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March 12, 2001
Introduced by Reps. Easterday, Allison, Altman, Barrett, G. Brown, Campsen, Cato, Chellis, Coleman, Davenport, Hamilton, Harrison, Haskins, Law, Leach, McLeod, Moody-Lawrence, Rice, Robinson, Sandifer, F.N. Smith, W.D. Smith, Stille, Tripp, Vaughn and A. Young
S. Printed 3/12/01--H.
Read the first time February 6, 2001.
TO AMEND TITLE 58, CHAPTER 3, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, BY ADDING SECTION 58-3-230 SO AS TO PROHIBIT THE UNAUTHORIZED CHANGE OF A CUSTOMER'S UTILITY SERVICE PROVIDER AND TO ESTABLISH PENALTIES.
Amend Title To Conform
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 58-3-230. (A) A utility, as defined in Sections 58-5-10, 58-9-10, and 58-27-10, may not submit a change request for a customer's utility service until the customer's authorization for the change is obtained by using marketing or anti-slamming guidelines approved by the appropriate federal and state regulatory agencies. In the case of utilities defined by Section 58-9-10, the appropriate regulatory agencies are the Federal Communications Commission and the South Carolina Public Service Commission. If a utility other than that directly receiving the customer authorization subsequently effects the change into billing or operational systems, it is not:
(1) required to secure additional customer authorization; and
(2) liable pursuant to this section for errors, omissions, or unauthorized changes submitted by the utility originating the request.
(B) A utility defined in Sections 58-5-10 and 58-27-10 that violates subsection (A) is liable to the customer for all charges incurred by the customer, in excess of those normally incurred through his designated provider, during the period of the unauthorized change.
(C) A utility defined in Section 58-9-10 that violates subsection (A) is liable as specified in Federal Communications Commission guidelines promulgated pursuant to the United States Code of Laws, Chapter 1, Title 47.
(D) A utility that wilfully or knowingly violates the provisions of subsection (A) is subject to a fine of not less than two thousand dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars for each violation. The fines must remain with the commission."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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