SB 138: "An Act relating to the inclusion of the charges of a vendor of goods or services on the bills of certain telecommunications carriers; and adding an unlawful act to the Alaska Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act."
00 SENATE BILL NO. 138 01 "An Act relating to the inclusion of the charges of a vendor of goods or services on the 02 bills of certain telecommunications carriers; and adding an unlawful act to the Alaska 03 Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act." 04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 * Section 1. AS 42.05 is amended by adding a new section to article 8 to read: 06 Sec. 42.05.715. Telecommunications carrier bills; disclosures and 07 contested charges. (a) A telecommunications carrier shall clearly identify in separate 08 sections of a customer's bill 09 (1) charges by each person, corporation, or billing agent that generates 10 a charge on the bill; and 11 (2) the information provided to the telecommunications carrier under 12 (b) of this section. 13 (b) A person, corporation, or billing agent may not charge customers of a 14 telecommunications carrier on the carrier's bill for a product or service unless the
01 person, corporation, or billing agent provides to the telecommunications carrier the 02 following information: 03 (1) the amount charged for each product or service, separately 04 identifying taxes or surcharges; 05 (2) a clear and concise description of the product or service that is the 06 basis of the charge; 07 (3) the name of the entity providing the product or service or otherwise 08 generating the charge; and 09 (4) a toll-free telephone number or other no-cost means of contacting 10 the entity generating the charge to resolve a dispute regarding the charge. 11 (c) A telecommunications carrier may not discontinue services to a customer 12 based on the customer's failure to pay a charge of another person, corporation, or 13 billing agent appearing on the telecommunications carrier's bill, when the customer 14 has contested the charge using the contact information provided under (b) of this 15 section. 16 (d) In this section, "telecommunications carrier" means a telecommunications 17 utility 18 (1) required to be certificated by or registered with the Regulatory 19 Commission of Alaska; or 20 (2) that is eligible to receive universal service support under 47 U.S.C. 21 214(e)(1). 22 * Sec. 2. AS 45.50.471(b) is amended by adding a new paragraph to read: 23 (58) violating AS 45.50.476 (charges billed by telecommunications 24 carriers). 25 * Sec. 3. AS 45.50 is amended by adding a new section to read: 26 Sec. 45.50.476. Charges billed by telecommunications carriers. (a) Except 27 as provided in (d) of this section, a vendor of goods or services may not bill charges 28 for goods or services on a customer's telephone bill from a telecommunications 29 carrier. 30 (b) A person may not induce a telecommunications carrier, directly or through 31 an intermediary, to bill a customer for goods or services of a vendor unless the billing
01 is permitted under (d) of this section. In this subsection, "person" includes a person 02 who aggregates consumer billings or serves as a clearinghouse for aggregate billings. 03 (c) The Regulatory Commission of Alaska may adopt regulations to carry out 04 the provisions of this section. 05 (d) This section does not apply to an itemized billing in compliance with 06 AS 42.05.715 for 07 (1) the sale of goods or services governed by an approved tariff of a 08 public utility operating under a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued 09 by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska; 10 (2) direct-dial or dial-around services initiated from the customer's 11 telephone; 12 (3) operator-assisted telephone calls, collect calls, or telephone 13 services provided to facilitate communications to or from inmates in a correctional 14 center; or 15 (4) goods or services for which the vendor has provided the 16 telecommunications carrier with verification of the customer's express authorization. 17 (e) In this section, "telecommunications carrier" means a telecommunications 18 utility 19 (1) required to be certificated by or registered with the Regulatory 20 Commission of Alaska; or 21 (2) that is eligible to receive universal service support under 47 U.S.C. 22 214(e)(1). 23 * Sec. 4. AS 45.50.481(a) is amended to read: 24 (a) Nothing in AS 45.50.471 - 45.50.561 applies to 25 (1) an act or transaction regulated under laws administered by the state, 26 by a regulatory board or commission except as provided by AS 45.50.471(b)(27), 27 [AND] (30), and (58), or officer acting under statutory authority of the state or of the 28 United States, unless the law regulating the act or transaction does not prohibit the 29 practices declared unlawful in AS 45.50.471; 30 (2) an act done by the publisher, owner, agent, or employee of a 31 newspaper, periodical, or radio or television station in the publication or dissemination
01 of an advertisement, when the owner, agent, or employee did not have knowledge of 02 the false, misleading, or deceptive character of the advertisement or did not have a 03 direct financial interest in the sale or distribution of the advertised product or service; 04 (3) an act or transaction regulated under AS 21.36 or AS 06.05 or a 05 regulation adopted under the authority of those chapters.