2017 Arizona Revised Statutes
Title 44 - Trade and Commerce
§ 44-1572 Long-distance telecommunications service providers; changes; authorization for services; requirements; penalties; program termination

Universal Citation: AZ Rev Stat § 44-1572 (2017)

44-1572. Long-distance telecommunications service providers; changes; authorization for services; requirements; penalties; program termination

A. A long-distance telecommunications service provider or any person, firm or corporation that acts as an agent or representative on behalf of the long-distance telecommunications service provider shall not:

1. Make on behalf of a customer any change or direct a different telecommunications service provider to make any change in a provider of a long-distance telecommunications service for which there are multiple providers unless the provider, agent or representative complies with all authorization and confirmation procedures the commission establishes by rule and all procedures prescribed in federal law and regulations. Any act by any person, firm or corporation that is the agent or representative of a telecommunications service provider is an act of that long-distance telecommunications service provider. The commission may adopt rules relating to mitigating circumstances under this subsection.

2. Fail to make on behalf of a customer any change in a provider of a long-distance telecommunications service for which there are multiple providers if the provider, agent or representative has received a change order in a manner that complies with commission rules and federal regulations. The provider, agent or representative shall properly process the compliant change order to ensure that the order is completed and enable the new long-distance telecommunications service provider to provide service to the customer within a reasonable period of time determined by the commission after receiving the change order.

3. Use a sweepstakes, contest or drawing entry form as authorization to change or add services to a customer's telecommunications bill or change a customer's long-distance telecommunications service provider.

4. Use any written authorization agreement to change or add long-distance telecommunications service unless the authorization is clear, conspicuous and printed in at least ten point bold type. The authorization agreement shall also be in the same language as any promotional or inducement materials provided to the customer.

5. Charge a customer through the customer's long-distance telecommunications bill for long-distance telecommunications services without the customer's authorization to add the long-distance telecommunications services to the customer's bill.

B. If an authorized change in a long-distance telecommunications service provider is made, the new long-distance telecommunications service provider shall notify the customer of the change within thirty days after receiving the change order in the manner determined by the commission pursuant to subsection L of this section. Any bill for long-distance telecommunications service shall contain the name and telephone number of each telecommunications service provider for which billing is provided and any other information deemed applicable by the long-distance telecommunications service provider. A long-distance telecommunications service provider shall maintain a record of the written or electronically recorded verification process chosen, including voice recordings, for a period of twenty-four months after the date of the verification.

C. A customer of long-distance telecommunications services does not have to pay for any charge for unauthorized services incurred during the first ninety days or three billing cycles after the unauthorized charge is made, whichever occurs first.

D. If the customer pays for long-distance telecommunications service that the customer did not authorize, the unauthorized long-distance telecommunications service provider is liable to the customer or the customer's properly authorized long-distance telecommunications service provider in an amount that is equal to all of the charges paid by the customer to the unauthorized long-distance telecommunications service provider.

E. To obtain restitution of the unauthorized long-distance telecommunications charges, the customer may either recover all of the unauthorized long-distance telecommunications charges directly from the unauthorized long-distance telecommunications service provider or request that the properly authorized long-distance telecommunications service provider recover all unauthorized long-distance telecommunications charges from the unauthorized long-distance telecommunications service provider on behalf of the customer. If the customer requests the properly authorized long-distance telecommunications service provider to recover the unauthorized long-distance telecommunications charges, the authorized long-distance telecommunications service provider shall provide a refund or credit to the customer of any amount that is recovered from the unauthorized long-distance telecommunications service provider and that is more than the amount that the customer would have paid for the same long-distance telecommunications service if the unauthorized service had not been added or changed.

F. To allow consumers to have a single point of contact to resolve disputes over service changes or additions, a long-distance telecommunications service provider may participate in a dispute resolution program that is conducted by an independent third party and approved by the federal communications commission. The long-distance telecommunications service provider may delegate its obligations pursuant to subsection E of this section to the independent third party dispute resolution program administrator.

G. On notification by a customer that an unauthorized change to or addition of a long-distance telecommunications service has occurred, the authorized long-distance telecommunications service provider, the unauthorized long-distance telecommunications service provider or the local exchange carrier shall inform the customer of the available dispute resolution options prescribed in this section.

H. The unauthorized long-distance telecommunications service provider shall bear all costs of immediately transferring the customer to the customer's original long-distance telecommunications service provider and restoring the customer's service.

I. After notice and an opportunity for a hearing, if the commission determines that a long-distance telecommunications service provider violated any provision of this section, commission rule or order adopted pursuant to this section or federal law or regulation relating to making a change in long-distance telecommunications service provider for interstate or intrastate toll service or relating to billing for unauthorized services, the commission may impose on the long-distance telecommunications service provider a civil penalty of not more than seven thousand five hundred dollars for the first violation and not more than fifteen thousand dollars for each subsequent violation in this state. In determining whether to impose a civil penalty or the amount of the civil penalty under this section, the commission may consider any matter it deems appropriate including whether the change of service resulted from any negligent or intentional act by the long-distance telecommunications service provider and the procedures used by the long-distance telecommunications service provider to avoid incidents of unauthorized changes of long-distance telecommunications service, procedures relating to supervision of agents, standards required to be met by agents, standards for monitoring agents' calls, discipline imposed on agents for erroneous or intentional unauthorized changes of service and any other good faith effort made by the provider to avoid incidents of unauthorized changes of service. The commission shall deposit, pursuant to sections 35-146 and 35-147, the monies collected pursuant to this subsection in the state general fund.

J. This section does not apply to the initial installation of telephone service by a local telecommunications service provider.

K. The penalties prescribed in this section are in addition to all other causes of action, remedies and penalties provided under the laws of this state.

L. The commission may adopt rules for making a change in long-distance telecommunications service provider that are not inconsistent with federal law and regulations and that include at least all of the following:

1. Procedures for a customer to confirm a change made by another long-distance telecommunications service provider on behalf of the customer.

2. Procedures by which the new long-distance telecommunications service provider shall notify a customer of the change.

3. A requirement that any long-distance telecommunications service provider that provides long-distance telecommunications service within the state shall verify the customer's change in a manner consistent with federal regulations. The commission rules may specify that:

(a) The long-distance telecommunications service provider may use either a written or electronically recorded verification including without limitation voice recordings.

(b) The verification shall not contain any inducement that is different from or in addition to any inducement offered to the customer at the time the customer was contacted to change the customer's long-distance telecommunications service provider.

4. Enforcement measures.

M. The program established by this section ends on July 1, 2009 pursuant to section 41-3102.

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