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H.R. 561 (ih) To amend title 49, United States Code, to prohibit the operation in certain metropolitan areas of civil subsonic turbojets that fail to comply with stage 3 noise levels. [Introduced in House] ...

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  2d Session
                                H. R. 5619

To require the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade 
Commission to prevent fraudulent and misleading advertising by carriers 
           providing ``dial-around'' long distance services.



                            November 1, 2000

 Mrs. Lowey (for herself, Mr. Brown of Ohio, Ms. McKinney, Mr. Kildee, 
 and Mr. Rangel) introduced the following bill; which was referred to 
                       the Committee on Commerce


                                 A BILL

To require the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade 
Commission to prevent fraudulent and misleading advertising by carriers 
           providing ``dial-around'' long distance services.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Save Consumers Aggravation and Money 
Act of 2000''.


    Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 is amended by inserting 
after section 231 (47 U.S.C. 231) the following new section:


    ``(a) Definitions.--As used in this section:
            ``(1) Dial-around services.--The term `dial-around 
        services' means a product or service by which a person may use 
        a seven-digit code to bypass such person's preferred interstate 
        carrier to gain access to the telecommunications services of 
        another carrier.
            ``(2) Consumer.--The term `consumer' means a person 
        initiating any interstate telephone call using a seven-digit 
        code to obtain dial-around services.
            ``(3) Preferred interstate carrier.--The term `preferred 
        interstate carrier' means the carrier that provides interstate 
        service to a consumer on a prescribed basis.
            ``(4) Presubscribed basis.--The term `presubscribed basis' 
        means the selection of a common carrier to carry all interstate 
        calls initiated by dialing `1' or `0' plus the area code, plus 
        the terminating telephone number, or by dialing `011' or `00'.
            ``(5) Provider of dial-around services.--The term `provider 
        of dial-around services' means any common carrier that provides 
        interexchange services, or any other person determined by the 
        Commission to be providing interexchange services, through the 
        use of a dial-around code.
    ``(b) Requirements for Providers.--Beginning not later than 90 days 
after the date of enactment of this section, each provider of dial-
around services shall, at a minimum--
            ``(1) identify itself, audibly and distinctly, to the 
        consumer at the beginning of each telephone call and before the 
        consumer incurs any charge for the call;
            ``(2) disclose immediately to the consumer, upon request 
        and at no charge to the consumer--
                    ``(A) a quote of its rates or charges for the call;
                    ``(B) the methods by which such rates or charges 
                will be collected; and
                    ``(C) the methods by which complaints concerning 
                such rates, charges, or collection practices will be 
                resolved; and
            ``(3) permit the consumer to terminate the telephone call 
        at no charge before the call is connected.
    ``(c) General Rulemaking Required.--
            ``(1) Rulemaking proceeding.--The Commission shall conduct 
        a rulemaking proceeding pursuant to this section and section 
        201(b) to prescribe regulations to--
                    ``(A) protect consumers from unfair and deceptive 
                practices relating to their use of dial-around services 
                to place interstate telephone calls; and
                    ``(B) ensure that consumers have the information 
                necessary to make informed choices in making such 
            ``(2) Contents of regulations.--The regulations prescribed 
        under this section shall--
                    ``(A) contain provisions to implement each of the 
                requirements of this section; and
                    ``(B) contain such other provisions as the 
                Commission determines necessary to carry out this 
                section and section 201(b) and the purposes and 
                policies of this section and section 201(b).
    ``(d) Statutory Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be 
construed to alter the obligations, powers, or duties of common 
carriers or the Commission under section 201(b) on the other sections 
of this Act.''.


    (a) Amendment.--Section 201 of the Telephone Consumer Protection 
Act of 1991 (15 U.S.C. 5711) is amended--
            (1) by redesignating subsections (b) and (c) as subsections 
        (c) and (d), respectively; and
            (2) by inserting after subsection (a) the following new 
    ``(b) Dial-Around Services Advertising.--
            ``(1) Advertising regulations.--The Commission shall 
        prescribe rules in accordance with this subsection to prohibit 
        unfair and deceptive acts and practices in any advertisement 
        for dial-around services. Such rules shall require that the 
        person offering such dial-around services--
                    ``(A) clearly and conspicuously disclose in any 
                advertising the cost of the use of such dial-around 
                services, including the total cost or the cost per 
                minute and any other fees for that service and for any 
                other dial-around service to which the caller may be 
                    ``(B) be prohibited from using advertisements that 
                emit electronic tones which can automatically dial a 
                dial-around telephone number;
                    ``(C) ensure that, whenever the dial-around code 
                number to be called is shown in television and print 
                media advertisements, the charges for dial-around 
                services are clear and conspicuous and (when shown in 
                television advertisements) displayed for the same 
                duration as that number is displayed; and
                    ``(D) in delivering any telephone message 
                soliciting calls to a dial-around service, specify 
                clearly, and at no less than the audible volume of the 
                solicitation, the total cost and the cost per minute 
                and any other fees for that service and for any other 
                dial-around service to which the caller may be 
            ``(3) Access to information.--The Commission shall by rule 
        require a common carrier that provides telephone services to a 
        provider of dial-around services to make available to the 
        Commission any records and financial information maintained by 
        such carrier relating to the arrangements (other than for the 
        provision of local exchange service) between such carrier and 
        any provider of dial-around services.
            ``(4) Evasions.--The rules issued by the Commission under 
        this section shall include provisions to prohibit unfair or 
        deceptive acts or practices that evade such rules or undermine 
        the rights provided to customers under this title, including 
        through the use of alternative billing or other procedures.
            ``(5) Treatment of rules.--A rule issued under this 
        subsection shall be treated as a rule issued under section 
        18(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 
            ``(6) Effect on fcc.--Nothing in this section shall be 
        construed to limit or otherwise alter the authority of the 
        Federal Communications Commission under section 201(b), section 
        232, or any other provisions, of the Communications Act of 
    (b) Conforming Amendments.--
            (1) Deadline for regulations.--Section 201(c) of such Act 
        (as redesignated by subsection (a)(1)) is amended by inserting 
        after the first sentence the following: ``The Commission shall 
        prescribe the rules under subsection (b) within 270 days after 
        the date of enactment of the Save Consumers Aggravation and 
        Money Act of 2000.''.
            (2) Cross references.--Sections 202, 203, and 204 of such 
        Act are amended by striking ``section 201(a)'' each place it 
        appears and inserting ``subsection (a) or (b) of section 201''.
            (3) Heading.--The heading of section 201(a) is amended by 
        striking ``In General'' and inserting ``Pay-per-Call Services 
            (4) Definition.--Section 204 of such Act is amended by 
        adding at the end the following new paragraph:
            ``(5) The term `dial-around services' has the meaning 
        provided in section 232(a) of the Communications Act of 

Pages: 1

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