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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of April 17, 2014

Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 64—MISCELLANEOUS RULES RELATING TO COMMON CARRIERS


Subpart K—Changes in Preferred Telecommunications Service Providers


Contents
§64.1100   Definitions.
§64.1110   State notification of election to administer FCC rules.
§64.1120   Verification of orders for telecommunications service.
§64.1130   Letter of agency form and content.
§64.1140   Carrier liability for slamming.
§64.1150   Procedures for resolution of unauthorized changes in preferred carrier.
§64.1160   Absolution procedures where the subscriber has not paid charges.
§64.1170   Reimbursement procedures where the subscriber has paid charges.
§64.1190   Preferred carrier freezes.
§64.1195   Registration requirement.

§64.1100   Definitions.

(a) The term submitting carrier is generally any telecommunications carrier that requests on the behalf of a subscriber that the subscriber's telecommunications carrier be changed, and seeks to provide retail services to the end user subscriber. A carrier may be treated as a submitting carrier, however, if it is responsible for any unreasonable delays in the submission of carrier change requests or for the submission of unauthorized carrier change requests, including fraudulent authorizations.

(b) The term executing carrier is generally any telecommunications carrier that effects a request that a subscriber's telecommunications carrier be changed. A carrier may be treated as an executing carrier, however, if it is responsible for any unreasonable delays in the execution of carrier changes or for the execution of unauthorized carrier changes, including fraudulent authorizations.

(c) The term authorized carrier is generally 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 part.

(d) The term unauthorized carrier is generally 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 part.

(e) The term unauthorized change is 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 part.

(f) The term state commission shall include any state entity with the state-designated authority to resolve the complaints of such state's residents arising out of an allegation that an unauthorized change of a telecommunication service provider has occurred that has elected, in accordance with the requirements of §64.1110(a), to administer the Federal Communications Commission's slamming rules and remedies, as enumerated in §§64.1100 through 64.1190.

(g) The term relevant governmental agency shall be the state commission if the complainant files a complaint with the state commission or if the complaint is forwarded to the state commission by the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Communications Commission if the complainant files a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, and the complaint is not forwarded to a state commission.

(h) The term subscriber is any one of the following:

(1) The party identified in the account records of a common carrier as responsible for payment of the telephone bill;

(2) Any adult person authorized by such party to change telecommunications services or to charge services to the account; or

(3) Any person contractually or otherwise lawfully authorized to represent such party.

[65 FR 47690, Aug. 3, 2000, as amended at 66 FR 12892, Mar. 1, 2001]

§64.1110   State notification of election to administer FCC rules.

(a) Initial Notification. State notification of an intention to administer the Federal Communications Commission's unauthorized carrier change rules and remedies, as enumerated in §§64.1100 through 64.1190, shall be filed with the Commission Secretary in CC Docket No. 94-129 with a copy of such notification provided to the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Chief. Such notification shall contain, at a minimum, information on where consumers should file complaints, the type of documentation, if any, that must accompany a complaint, and the procedures the state will use to adjudicate complaints.

(b) Withdrawal of Notification. State notification of an intention to discontinue administering the Federal Communications Commission's unauthorized carrier change rules and remedies, as enumerated in §§64.1100 through 64.1190, shall be filed with the Commission Secretary in CC Docket No. 94-129 with a copy of such amended notification provided to the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Chief. Such discontinuance shall become effective 60 days after the Commission's receipt of the state's letter.

[65 FR 47691, Aug. 3, 2000, as amended at 73 FR 13149, Mar. 12, 2008]

§64.1120   Verification of orders for telecommunications service.

(a) No telecommunications carrier shall submit or execute a change on the behalf of a subscriber in the subscriber's selection of a provider of telecommunications service except in accordance with the procedures prescribed in this subpart. Nothing in this section shall preclude any State commission from enforcing these procedures with respect to intrastate services.

(1) 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:

(i) Authorization from the subscriber, and

(ii) 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 two years after obtaining such verification.

(2) 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 part shall be defined as prompt execution, without any unreasonable delay, of changes that have been verified by a submitting carrier.

(3) Commercial mobile radio services (CMRS) providers shall be excluded from the verification requirements of this part 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).

(b) Where a telecommunications carrier is selling more than one type of telecommunications service (e.g., local exchange, intraLATA toll, and interLATA toll), that carrier must obtain separate authorization from the subscriber for each service sold, although the authorizations may be obtained 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 part.

(c) 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:

(1) The telecommunications carrier has obtained the subscriber's written or electronically signed authorization in a form that meets the requirements of §64.1130; or

(2) 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(s) on which the preferred carrier is to be changed and must confirm the information in paragraph (a)(1) 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 number(s) will 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; or

(3) An appropriately qualified independent third party has obtained, in accordance with the procedures set forth in paragraphs (c)(3)(i) through (c)(3)(iv) of this section, the subscriber's oral authorization to submit the preferred carrier change order that confirms and includes appropriate verification data (e.g., the subscriber's date of birth or social security number). 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.

(i) 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 (c)(3)(ii) through (c)(3)(iv) of this section are satisfied.

(ii) 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.

(iii) Requirements for content and format of third party verification. Any description of the carrier change transaction by a third party verifier must not be misleading, and all third party verification methods shall elicit, at a minimum: The date of the verification; 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; confirmation that the person on the call understands that a carrier change, not an upgrade to existing service, bill consolidation, or any other misleading description of the transaction, is being authorized; the names of the carriers affected by the change (not including the name of the displaced carrier); the telephone numbers to be switched; and the types of service involved (including a brief description of a service about which the subscriber demonstrates confusion regarding the nature of that service). Except in Hawaii, any description of interLATA or long distance service shall convey that it encompasses both international and state-to-state calls, as well as some intrastate calls where applicable. If the subscriber has additional questions for the carrier's sales representative during the verification, the verifier shall indicate to the subscriber that, upon completion of the verification process, the subscriber will have authorized a carrier change. Third party verifiers may not market the carrier's services by providing additional information, including information regarding preferred carrier freeze procedures.

(iv) 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 64.1120(a)(1)(ii), submitting carriers shall maintain and preserve audio records of verification of subscriber authorization for a minimum period of two 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.

(4) Any State-enacted verification procedures applicable to intrastate preferred carrier change orders only.

(d) Telecommunications carriers must provide subscribers the option of using one of the authorization and verification procedures specified in §64.1120(c) in addition to an electronically signed authorization and verification procedure under 64.1120(c)(1).

(e) A telecommunications carrier may acquire, through a sale or transfer, either part or all of another telecommunica- tions carrier's subscriber base without obtaining each subscriber's authorization and verification in accordance with §64.1120(c), provided that the acquiring carrier complies with the following streamlined procedures. A telecommunications carrier may not use these streamlined procedures for any fraudulent purpose, including any attempt to avoid liability for violations under part 64, subpart K of the Commission rules.

(1) No later than 30 days before the planned transfer of the affected subscribers from the selling or transferring carrier to the acquiring carrier, the acquiring carrier shall file with the Commission's Office of the Secretary a letter notification in CC Docket No. 00-257 providing the names of the parties to the transaction, the types of telecommunications services to be provided to the affected subscribers, and the date of the transfer of the subscriber base to the acquiring carrier. In the letter notification, the acquiring carrier also shall certify compliance with the requirement to provide advance subscriber notice in accordance with §64.1120(e)(3), with the obligations specified in that notice, and with other statutory and Commission requirements that apply to this streamlined process. In addition, the acquiring carrier shall attach a copy of the notice sent to the affected subscribers.

(2) If, subsequent to the filing of the letter notification with the Commission required by §64.1120(e)(1), any material changes to the required information should develop, the acquiring carrier shall file written notification of these changes with the Commission no more than 10 days after the transfer date announced in the prior notification. The Commission reserves the right to require the acquiring carrier to send an additional notice to the affected subscribers regarding such material changes.

(3) Not later than 30 days before the transfer of the affected subscribers from the selling or transferring carrier to the acquiring carrier, the acquiring carrier shall provide written notice to each affected subscriber of the information specified. The acquiring carrier is required to fulfill the obligations set forth in the advance subscriber notice. The advance subscriber notice shall be provided in a manner consistent with 47 U.S.C. 255 and the Commission's rules regarding accessibility to blind and visually-impaired consumers, 47 CFR 6.3, 6.5 of this chapter. The following information must be included in the advance subscriber notice:

(i) The date on which the acquiring carrier will become the subscriber's new provider of telecommunications service,

(ii) The rates, terms, and conditions of the service(s) to be provided by the acquiring carrier upon the subscriber's transfer to the acquiring carrier, and the means by which the acquiring carrier will notify the subscriber of any change(s) to these rates, terms, and conditions.

(iii) The acquiring carrier will be responsible for any carrier change charges associated with the transfer, except where the carrier is acquiring customers by default, other than through bankruptcy, and state law requires the exiting carrier to pay these costs;

(iv) The subscriber's right to select a different preferred carrier for the telecommunications service(s) at issue, if an alternative carrier is available,

(v) All subscribers receiving the notice, even those who have arranged preferred carrier freezes through their local service providers on the service(s) involved in the transfer, will be transferred to the acquiring carrier, unless they have selected a different carrier before the transfer date; existing preferred carrier freezes on the service(s) involved in the transfer will be lifted; and the subscribers must contact their local service providers to arrange a new freeze.

(vi) Whether the acquiring carrier will be responsible for handling any complaints filed, or otherwise raised, prior to or during the transfer against the selling or transferring carrier, and

(vii) The toll-free customer service telephone number of the acquiring carrier.

[65 FR 47691, Aug. 3, 2000, as amended at 66 FR 12892, Mar. 1, 2001; 66 FR 28124, May 22, 2001; 68 FR 19159, Apr. 18, 2003; 70 FR 12611, Mar. 15, 2005; 73 FR 13149, Mar. 12, 2008]

§64.1130   Letter of agency form and content.

(a) A telecommunications carrier may use a written or electronically signed letter of agency to obtain authorization and/or verification 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 part.

(b) 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 (e) of this section 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(s) requesting the preferred carrier change.

(c) The letter of agency shall not be combined on the same document, screen, or webpage with inducements of any kind.

(d) Notwithstanding paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, the letter of agency may be combined with checks that contain only the required letter of agency language as prescribed in paragraph (e) of this section 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.

(e) At a minimum, the letter of agency must be printed with a type of sufficient size and readable type to be clearly legible and must contain clear and unambiguous language that confirms:

(1) The subscriber's billing name and address and each telephone number to be covered by the preferred carrier change order;

(2) The decision to change the preferred carrier from the current telecommunications carrier to the soliciting telecommunications carrier;

(3) That the subscriber designates [insert the name of the submitting carrier] to act as the subscriber's agent for the preferred carrier change;

(4) 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 toll, interLATA 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

(5) That the subscriber may consult with the carrier as to whether a fee will apply to the change in the subscriber's preferred carrier.

(f) Any carrier designated in a letter of agency as a preferred carrier must be the carrier directly setting the rates for the subscriber.

(g) Letters of agency shall not suggest or require that a subscriber take some action in order to retain the subscriber's current telecommunications carrier.

(h) 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.

(i) 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.

(j) A telecommunications carrier shall submit a preferred carrier change order on behalf of a subscriber within no more than 60 days of obtaining a written or electronically signed letter of agency. However, letters of agency for multi-line and/or multi-location business customers that have entered into negotiated agreements with carriers to add presubscribed lines to their business locations during the course of a term agreement shall be valid for the period specified in the term agreement.

[64 FR 7760, Feb. 16, 1999. Redesignated at 65 FR 47692, Aug. 3, 2000, as amended at 66 FR 12893, Mar. 1, 2001; 66 FR 16151, Mar. 23, 2001; 68 FR 19159, Apr. 18, 2003; 73 FR 13149, Mar. 12, 2008]

§64.1140   Carrier liability for slamming.

(a) Carrier Liability for Charges. Any submitting telecommunications carrier that fails to comply with the procedures prescribed in this part shall be liable to the subscriber's properly authorized carrier in an amount equal to 150% of all charges paid to the submitting telecommunications carrier by such subscriber after such violation, as well as for additional amounts as prescribed in §64.1170. The remedies provided in this part are in addition to any other remedies available by law.

(b) Subscriber Liability for Charges. Any subscriber whose selection of telecommunications services provider is changed without authorization verified in accordance with the procedures set for in this part is liable for charges as follows:

(1) If the subscriber has not already paid charges to the unauthorized carrier, the subscriber is absolved of liability for charges imposed by the unauthorized carrier for service provided during the first 30 days after the unauthorized change. Upon being informed by a subscriber that an unauthorized change has occurred, the authorized carrier, the unauthorized carrier, or the executing carrier shall inform the subscriber of this 30-day absolution period. Any charges imposed by the unauthorized carrier on the subscriber for service provided after this 30-day period shall be paid by the subscriber to the authorized carrier at the rates the subscriber was paying to the authorized carrier at the time of the unauthorized change in accordance with the provisions of §64.1160(e).

(2) If the subscriber has already paid charges to the unauthorized carrier, and the authorized carrier receives payment from the unauthorized carrier as provided for in paragraph (a) of this section, the authorized carrier shall refund or credit to the subscriber any amounts determined in accordance with the provisions of §64.1170(c).

(3) If the subscriber has been absolved of liability as prescribed by this section, the unauthorized carrier shall also be liable to the subscriber for any charge required to return the subscriber to his or her properly authorized carrier, if applicable.

[65 FR 47691, Aug. 3, 2000]

§64.1150   Procedures for resolution of unauthorized changes in preferred carrier.

(a) Notification of alleged unauthorized carrier change. Executing carriers who are informed of an unauthorized carrier change by a subscriber must immediately notify both the authorized and allegedly unauthorized carrier of the incident. This notification must include the identity of both carriers.

(b) Referral of complaint. Any carrier, executing, authorized, or allegedly unauthorized, that is informed by a subscriber or an executing carrier of an unauthorized carrier change shall direct that subscriber either to the state commission or, where the state commission has not opted to administer these rules, to the Federal Communications Commission's Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau, for resolution of the complaint. Carriers shall also inform the subscriber that he or she may contact and seek resolution from the alleged unauthorized carrier and, in addition, may contact the authorized carrier.

(c) Notification of receipt of complaint. Upon receipt of an unauthorized carrier change complaint, the relevant governmental agency will notify the allegedly unauthorized carrier of the complaint and order that the carrier remove all unpaid charges for the first 30 days after the slam from the subscriber's bill pending a determination of whether an unauthorized change, as defined by §64.1100(e), has occurred, if it has not already done so.

(d) Proof of verification. Not more than 30 days after notification of the complaint, or such lesser time as is required by the state commission if a matter is brought before a state commission, the alleged unauthorized carrier shall provide to the relevant government agency a copy of any valid proof of verification of the carrier change. This proof of verification must contain clear and convincing evidence of a valid authorized carrier change, as that term is defined in §§64.1120 through 64.1130. The relevant governmental agency will determine whether an unauthorized change, as defined by §64.1100(e), has occurred using such proof and any evidence supplied by the subscriber. Failure by the carrier to respond or provide proof of verification will be presumed to be clear and convincing evidence of a violation.

(e) Election of forum. The Federal Communications Commission will not adjudicate a complaint filed pursuant to §1.719 or §§1.720 through 1.736 of this chapter, involving an alleged unauthorized change, as defined by §64.1100(e), while a complaint based on the same set of facts is pending with a state commission.

[65 FR 47692, Aug. 3, 2000, as amended at 68 FR 19159, Apr. 18, 2003; 73 FR 13149, Mar. 12, 2008]

§64.1160   Absolution procedures where the subscriber has not paid charges.

(a) This section shall only apply after a subscriber has determined that an unauthorized change, as defined by §64.1100(e), has occurred and the subscriber has not paid charges to the allegedly unauthorized carrier for service provided for 30 days, or a portion thereof, after the unauthorized change occurred.

(b) An allegedly unauthorized carrier shall remove all charges incurred for service provided during the first 30 days after the alleged unauthorized change occurred, as defined by §64.1100(e), from a subscriber's bill upon notification that such unauthorized change is alleged to have occurred.

(c) An allegedly unauthorized carrier may challenge a subscriber's allegation that an unauthorized change, as defined by §64.1100(e), occurred. An allegedly unauthorized carrier choosing to challenge such allegation shall immediately notify the complaining subscriber that: The complaining subscriber must file a complaint with a State commission that has opted to administer the FCC's rules, pursuant to §64.1110, or the FCC within 30 days of either the date of removal of charges from the complaining subscriber's bill in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section, or the date the allegedly unauthorized carrier notifies the complaining subscriber of the requirements of this paragraph, whichever is later; and a failure to file such a complaint within this 30-day time period will result in the charges removed pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section being reinstated on the subscriber's bill and, consequently, the complaining subscriber will only be entitled to remedies for the alleged unauthorized change other than those provided for in §64.1140(b)(1). No allegedly unauthorized carrier shall reinstate charges to a subscriber's bill pursuant to the provisions of this paragraph without first providing such subscriber with a reasonable opportunity to demonstrate that the requisite complaint was timely filed within the 30-day period described in this paragraph.

(d) If the relevant governmental agency determines after reasonable investigation that an unauthorized change, as defined by §64.1100(e), has occurred, an order shall be issued providing that the subscriber is entitled to absolution from the charges incurred during the first 30 days after the unauthorized carrier change occurred, and neither the authorized or unauthorized carrier may pursue any collection against the subscriber for those charges.

(e) If the subscriber has incurred charges for more than 30 days after the unauthorized carrier change, the unauthorized carrier must forward the billing information for such services to the authorized carrier, which may bill the subscriber for such services using either of the following means:

(1) The amount of the charge may be determined by a re-rating of the services provided based on what the authorized carrier would have charged the subscriber for the same services had an unauthorized change, as described in §64.1100(e), not occurred; or

(2) The amount of the charge may be determined using a 50% Proxy Rate as follows: Upon receipt of billing information from the unauthorized carrier, the authorized carrier may bill the subscriber for 50% of the rate the unauthorized carrier would have charged the subscriber for the services provided. However, the subscriber shall have the right to reject use of this 50% proxy method and require that the authorized carrier perform a re-rating of the services provided, as described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section.

(f) If the unauthorized carrier received payment from the subscriber for services provided after the first 30 days after the unauthorized change occurred, the obligations for payments and refunds provided for in §64.1170 shall apply to those payments. If the relevant governmental agency determines after reasonable investigation that the carrier change was authorized, the carrier may re-bill the subscriber for charges incurred.

(g) When a LEC has assigned a subscriber to a carrier without authorization, and where the subscriber has not paid the unauthorized charges, the LEC shall switch the subscriber to the desired carrier at no cost to the subscriber, and shall also secure the removal of the unauthorized charges from the subscriber's bill in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraphs (a) through (f) of this section.

[65 FR 47692, Aug. 3, 2000, as amended at 68 FR 19159, Apr. 18, 2003; 73 FR 13149, Mar. 12, 2008]

§64.1170   Reimbursement procedures where the subscriber has paid charges.

(a) The procedures in this section shall only apply after a subscriber has determined that an unauthorized change, as defined by §64.1100(e), has occurred and the subscriber has paid charges to an allegedly unauthorized carrier.

(b) If the relevant governmental agency determines after reasonable investigation that an unauthorized change, as defined by §64.1100(e), has occurred, it shall issue an order directing the unauthorized carrier to forward to the authorized carrier the following, in addition to any appropriate state remedies:

(1) An amount equal to 150% of all charges paid by the subscriber to the unauthorized carrier; and

(2) Copies of any telephone bills issued from the unauthorized carrier to the subscriber. This order shall be sent to the subscriber, the unauthorized carrier, and the authorized carrier.

(c) Within ten days of receipt of the amount provided for in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the authorized carrier shall provide a refund or credit to the subscriber in the amount of 50% of all charges paid by the subscriber to the unauthorized carrier. The subscriber has the option of asking the authorized carrier to re-rate the unauthorized carrier's charges based on the rates of the authorized carrier and, on behalf of the subscriber, seek an additional refund from the unauthorized carrier, to the extent that the re-rated amount exceeds the 50% of all charges paid by the subscriber to the unauthorized carrier. The authorized carrier shall also send notice to the relevant governmental agency that it has given a refund or credit to the subscriber.

(d) If an authorized carrier incurs billing and collection expenses in collecting charges from the unauthorized carrier, the unauthorized carrier shall reimburse the authorized carrier for reasonable expenses.

(e) If the authorized carrier has not received payment from the unauthorized carrier as required by paragraph (c) of this section, the authorized carrier is not required to provide any refund or credit to the subscriber. The authorized carrier must, within 45 days of receiving an order as described in paragraph (b) of this section, inform the subscriber and the relevant governmental agency that issued the order if the unauthorized carrier has failed to forward to it the appropriate charges, and also inform the subscriber of his or her right to pursue a claim against the unauthorized carrier for a refund of all charges paid to the unauthorized carrier.

(f) Where possible, the properly authorized carrier must reinstate the subscriber in any premium program in which that subscriber was enrolled prior to the unauthorized change, if the subscriber's participation in that program was terminated because of the unauthorized change. If the subscriber has paid charges to the unauthorized carrier, the properly authorized carrier shall also provide or restore to the subscriber any premiums to which the subscriber would have been entitled had the unauthorized change not occurred. The authorized carrier must comply with the requirements of this section regardless of whether it is able to recover from the unauthorized carrier any charges that were paid by the subscriber.

(g) When a LEC has assigned a subscriber to a non-affiliated carrier without authorization, and when a subscriber has paid the non-affiliated carrier the charges for the billed service, the LEC shall reimburse the subscriber for all charges paid by the subscriber to the unauthorized carrier and shall switch the subscriber to the desired carrier at no cost to the subscriber. When a LEC makes an unauthorized carrier change to an affiliated carrier, and when the customer has paid the charges, the LEC must pay to the authorized carrier 150% of the amounts collected from the subscriber in accordance with paragraphs (a) through (f) of this section.

[65 FR 47693, Aug. 3, 2000, as amended at 68 FR 19159, Apr. 18, 2003]

§64.1190   Preferred carrier freezes.

(a) A preferred carrier freeze (or freeze) prevents a change in a subscriber's preferred carrier selection unless the subscriber gives the carrier from whom the freeze was requested his or her express consent. All local exchange carriers who offer preferred carrier freezes must comply with the provisions of this section.

(b) All local exchange carriers who offer preferred carrier freezes shall offer freezes on a nondiscriminatory basis to all subscribers, regardless of the subscriber's carrier selections.

(c) Preferred carrier freeze procedures, including any solicitation, must clearly distinguish among telecommunications services (e.g., local exchange, intraLATA toll, and interLATA toll) subject to a preferred carrier freeze. The carrier offering the freeze must obtain separate authorization for each service for which a preferred carrier freeze is requested.

(d) Solicitation and imposition of preferred carrier freezes. (1) All carrier-provided solicitation and other materials regarding preferred carrier freezes must include:

(i) An explanation, in clear and neutral language, of what a preferred carrier freeze is and what services may be subject to a freeze;

(ii) A description of the specific procedures necessary to lift a preferred carrier freeze; an explanation that these steps are in addition to the Commission's verification rules in §§64.1120 and 64.1130 for changing a subscriber's preferred carrier selections; and an explanation that the subscriber will be unable to make a change in carrier selection unless he or she lifts the freeze.

(iii) An explanation of any charges associated with the preferred carrier freeze.

(2) No local exchange carrier shall implement a preferred carrier freeze unless the subscriber's request to impose a freeze has first been confirmed in accordance with one of the following procedures:

(i) The local exchange carrier has obtained the subscriber's written or electronically signed authorization in a form that meets the requirements of §64.1190(d)(3); or

(ii) The local exchange carrier has obtained the subscriber's electronic authorization, placed from the telephone number(s) on which the preferred carrier freeze is to be imposed, to impose a preferred carrier freeze. The electronic authorization should confirm appropriate verification data (e.g., the subscriber's date of birth or social security number) and the information required in §§64.1190(d)(3)(ii)(A) through (D). Telecommunications carriers electing to confirm preferred carrier freeze orders electronically shall establish one or more toll-free telephone numbers exclusively for that purpose. Calls to the number(s) will connect a subscriber to a voice response unit, or similar mechanism that records the required information regarding the preferred carrier freeze request, including automatically recording the originating automatic numbering identification; or

(iii) An appropriately qualified independent third party has obtained the subscriber's oral authorization to submit the preferred carrier freeze and confirmed the appropriate verification data (e.g., the subscriber's date of birth or social security number) and the information required in §64.1190(d)(3)(ii)(A) through (D). The independent third party must not be owned, managed, or directly controlled by the carrier or the carrier's marketing agent; must not have any financial incentive to confirm preferred carrier freeze requests 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. The content of the verification must include clear and conspicuous confirmation that the subscriber has authorized a preferred carrier freeze.

(3) Written authorization to impose a preferred carrier freeze. A local exchange carrier may accept a subscriber's written and signed authorization to impose a freeze on his or her preferred carrier selection. Written authorization that does not conform with this section is invalid and may not be used to impose a preferred carrier freeze.

(i) The written authorization shall comply with §§64.1130(b), (c), and (h) of the Commission's rules concerning the form and content for letters of agency.

(ii) At a minimum, the written authorization must be printed with a readable type of sufficient size to be clearly legible and must contain clear and unambiguous language that confirms:

(A) The subscriber's billing name and address and the telephone number(s) to be covered by the preferred carrier freeze;

(B) The decision to place a preferred carrier freeze on the telephone number(s) and particular service(s). To the extent that a jurisdiction allows the imposition of preferred carrier freezes on additional preferred carrier selections (e.g., for local exchange, intraLATA toll, and interLATA toll), the authorization must contain separate statements regarding the particular selections to be frozen;

(C) That the subscriber understands that she or he will be unable to make a change in carrier selection unless she or he lifts the preferred carrier freeze; and

(D) That the subscriber understands that any preferred carrier freeze may involve a charge to the subscriber.

(e) Procedures for lifting preferred carrier freezes. All local exchange carriers who offer preferred carrier freezes must, at a minimum, offer subscribers the following procedures for lifting a preferred carrier freeze:

(1) A local exchange carrier administering a preferred carrier freeze must accept a subscriber's written or electronically signed authorization stating his or her intent to lift a preferred carrier freeze; and

(2) A local exchange carrier administering a preferred carrier freeze must accept a subscriber's oral authorization stating her or his intent to lift a preferred carrier freeze and must offer a mechanism that allows a submitting carrier to conduct a three-way conference call with the carrier administering the freeze and the subscriber in order to lift a freeze. When engaged in oral authorization to lift a preferred carrier freeze, the carrier administering the freeze shall confirm appropriate verification data (e.g., the subscriber's date of birth or social security number) and the subscriber's intent to lift the particular freeze.

[64 FR 7762, Feb. 16, 1999, as amended at 66 FR 12893, Mar. 1, 2001; 73 FR 13150, Mar. 12, 2008]

§64.1195   Registration requirement.

(a) Applicability. A telecommunications carrier that will provide interstate telecommunications service shall file the registration information described in paragraph (b) of this section in accordance with the procedures described in paragraphs (c) and (g) of this section. Any telecommunications carrier already providing interstate telecommunications service on the effective date of these rules shall submit the relevant portion of its FCC Form 499-A in accordance with paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section.

(b) Information required for purposes of part 64. A telecommunications carrier that is subject to the registration requirement pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section shall provide the following information:

(1) The carrier's business name(s) and primary address;

(2) The names and business addresses of the carrier's chief executive officer, chairman, and president, or, in the event that a company does not have such executives, three similarly senior-level officials of the company;

(3) The carrier's regulatory contact and/or designated agent;

(4) All names that the carrier has used in the past; and

(5) The state(s) in which the carrier provides telecommunications service.

(c) Submission of registration. A carrier that is subject to the registration requirement pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section shall submit the information described in paragraph (b) of this section in accordance with the Instructions to FCC Form 499-A. FCC Form 499-A must be submitted under oath and penalty of perjury.

(d) Rejection of registration. The Commission may reject or suspend a carrier's registration for any of the reasons identified in paragraphs (e) or (f) of this section.

(e) Revocation or suspension of operating authority. After notice and opportunity to respond, the Commission may revoke or suspend the authorization of a carrier to provide service if the carrier provides materially false or incomplete information in its FCC Form 499-A or otherwise fails to comply with paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section.

(f) Imposition of fine. After notice and opportunity to respond, the Commission may impose a fine on a carrier that is subject to the registration requirement pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section if that carrier fails to submit an FCC Form 499-A in accordance with paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section.

(g) Changes in information. A carrier must notify the Commission of any changes to the information provided pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section within no more than one week of the change. Carriers may satisfy this requirement by filing the relevant portion of FCC Form 499-A in accordance with the Instructions to such form.

(h) Duty to confirm registration of other carriers. The Commission shall make available to the public a comprehensive listing of registrants and the information that they have provided pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section. A telecommunications carrier providing telecommunications service for resale shall have an affirmative duty to ascertain whether a potential carrier-customer (i.e., reseller) that is subject to the registration requirement pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section has filed an FCC Form 499-A with the Commission prior to offering service to that carrier-customer. After notice and opportunity to respond, the Commission may impose a fine on a carrier for failure to confirm the registration status of a potential carrier-customer before providing that carrier-customer with service.

[66 FR 12894, Mar. 1, 2001]



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