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Empowering Consumers To Prevent and Detect Billing for Unauthorized Charges (“Cramming”); Consumer Information and Disclosure; Truth-in-Billing Format

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ACTION:

Final rule; announcement of effective date.

SUMMARY:

In this document, the Commission announces that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved, for a period of three years, the information collection associated with the Commission's document Empowering Consumers to Prevent and Detect Billing for Unauthorized Charges (“Cramming”); Consumer Information and Disclosure; Truth-in-Billing Format. This notice is consistent with the Report and Order, which stated that the Commission would publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective dates of those sections.

DATES:

The amendments to 47 CFR 64.2401(a)(3) published at 77 FR 30915, May 24, 2012, is effective December 26, 2012, to 47 CFR 64.2401(f), published at 77 FR 30915, May 24, 2012, is effective November 13, 2012 with respect to disclosures at points of sale and on carriers' Web sites, and is effective December 26, 2012 with respect to disclosures on each telephone bill.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Melissa Conway, Melissa.Conway@fcc.gov or (202) 418-2887, of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This document announces that, on October 15, 2012, OMB approved, for a period of three years, the information collection requirements contained in the Commission's Report and Order, FCC 12-42, published at 77 FR 30915, May 24, 2012. The OMB Control Number is 3060-0854. The Commission publishes this notice as an announcement of the effective dates of those modified sections. If you have any comments on the burden estimates listed below, or how the Commission can improve the collections and reduce any burdens caused thereby, please contact Cathy Williams, Federal Communications Commission, Room 1-C823, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. Please include the OMB Control Number, 3060-0854, in your correspondence. The Commission will also accept your comments via the Internet if you send them to PRA@fcc.gov.

To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

Synopsis

As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507), the FCC is notifying the public that it received OMB approval on October 15, 2012, for the information collection requirements contained in the Commission's modified rules at 47 CFR 64.2401(a)(3) and (f).

Under 5 CFR part 1320, an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a current, valid OMB Control Number.

No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act that does not display a current, valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number is 3060-0854.

The foregoing notice is required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, October 1, 1995, and 44 U.S.C. 3507.

The total annual reporting burdens and costs for the respondents are as follows:

OMB Control Number: 3060-0854.

OMB Approval Date: October 15, 2012.

OMB Expiration Date: October 31, 2015.

Title: Section 64.2401, Truth-in-Billing Format, CC Docket No. 98-170 and CG Docket No. 04-208.

Form Number: N/A.

Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities.

Number of Respondents and Responses: 4,484 respondents; 36,090 responses.

Estimated Time per Response: 2 to 243 hours.

Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement; Third party disclosure requirement.

Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this information collection is found at section 201(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 201(b), and section 258, 47 U.S.C. 258, Public Law 104-104, 110 Stat. 56. The Commission's implementing rules are codified at 47 CFR 64.2400-01.

Total Annual Burden: 2,074,174 hours.

Total Annual Cost: $15,918,200.

Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: An assurance of confidentiality is not offered because this information collection does not require the collection of personally identifiable information from individuals.

Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

Needs and Uses: In 1999, the Commission released the Truth-in-Billing and Billing Format, CC Docket No. 98-170, First Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, (1999 TIB Order); published at 64 FR 34488, June 25, 1999, which adopted principles and guidelines designed to reduce telecommunications fraud, such as slamming and cramming, by making bills easier for consumers to read and understand, and thereby, making such fraud easier to detect and report. In 2000, Truth-in-Billing and Billing Format, CC Docket No. 98-170, Order on Reconsideration, (2000 Reconsideration Order); published at 65 FR 43251, July 13, 2000, the Commission, granted in part petitions for reconsideration of the requirements that bills highlight new service providers and prominently display inquiry contact numbers. On March 18, 2005, the Commission released Truth-in-Billing and Billing Format; National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates' Petition for Declaratory Ruling Regarding Truth-in-Billing, Second Report and Order, Declaratory Ruling, and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, CC Docket No. 98-170, CG Docket No. 04-208, (2005 Second Report and Order and Second Further Notice); published at 70 FR 29979, May 25, 2005, and at 70 FR 30044, May 25, 2005, which determined, inter alia, that Commercial Mobile Radio Service providers no longer should be exempted from 47 CFR 64.2401(b), which requires billing descriptions to be brief, clear, non-misleading and in plain language. The 2005 Second Further Notice proposed and sought comment on measures to enhance the ability of consumers to make informed choices among competitive telecommunications service providers.

On April 27, 2012, the Commission released the Empowering Consumers to Prevent and Detect Billing for Unauthorized Charges (“Cramming”), Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, CG Docket No. 11-116, CG Docket No. 09-158, CC Docket No. 98-170, FCC 12-42 (Cramming Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking); published at 77 FR 30915, May 24, 2012, and at 77 FR 30972, May 24, 2012, which determined that additional rules are needed to help consumers prevent and detect the placement of unauthorized charges on their telephone bills, an unlawful and fraudulent practice commonly referred to as “cramming.”

Federal Communications Commission.

Gloria J. Miles,

Federal Register Liaison, Office of the Secretary, Office of Managing Director.

[FR Doc. 2012-26421 Filed 10-25-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6712-01-P