[As Amended by House Committee of the Whole]

As Amended by House Committee

[As Amended by Senate Committee of the Whole]

As Amended by Senate Committee
Session of 2000
By Committee on Commerce

13             AN  ACT concerning consumer protection; relating to telecommunica-
14             tions services lecommunications]; amending K.S.A. 1999 Supp.
15             50-6,103 and [60-210 and] repealing the existing section [sections].
17       Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
18             Section  1. K.S.A. 1999 Supp. 50-6,103 is hereby amended to read as
19       follows: 50-6,103. (a) As used in this section:
20        [(1) ``Existing local exchange carrier or telecommunications
21       carrier'' does not mean an affiliate or subsidiary of the local
22       exchange carrier or telecommunications carrier.]
23             (1) [(2)] (1) ``Express authorization'' means an express, affirmative
24       act by a consumer clearly agreeing to the a change in the consumer's
25       telecommunications carrier or local exchange carrier to another carrier
26       or the addition of any supplemental telecommunications services to the
27       consumer's account.
28             (2) [(3)] (2) ``Supplemental telecommunication services'' means any
29       property or services for which any charge or assessment appears on a
30       billing statement directed to a consumer by a local exchange carrier or
31       telecommunications carrier, including but not limited to personal 800
32       number services, calling card plans, internet advertisement and website
33       services, voice mail services, paging services, psychic services, psychic
34       memberships, dating services or memberships, travel club memberships,
35       internet access services and service maintenance plans. ``Supplemental
36       telecommunication services'' does not include direct dial services to which
37       a per use charge applies.
38             (2) (3) [(4)] (3) ``Telecommunications services'' has the meaning pro-
39       vided by K.S.A. 66-1,187 and amendments thereto.
40             (b) No local exchange carrier or telecommunications carrier shall sub-


  1       mit or cause to be submitted to a local exchange carrier an order to change
  2       a consumer's telecommunications carrier or local exchange carrier to an-
  3       other carrier without having obtained the express authorization of the
  4       consumer authorized to make the change. The local exchange carrier or
  5       telecommunications carrier requesting the change shall have the burden
  6       of proving the express authorization by a preponderance of the evidence.
  7       It shall not be a violation of this subsection for a local exchange carrier
  8       to assign a consumer to a telecommunications carrier for purposes of
  9       intralata services pursuant to order of the state corporation commission.
10             (c) No supplier, other than the consumer's existing local exchange
11       carrier or telecommunications carrier, shall:
12             (1) Add or cause to be added any supplemental telecommunications
13       services to a consumer's account without having obtained the express au-
14       thorization of the consumer authorized to make the addition and the sup-
15       plier requesting the addition shall have the burden of proving the express
16       authorization by a preponderance of the evidence; or
17             (2) directly or indirectly, bill, collect, attempt to bill or collect or cause
18       to be billed or collected, charges arising from a change in a consumer's
19       local exchange carrier or telecommunications carrier to another carrier
20       or charges arising from the addition of any supplemental telecommuni-
21       cations services to a consumer's account when such supplier knew or had
22       reason to know that the consumer's express authorization for such change
23       or addition was not obtained.
24             (c) (d) No local exchange carrier, telecommunications carrier or third
25       party utilized to verify an order to change a consumer's telecommunica-
26       tions carrier or local exchange carrier to another carrier supplier shall:
27             (1) Engage in any activity, conduct or representation that has the
28       capacity to mislead, deceive or confuse the consumer, while soliciting or
29       verifying a change in a consumer's telecommunications carrier or local
30       exchange carrier to another carrier that has the capacity to mislead, de-
31       ceive or confuse the consumer or adding while soliciting or verifying
32       the addition of any supplemental telecommunications services to a con-
33       sumer's account;
34             (2) employ a box or container used to collect entries for sweepstakes,
35       contests or drawings to gather letters of agency or other documents that
36       constitute authorizations by consumers to change the consumers' tele-
37       communications carrier or local exchange carrier to another carrier or to
38       change or add to the consumers' other accounts any supplemental tele-
39       communications services; or
40             (3) use any methods not approved by statute, regulations of the fed-
41       eral communications commission statutes, rules and regulations or federal
42       trade commission (as in effect on the effective date of this act) or state
43       corporation commission rules and regulations to change a consumer's


  1       telecommunications carrier or local exchange carrier to another carrier
  2       or to add supplemental telecommunications services to a consumer's
  3       account.
  4             (d) (e) Any local exchange carrier or telecommunications carrier sup-
  5       plier that violates subsection (b) or (c), (c) or (d) shall be subject to a civil
  6       penalty of not less than $5,000 nor more than $20,000 for each such
  7       violation instead of the penalty provided for in subsection (a) of K.S.A.
  8       50-636, and amendments thereto.
  9             (e) (f) Any violation of this section is a deceptive and unconscionable
10       act or practice under the provisions of the Kansas consumer protection
11       act and shall be subject to any and all of the enforcement provisions of
12       the Kansas consumer protection act. Nothing in this section shall preclude
13       the state corporation commission from exerting its authority as it pertains
14       to intrastate services nor the attorney general from pursuing violations of
15       any other provisions of the Kansas consumer protection act by a local
16       exchange carrier or telecommunications carrier supplier.
17             (f) (g) All local exchange carriers shall offer consumers the option of
18       notifying the local exchange carrier in writing that they do not desire any
19       change of telecommunications carrier regardless of any orders to the con-
20       trary submitted by any third party. The consumer shall be permitted to
21       cancel such notification or to change its telecommunications carrier by
22       notifying the consumer's local exchange carrier accordingly. All local
23       exchange carriers shall annually notify the consumers of the carrier's tel-
24       ecommunications services of the availability of this option.
25             (h) Any person alleging a violation of this section may bring a private
26       action to seek relief pursuant to K.S.A. 50-634, 50-636 and this section,
27       and amendments thereto and such person may be defined as a consumer
28       pursuant to K.S.A. 50-624, and amendments thereto for the purposes of
29       such private action.
30             (g) (i) This section shall be part of and supplemental to the Kansas
31       consumer protection act.
32             [Sec.  2. K.S.A. 1999 Supp. 66-2010 is hereby amended to read
33       as follows: 66-2010. (a) The commission shall utilize a competitive
34       bidding process to select a neutral, competent and bonded third
35       party to administer the KUSF.
36             [(b) The administrator shall be responsible for: (1) Collecting
37       and auditing all relevant information from all qualifying telecom-
38       munications public utilities, telecommunications carriers or wire-
39       less telecommunications service providers receiving funds from or
40       providing funds to the KUSF; (2) verifying, based on the calcula-
41       tions of each qualifying telecommunications carrier, telecommu-
42       nications public utility or wireless telecommunications service pro-
43       vider, the obligation of each such qualifying carrier, utility or


  1       provider to generate the funds required by the KUSF; (3) collect-
  2       ing on a monthly basis all moneys due to the KUSF from all tele-
  3       communications public utilities, telecommunications carriers and
  4       wireless telecommunications service providers in the state; and (4)
  5       distributing amounts on a monthly basis due to qualifying telecom-
  6       munications public utilities, wireless telecommunications service
  7       providers and telecommunications carriers receiving KUSF
  8       funding.
  9             [(c) Any information made available or received by the admin-
10       istrator from carriers, utilities or providers receiving funds from
11       or providing funds to the KUSF shall not be subject to any provi-
12       sions of the Kansas open records act and shall be considered con-
13       fidential and proprietary.
14             [(d) The commission is authorized to assess a late payment fee at a
15       rate not to exceed 1.5% of the assessment for every month a telecommu-
16       nications public utility, telecommunications carrier or wireless telecom-
17       munications service provider fails to pay its KUSF assessment to the ad-
18       ministrator. The administrator or the commission shall be authorized
19       to maintain an action to collect any funds owed by any telecom-
20       munications carrier, public utility or wireless telecommunications
21       provider in the district court in the county of the registered office
22       of such carrier, utility or provider or, if such carrier, utility or
23       provider does not have a registered office in the state, such an
24       action may be maintained in the county where such carrier's, util-
25       ity's or provider's principal office is located. If such carrier, utility
26       or provider has no principal office in the state, such an action may
27       be maintained in the district court of any county in which such
28       carrier, utility or provider provides service. In any action to revoke
29       or suspend the certificate of convenience and necessity of a telecommu-
30       nications carrier or telecommunications public utility, there shall be a
31       presumption that the carrier or utility is unfit to hold a certificate of
32       convenience and necessity if such carrier or utility fails to pay any KUSF
33       assessment for 60 or more days after notice of delinquency in paying such
34       assessment.
35             [(e) Any telecommunications carrier, telecommunications public util-
36       ity or wireless telecommunications service provider which is required to
37       contribute to the KUSF pursuant to K.S.A. 1999 Supp. 66-2008, and
38       amendments thereto, and which fails to submit a KUSF calculation work-
39       sheet for a reporting period shall be liable for an administrative penalty
40       imposed by the commission in a sum not to exceed $1,000 for failure to
41       submit such worksheet. Each reporting period for which such carrier,
42       utility or provider fails to submit such worksheet shall constitute a sepa-
43       rate offense.


  1             [The penalty provided by this subsection shall be in addition to any
  2       other authority the commission has to enforce compliance.
  3             [(e) (f) The KUSF administrator shall be responsible to ensure
  4       that funds do not fall below the level necessary to pay all amounts
  5       collectively owed to all qualifying telecommunications public util-
  6       ities, wireless telecommunications service providers and telecom-
  7       munications carriers. The administrator shall have the authority
  8       to retain and invest in a prudent and reasonable manner any excess
  9       funds collected in any period to help ensure that adequate funds
10       are available to cover amounts payable in other periods.
11             [(g) In amending subsection (d), it is the intent of the legislature to
12       clarify existing authority of the commission to assess a late payment fee.
13       Nothing in subsection (d) shall be construed as granting new or additional
14       authority to the commission.]
15             Sec.  2. [3.] K.S.A. 1999 Supp. 50-6,103 is [and 66-2010 are] hereby
16       repealed.
17             Sec.  3. [4.] This act shall take effect and be in force from and after
18       its publication in the statute book.