Bill Text: NY A03749 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Creates the cell phone users' bill of rights; provides that customers be given a thirty-day trial period; provides that a customer shall not be liable for calls or messages that were not made from the customer's phone; provides that a company shall be liable to the customer for violating these provisions.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 6-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-01-31 - referred to consumer affairs and protection [A03749 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A03749-Introduced.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                          3749
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 31, 2019
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by  M. of A. ORTIZ, GOTTFRIED, WRIGHT, RIVERA, LAVINE, PERRY
          -- read once and referred to the Committee  on  Consumer  Affairs  and
          Protection
        AN  ACT  to  amend the general business law, in relation to creating the
          cell phone users' bill of rights
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new section
     2  390-d to read as follows:
     3    § 390-d. Cell phone users' bill of rights. 1. Any person, firm, corpo-
     4  ration,  or  other entity that offers cellular phones and cellular phone
     5  services to the public shall provide each  customer  with  a  thirty-day
     6  trial  period.  If  a customer returns a phone or cancels service within
     7  that thirty-day period, he or she shall not be  subject  to  any  termi-
     8  nation fees.
     9    a. When a new phone is purchased, the thirty-day period shall commence
    10  when the customer physically receives the phone.
    11    b.  When a person applies for new service, the thirty-day period shall
    12  commence when the customer's account is activated.
    13    2. Whenever a person returns a phone or cancels a service  within  the
    14  thirty-day  trial  period  required  pursuant to subdivision one of this
    15  section, such person shall be responsible for the  monthly  access  fee,
    16  pro  rata, and shall also be responsible for the costs of any calls made
    17  by such person if they are not included within the monthly access fee.
    18    3. a. Any person, firm, corporation, or  other  entity  that  provides
    19  cellular  phone  services  to  a customer for a fee, such fee shall only
    20  include those services authorized by  the  customer.  No  person,  firm,
    21  corporation,  or  other  entity  shall charge a customer for any service
    22  such customer did not request or authorize.
    23    b. Any person, firm, corporation, or other entity that provides cellu-
    24  lar phone services to a customer for a fee shall include on its  monthly
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD07760-01-9

        A. 3749                             2
     1  statement  a  clear and concise breakdown of all fees, costs, and taxes.
     2  Such breakdown shall further specify which fees,  taxes,  or  surcharges
     3  are mandated by the government, and which fees, taxes, or surcharges are
     4  imposed  by  the  company. Such monthly statement shall also include the
     5  rates and terms of the customer's service agreement.
     6    4. A customer shall not be liable  for  any  charges  to  his  or  her
     7  account  if such charges are the result of calls or messages placed from
     8  a phone other than one owned by the customer. It shall be the  responsi-
     9  bility  of the person, firm, corporation, or other entity to ensure that
    10  all services are used solely by  the  phone  registered  to  the  person
    11  authorized  under  the service agreement. A customer shall not be liable
    12  for any charges resulting from the  theft  of  the  customer's  cellular
    13  phone identification or signal.
    14    5.  Any  person,  firm, corporation, or other entity that violates the
    15  provisions of this section shall pay  a  fine  of  not  less  than  five
    16  hundred  dollars nor more than five thousand dollars per violation. Such
    17  person, firm, corporation, or other entity shall also be liable  to  the
    18  customer  for civil damages in an amount of two hundred fifty dollars or
    19  the customer's actual expenses, whichever is greater.  The  court  shall
    20  grant reasonable attorney's fees to any customer who is successful in an
    21  action brought pursuant to this subdivision.
    22    § 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
    23  it shall have become a law.
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