§ 64.23. Standardizing LEC responses to customer contacts alleging unauthorized charges added to the customer’s bill (cramming) and unauthorized changes to the customer’s long distance carrier (slamming).

 (a)  Cramming. Upon contact from a customer alleging that cramming has occurred on the bill rendered to the customer by the LEC, the LEC shall do the following:

   (1)  Identify the charges, and clarify that the customer’s complaint is that the customer did not authorize the charges or order or use the services or products associated with the charges.

   (2)  Inform the customer that the charges will be removed from the LEC bill and that basic local service cannot be disconnected for failure to pay cramming charges.

   (3)  Inform the customer that the LEC will instruct the billing agent or service provider, or both, to take the steps necessary to prevent further billing of those charges or types of charges to the customer’s account.

   (4)  Inform the customer that removal of the charges from the LEC bill does not guarantee that the service provider or its billing agent will not use other collection remedies, including direct billing of the removed charges or use of a collection agency.

   (5)  Provide notice of a customer’s right to pursue a complaint. To customers who indicate a desire to receive complaint disclosure information, the LEC shall provide information about how to pursue the complaint against the service provider or billing agent by contacting the Bureau of Consumer Protection, (800) 441-2555, of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the Federal Trade Commission.

   (6)  Maintain for a minimum of 3 years records of all customer complaints of cramming in order to monitor adherence to the terms of the billing contract the LEC has with the service provider or billing agent, or both, relating to cancellation of the contract for excessive cramming complaints.

 (b)  Slamming. Upon contact from a customer alleging that slamming has occurred on one or both of the past two bills rendered to the customer by the LEC, regardless of dates of charges, the LEC shall do the following:

   (1)  Identify the name of the alleged unauthorized service provider, isolate the charge, and clarify that the customer’s complaint is that the customer did not authorize the switch to that particular service provider.

   (2)  Offer to restore the customer’s account, at no charge, to the service provider the customer had received service from prior to the unauthorized switch, and inform the customer of the option to request that a safeguard be placed on the customer’s account to prevent the LEC from processing a service provider request for a switch without the LEC obtaining express consent from the customer, consistent with FCC rules or procedures for lifting preferred carrier freezes.

   (3)  Inform the customer that the isolated charges will be removed from the LEC bill.

   (4)  Inform the customer that the LEC will instruct the service provider or billing agent, or both, to take the steps necessary to prevent further billing to the customer’s account.

   (5)  Inform the customer that removal of the charges from the LEC bill does not guarantee that the service provider or its billing agent will not use other collection remedies, including direct billing of the charges or use of a collection agency.

   (6)  Provide notice of a customer’s right to pursue a complaint against the service provider or billing agent and, to customers who indicate a desire to receive complaint disclosure information, information about how to pursue a complaint against the service provider or billing agent, or both, by contacting the FCC, the Commission or the Bureau of Consumer Protection, (800) 441-2555, of the Office of Attorney General.

   (7)  Maintain for a minimum of 3 years records of all customer allegations of slamming.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  64.23 issued under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  501, 504—506, 1301 and 1501.

Source

   The provisions of this §  64.23 adopted February 2, 2001, effective February 3, 2001, 31 Pa.B. 641; amended December 15, 2006, effective December 16, 2006, 36 Pa.B. 7558. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (296548) and (310305) to (310306).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  63.309 (relating to acquiring LSP provisions and obligations).



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