis.
    (c) Requirements for billing authorized charges. A telecommunications carrier shall meet all of the following requirements before submitting charges for any product or service to be billed on any subscriber's telephone bill:
        (1) Inform the subscriber. The telecommunications
carrier offering the product or service must thoroughly inform the subscriber of the product or service being offered, including all associated charges, and explicitly inform the subscriber that the associated charges for the product or service will appear on the subscriber's telephone bill.
        (2) Obtain subscriber authorization. The subscriber
must have clearly and explicitly consented to obtaining the product or service offered and to having the associated charges appear on the subscriber's telephone bill. The consent must be verified by the service provider in accordance with subsection (d) of this Section. A record of the consent must be maintained by the telecommunications carrier offering the product or service for at least 24 months immediately after the consent and verification were obtained.
    (d) Verification or notification. Except in subscriber-initiated transactions with a certificated telecommunications carrier for which the telecommunications carrier has the appropriate documentation, the telecommunications carrier, after obtaining the subscriber's authorization in the required manner, shall either verify the authorization or notify the subscriber as follows:
        (1) Independent third-party verification:
            (A) Verification shall be obtained by an
independent third party that:
                (i) operates from a facility physically
separate from that of the telecommunications carrier;
                (ii) is not directly or indirectly managed,
controlled, directed, or owned wholly or in part by the telecommunications carrier or the carrier's marketing agent; and
                (iii) does not derive commissions or
compensation based upon the number of sales confirmed.
            (B) The third-party verification agent shall
state, and shall obtain the subscriber's acknowledgment of, the following disclosures:
                (i) the subscriber's name, address, and the
telephone numbers of all telephone lines that will be charged for the product or service of the telecommunications carrier;
                (ii) that the person speaking to the third
party verification agent is in fact the subscriber;
                (iii) that the subscriber wishes to purchase
the product or service of the telecommunications carrier and is agreeing to do so;
                (iv) that the subscriber understands that the
charges for the product or service of the telecommunications carrier will appear on the subscriber's telephone bill; and
                (v) the name and customer service telephone
number of the telecommunications carrier.
            (C) The telecommunications carrier shall retain,
electronically or otherwise, proof of the verification of sales for a minimum of 24 months.
        (2) Notification. Written notification shall be
provided as follows:
            (A) the telecommunications carrier shall mail a
letter to the subscriber using first class mail, postage prepaid, no later than 10 days after initiation of the product or service;
            (B) the letter shall be a separate document sent
for the sole purpose of describing the product or service of the telecommunications carrier;
            (C) the letter shall be printed with 10-point or
larger type and clearly and conspicuously disclose the material terms and conditions of the offer of the telecommunications carrier, as described in paragraph (1) of subsection (c);
            (D) the letter shall contain a toll-free
telephone number the subscriber can call to cancel the product or service;
            (E) the telecommunications carrier shall retain,
electronically or otherwise, proof of written notification for a minimum of 24 months; and
            (F) written notification can be provided via
electronic mail if consumers are given the disclosures required by Section 101(c) of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.
    (e) Unauthorized charges.
        (1) Responsibilities of the billing
telecommunications carrier for unauthorized charges. If a subscriber's telephone bill is charged for any product or service without proper subscriber authorization and verification or notification of authorization in compliance with this Section, the telecommunications carrier that billed the subscriber, on its knowledge or notification of any unauthorized charge, shall promptly, but not later than 45 days after the date of the knowledge or notification of an unauthorized charge:
            (A) notify the product or service provider to
immediately cease charging the subscriber for the unauthorized product or service;
            (B) remove the unauthorized charge from the
subscriber's bill; and
            (C) refund or credit to the subscriber all money
that the subscriber has paid for any unauthorized charge.
    (f) The Commission shall promulgate any rules necessary to ensure that subscribers are not billed on the telephone bill for products or services in a manner not in compliance with this Section. The rules promulgated under this Section shall comport with the rules, if any, promulgated by the Attorney General pursuant to the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and with any rules promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission or Federal Trade Commission.
    (g) Complaints may be filed with the Commission under this Section by a subscriber who has been billed on the telephone bill for products or services not in compliance with this Section or by the Commission on its own motion. Upon filing of the complaint, the parties may mutually agree 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 paragraphs (1) through (4) of this subsection. In its discretion, the Commission may deny the availability of the mediation 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 pursuant to Article X of this Act. If after notice and hearing, the Commission finds that a telecommunications carrier has violated this Section or a rule promulgated under this Section, the Commission may in its discretion order any one or more of the following:
        (1) 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.
        (2) Require the violating carrier to refund or cancel
all charges for products or services not billed in compliance with this Section.
        (3) Issue a cease and desist order.
        (4) 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.)