[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 101 (Thursday, May 24, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 30915-30919]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-12673]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Part 64

[CG Docket Nos. 11-116 and 09-158; CC Docket No. 98-170; FCC 12-42]


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

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC 
or Commission) adopts rules 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.'' The rules 
amend the Commission's existing Truth-in-Billing (TiB) rules, build on 
existing industry efforts to prevent cramming, and apply to wireline 
telephone carriers. The fact that the number of complaints received by 
the FCC, the Federal Trade Commission, and state agencies remains high 
and the widespread nature of cramming are strong evidence that current 
voluntary industry practices have been ineffective to prevent cramming 
and make clear the need for additional protection for consumers.

DATES: Effective May 24, 2012, except 47 CFR 64.2401 (a)(3) and (f), 
which contain modified information collection requirements that have 
not been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The 
Commission will publish a separate document in the Federal Register 
announcing the effective date of those sections.

ADDRESSES: Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., 
Washington, DC 20554.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lynn Ratnavale, Lynn.Ratnavale@fcc.gov 
or (202) 418-1514, or Melissa Conway, Melissa.Conway@fcc.gov or (202) 
418-2887, of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau. For 
additional information concerning the Paperwork Reduction Act 
information collection requirements contained in document FCC 12-42, 
contact Cathy Williams, Federal Communications Commission, at (202) 
418-2918, or via email Cathy.Williams@fcc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a synopsis of the Commission's 
Report and Order (R&O), FCC 12-42, adopted on April 27, 2012 and 
released on April 27, 2012, in CG Docket Nos. 11-116 and 09-158, and CC 
Docket No. 98-170. The R&O adopts some of the rules proposed in the 
Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), FCC 11-106; 
published at 76 FR 52625, August 23, 2011. In the NPRM, the Commission 
sought comment on measures to address cramming. Specifically, the 
Commission proposed that wireline telephone companies disclose to 
consumers information about blocking of third-party charges and place 
third-party charges in a separate bill section from all telephone 
company charges. The Commission further proposed that wireline and 
wireless telephone companies, on their bills and on their Web sites, 
notify subscribers that they can file complaints with the Commission, 
provide Commission contact information for filing complaints, and 
provide a link to the Commission's complaint Web site on their Web 
sites. Simultaneously with the R&O, the Commission also issued a 
Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in CG Docket Nos. 11-116 and 09-
158, and CC Docket No. 98-170. The full text of the R&O and copies of 
any subsequently filed documents in this matter will be available for 
public inspection and copying via ECFS, and during regular business 
hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th 
Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. They may also be 
purchased from the Commission's duplicating contractor, Best Copy and 
Printing, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-B402, 
Washington, DC 20554, telephone: (202) 488-5300, fax: (202) 488-5563, 
or Internet: www.bcpiweb.com. This document can also be downloaded in 
Word or Portable Document Format (PDF) at http://www.fcc.gov/guides/cramming-unauthorized-misleading-or-deceptive-charges-placed-your-telephone-bill. To request materials in accessible formats for people 
with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio 
format), send an

[[Page 30916]]

email to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs 
Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

Final Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis

    The R&O contains modified information collection requirements. The 
Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork 
burdens, will invite the general public to comment on the information 
collection requirements contained in the R&O as required by the PRA of 
1995, Public Law 104-13 in a separate notice that will be published in 
the Federal Register. In addition, the Commission notes that pursuant 
to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, 
see 44 U.S.C. 3506 (c)(4), the Commission previously sought specific 
comment on how it might further reduce the information collection 
burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. In 
this present document, the Commission has assessed the potential 
effects of the various policy changes with regard to information 
collection burdens on small business concerns, and finds that these 
requirements will benefit many companies with fewer than 25 employees 
because they help address cramming without requiring a specific format 
for new disclosures or bill changes. In addition, the Commission has 
described the impacts that might affect small businesses, which 
includes most businesses with fewer than 25 employees, in the Final 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis.

Synopsis

    1. In the R&O, the Commission adopts rules requiring: (1) Wireline 
telephone carriers that currently offer blocking of third-party charges 
to clearly and conspicuously notify consumers of this option on their 
bills, Web sites, and at the point of sale; (2) wireline telephone 
carriers that place on their telephone bills charges from third parties 
to place non-carrier third-party charges in a distinct bill section 
separate from all carrier charges; and (3) wireline telephone carriers 
that place on their telephone bills charges from third parties to 
provide separate subtotals for carrier and non-carrier charges. These 
rules reflect an important step beyond the existing TiB rules by 
requiring additional clear and conspicuous disclosures and by requiring 
clearer and distinct separation of carrier and non-carrier charges.

Rules To Prevent Cramming From Happening

    2. The Commission adopts a rule that wireline carriers clearly and 
conspicuously notify--at the point of sale, on each bill, and on their 
Web sites--consumers of blocking options they offer. There is 
significant record support for this requirement. State and public 
interest commenters generally support more consumer disclosure and 
education, but question whether disclosure requirements alone are the 
most effective means to combat cramming. Carriers urge the Commission 
not to adopt any sort of disclosure requirement. The Commission 
disagrees with the carriers that generally oppose clear and conspicuous 
disclosure of existing blocking options, but affords carriers the 
flexibility to implement the requirement in the manner that best 
accomplishes the goal of the rule within the context of each carrier's 
individual Web site, bill, and point-of-sale scripts. This flexibility 
should enable carriers to avoid unnecessary costs while providing 
effective disclosures.

Rules To Help Consumers Detect Cramming After It Happens

    3. The Commission adopts a rule that wireline carriers that place 
on their telephone bills charges from third parties for non-
telecommunications services must place those charges in a distinct 
section of the bill separate from carrier charges. Carriers also must 
clearly and conspicuously identify and disclose separate subtotals for 
charges from carriers and from non-carrier third parties on the payment 
page of bills. For consumers who do not receive a paper bill, subtotals 
must be clearly and conspicuously displayed in an equivalent location 
and in any bill total that is provided to the consumer before the 
consumer has the opportunity to access an electronic version of the 
bill, such as in a transmittal email message, on a payment portal, or 
on a Web page. The Commission believes that these requirements are 
critical to enabling consumers to detect the most common types of 
unauthorized charges on their telephone bills. Importantly, the rule 
does not prohibit carriers from using the same basic format for all 
third-party charges, provided the format otherwise complies with 
Commission rules. Although a carrier's compliance with the rule will be 
determined on a case-by-case basis, a carrier might seek to comply by, 
for example, designating ``Part A'' of its bill for carrier charges and 
``Part B'' for non-carrier charges. Similarly, a carrier may prefer 
``Part A'' for its own charges, ``Part B'' for third-party carrier 
charges, and ``Part C'' for non-carrier third-party charges. With clear 
and conspicuous labeling of each section of the bill, such formats 
likely would comply with the Commission's requirements. The Commission 
does not mandate any specific format and carriers have flexibility to 
develop their own solutions. This rule does not change carrier billing 
for bundled services. This rule is an incremental step forward from the 
status quo where many carriers already separate carrier and non-carrier 
charges on their bills, but may not place the non-carrier third-party 
charges in a distinct bill section or otherwise clearly and 
conspicuously differentiate between carrier and non-carrier charges.

Implementation

    4. It likely will take carriers longer to make changes to their 
billing systems than to provide the required disclosures on Web sites 
and at points of sale. Given this and the time it will take to obtain 
OMB approval of these rules, the Commission concludes that it is 
reasonable to require carriers to implement required changes to their 
billing systems within 60 days after publication in the Federal 
Register of a notice that OMB approval has been obtained, and to 
require carriers to implement required disclosures on their Web sites 
and at their points of sale within 15 days after such notice.

Legal Issues

    5. Communications Act: Section 201(b) of the Act provides authority 
for it to adopt the new rules. This section requires that carrier 
practices ``for and in connection with'' telecommunications services 
must be just and reasonable. The new rules are an incremental outgrowth 
of the TiB rules that have been in place for more than a decade. 
Billing for telecommunications services is an integral part of the 
provision of telecommunications services.
    First Amendment: The new rules do not unconstitutionally burden 
carrier speech. Untruthful or misleading commercial speech does not 
enjoy First Amendment protections. Nor does misleading speech or speech 
concerning unlawful activity raise First Amendment concerns. A 
substantial percentage of non-carrier third-party charges are 
unauthorized, and many of the unauthorized charges are fabricated or 
otherwise fraudulent in violation of state and federal laws.
    6. Thus, it appears that a significant percentage of the speech 
that the rules target is not protected by the First

[[Page 30917]]

Amendment. Nevertheless, as the rules require speech in the form of 
mandatory disclosure and related format requirements, the First 
Amendment is implicated. The more lenient Zauderer (Zauderer v. Office 
of Disciplinary Counsel, 471 U.S. 626 (1985)) standard rather than the 
intermediate Central Hudson (Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corp. v. 
Public Service Commission, 447 U.S. 557 (1980)) standard applies to the 
rules adopted in the R&O. By giving consumers greater ability to 
identify and prevent fraudulent telephone charges, the rules are 
``reasonably related'' to the government's interest of preventing 
cramming. Therefore, the rules easily satisfy the Zauderer standard. 
And, even under the three-part Central Hudson standard, the rules pass 
constitutional muster. Under the first part of the Central Hudson test, 
the Commission finds a substantial interest in assisting consumers in 
detecting and preventing placement of fraudulent, unauthorized charges 
on their telephone bills. With respect to the second prong, the rules 
advance the government's substantial interest.
    7. Finally, the last prong is satisfied because the rules are 
proportionate to the substantial interest as an incremental, moderate 
approach to the prevention of cramming. The rules are narrowly crafted 
so that they are no more extensive than necessary to further the 
objective of enhancing the ability of consumers to detect and to 
prevent unauthorized charges on their telephone bills, and thus they 
satisfy the third prong of Central Hudson.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    8. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as 
amended (RFA), an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was 
incorporated into FCC 11-106 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The 
Commission sought written public comments on the proposals contained in 
the NPRM, including comments on the IRFA. None of the comments filed in 
this proceeding were specifically identified as comments addressing the 
IRFA; however, comments that address the impact of the proposed rules 
and policies on small entities are discussed below. This Final 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) conforms to the RFA.

Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

    9. The record confirms that cramming is a significant and ongoing 
problem that has affected wireline consumers for over a decade, and 
drawn the notice of Congress, states, and other federal agencies. The 
substantial volume of wireline cramming complaints that the Commission, 
FTC, and states receive underscores the ineffectiveness of voluntary 
industry practices and highlights the need for additional safeguards. 
Although the Commission has addressed cramming as an unreasonable 
practice pursuant to section 201(b) of the Act, there had been no rules 
that specifically address this practice. In the R&O, the Commission 
adopts measures under the TiB rules to help consumers detect and 
prevent the placement of unauthorized charges on their telephone bills. 
The rules strike an appropriate balance between maximizing consumer 
protection and avoiding imposing undue burdens on carriers and billing 
aggregators. These rules avoid imposing the undue burden on consumers 
of eliminating third-party billing as a convenient means by which to 
receive charges. These rules avoid imposing undue burdens on small 
carriers that would raise their billing costs to an extent that would 
inhibit their businesses' ability to remain competitive and perhaps 
stifle innovation in the marketplace.
    10. Blocking is a service many carriers and billing aggregators 
already make available to consumers; the new requirements will simply 
make the information about blocking more obvious to consumers when they 
sign up for telephone service. Requiring a separate section and 
separate totals for third-party non-carrier charges will also make it 
easier for a consumer to identify the services for which they are 
charged without requiring an entirely separate bill or the elimination 
of such charges from bills.

Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response to 
the IRFA

    11. There were no comments filed in direct response to the IRFA. 
Some commenters, however, raise issues and questions about the impact 
the proposed rules and policies would have on small entities.
    12. Point of Sale Disclosure of Blocking Options. Although the 
state attorneys general, many state public utility commissions, and 
public interest commenters generally believe that the Commission should 
adopt additional measures to combat cramming, these groups support more 
disclosure to and the education of consumers as a general matter. Some 
carriers generally oppose clear and conspicuous disclosure of existing 
blocking options. They claim that required methods of disclosure would 
interfere with bill formatting flexibility, be unnecessary, or be 
costly. Nothing in the record convinces the Commission that it will be 
unduly burdensome or costly for carriers to implement this 
requirement--especially since carriers have the implementation 
flexibility they requested--given that that many or most carriers 
already offer blocking and notify consumers of blocking options when 
consumers dispute unauthorized charges. Thus, many carriers will be 
required only to expand their existing notification. Carriers are 
afforded the flexibility to implement this requirement in the manner 
that best accomplishes the goal of the rule within the context of each 
carrier's individual Web site, bill, and point-of-sale scripts. This 
flexibility should enable carriers to avoid unnecessary marketing and 
billing costs while still providing effective disclosures to their 
consumers.
    13. Separate Section of Bill for Non-Carrier Third-Party Charges. 
The Commission adopts the requirement that where charges for service 
providers that are not carriers appear on a telephone bill, the charges 
must be placed in a distinct section of the bill separate from all 
carrier charges. There is significant support for greater separation of 
bill charges. While changes to bill format alone may not be enough to 
protect consumers, the requirement should make it easier for consumers 
to detect unauthorized charges on their bills that are described so as 
to appear to be for a telecommunications service, a common tactic used 
to hide unauthorized charges. The rules do not change anything with 
respect to billing for bundles.
    14. Separate Totals for Carrier and Non-Carrier Charges. The 
Commission requires carriers to clearly and conspicuously disclose 
separate subtotals for charges from carriers and charges from non-
carrier third parties on the payment page of their bills. For consumers 
who do not receive a paper bill, these subtotals must be clearly and 
conspicuously displayed in an equivalent location and in any bill total 
that is provided to the subscriber before the subscriber has the 
opportunity to access an electronic version of the bill, such as in a 
transmittal email message or on a Web page. One of the reasons 
consumers have difficulty detecting unauthorized charges is that these 
charges often are at or near the end of bills. By requiring separate 
subtotals on the payment page, which usually is the first page of a 
paper bill, the Commission addresses these concerns and guards against 
the unintended consequence that the requirement to place non-carrier 
third-party charges in

[[Page 30918]]

a distinct section of the bill could be implemented in a way that 
exacerbates problems associated with such charges being near the end of 
a bill. Requiring separate subtotals on the payment page also helps to 
alert consumers that their bill contains non-carrier third-party 
charges and that these charges are detailed in a distinct section of 
the bill. This requirement also should help consumers to be aware that 
their telephone bills may contain non-carrier charges.

Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the 
Rules Will Apply

    15. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and where 
feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be 
affected by the adopted rules. The RFA generally defines the term 
``small entity'' as having the same meaning as the terms ``small 
business,'' ``small organization,'' and ``small governmental 
jurisdiction.'' In addition, the term ``small business'' has the same 
meaning as the term ``small business concern'' under the Small Business 
Act. Under the Small Business Act, a ``small business concern'' is one 
that: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in 
its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria 
established by the Small Business Administration (SBA).
    16. Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (``Incumbent LECs''). Neither 
the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard 
specifically for incumbent local exchange services. The appropriate 
size standard under SBA rules is for the category Wired 
Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business 
is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. Census Bureau data for 
2007, which now supersede data from the 2002 Census, show that there 
were 3,188 firms in this category that operated for the entire year. Of 
this total, 3,144 had employment of 999 or fewer, and 44 firms had had 
employment of 1000 or more. According to Commission data, 1,307 
carriers reported that they were incumbent local exchange service 
providers. Of these 1,307 carriers, an estimated 1,006 have 1,500 or 
fewer employees and 301 have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, 
the Commission estimates that most providers of local exchange service 
are small entities that may be affected by the adopted rules and 
policies. Thus, under this category and the associated small business 
size standard, the majority of these incumbent local exchange service 
providers can be considered small.
    17. Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (``Competitive LECs''), 
Competitive Access Providers (``CAPs''), Shared-Tenant Service 
Providers, and Other Local Service Providers. Neither the Commission 
nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically 
for these service providers. The appropriate size standard under SBA 
rules is for the category Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that 
size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer 
employees. Census Bureau data for 2007, which now supersede data from 
the 2002 Census, show that there were 3,188 firms in this category that 
operated for the entire year. Of this total, 3,144 had employment of 
999 or fewer, and 44 firms had had employment of 1,000 employees or 
more. Thus under this category and the associated small business size 
standard, the majority of these Competitive LECs, CAPs, Shared-Tenant 
Service Providers, and Other Local Service Providers can be considered 
small entities. According to Commission data, 1,442 carriers reported 
that they were engaged in the provision of either competitive local 
exchange services or competitive access provider services. Of these 
1,442 carriers, an estimated 1,256 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 
186 have more than 1,500 employees. In addition, 17 carriers have 
reported that they are Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and all 17 are 
estimated to have 1,500 or fewer employees. In addition, 72 carriers 
have reported that they are Other Local Service Providers. Of the 72, 
seventy have 1,500 or fewer employees and two have more than 1,500 
employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that most providers 
of competitive local exchange service, competitive access providers, 
Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and Other Local Service Providers are 
small entities that may be affected by the adopted rules.
    18. Billing Aggregators. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has 
developed a small business size standard specifically for providers of 
billing aggregation services. The appropriate size standard under SBA 
rules is for the category Other Telecommunications Services and or Data 
Processing, Hosting and Related Services. Under those size standards, 
such a business is small if it has revenue of $25 million of less 
annually. Based upon the information provided by the commenting billing 
aggregators, the Commission estimates that the majority of billing 
aggregators are small entities that may be affected by adopted rules.

Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance 
Requirements for Small Entities

    19. The rules adopted in the R&O require wireline carriers (1) To 
notify subscribers clearly and conspicuously, at the point of sale, on 
each bill, and on their Web sites, of the option to block third-party 
charges from their telephone bills, if the carrier offers that option; 
(2) to place charges from non-carrier third-parties in a bill section 
separate from carrier charges; and (3) to clearly and conspicuously 
disclose separate subtotals for charges from carriers and charges from 
non-carrier third-parties on the payment page of their bills. These 
rules may necessitate that some common carriers make changes to their 
existing billing formats and/or disclosure materials.

Steps Taken To Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small 
Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

    20. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant 
alternatives that it has considered in developing its approach, which 
may include the following four alternatives (among others): ``(1) the 
establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or 
timetables that take into account the resources available to small 
entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of 
compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for such small 
entities; (3) the use of performance rather than design standards; and 
(4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for 
such small entities.''
    21. Point of Sale Disclosure of Blocking Options. In the R&O, the 
Commission adopts a requirement that carriers notify consumers of their 
options to block non-carrier third-party charges from their telephone 
bills. Although this requirement imposes some costs on small carriers, 
the requirement is limited to disclosure of already existing blocking 
options. This limitation significantly reduces the compliance burden. 
The Commission concludes that the costs imposed upon carriers are 
outweighed by the fact that consumers would be significantly more 
protected from crammed charges appearing on their telephone bills.
    22. Separate Section of Bill for Non-Carrier Third-Party Charges. 
In the R&O, the Commission amends its rules to require that when 
service providers that are not carriers appear on a telephone bill, the 
charges must be

[[Page 30919]]

placed in a distinct section of the bill separate from all carrier 
charges. This rule places some burden on carriers, but the burden is 
mitigated because no specific format is mandated. Carriers have 
flexibility to develop their own solutions that comply with the rule as 
best works for their size and particular billing system, thereby 
reducing the burden. The rule will make it much easier for consumers to 
identify the charges on their bill that the record suggests are most 
likely to be crammed.
    23. Separate Totals for Carrier and Non-Carrier Charges. The 
Commission requires carriers to clearly and conspicuously disclose 
separate subtotals for charges from carriers and charges from non-
carrier third parties on the payment page of their bills. The separate 
totals requirement is part-and-parcel of the separate section for non-
carrier third-party charges. The benefit to consumers in making their 
bills more clear and usable outweighs the burden on the carrier.
    24. The Commission specifically identified two alternatives to the 
rules adopted in the R&O for the purpose of reducing the economic 
impact on small businesses. First, the Commission considered requiring 
all carriers to offer blocking. Second, the Commission considered 
requiring a specific bill format. However, the Commission rejected both 
of these alternatives because they are more costly to small businesses.

Congressional Review Act

    25. The Commission will send a copy of the R&O in a report to be 
sent to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to 
the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

Ordering Clauses

    26. Pursuant to the authority found in sections 1-2, 4, 201, 
303(r), and 403 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 
U.S.C. 151-152, 154, 201, 303(r), and 403, the R&O is adopted.
    27. Pursuant to the authority found in sections 4, 201, 303(r), and 
403 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154, 201, 
303(r), and 403, the Commission's rules are adopted.
    28. The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, 
Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of the R&O, including 
the FRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration.

List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 64

    Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Telecommunications, 
Telephone.

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission amends part 64 as follows:

PART 64--MISCELLANEOUS RULES RELATING TO COMMON CARRIERS

Subpart Y--Truth-in-Billing Requirements for Common Carriers

0
1. The authority citation for part 64 is amended to read as follows:

    Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 254(k); 403(b)(2)(B), (c), Pub. L. 
104-104, 110 Stat. 56. Interpret or apply 47 U.S.C. 201, 218, 222, 
225, 226, 227, 228, 254(k), 616, and 620 unless otherwise noted.


0
2. Revise the heading for Subpart Y to read as follows:

Subpart Y--Truth-in-Billing Requirements for Common Carriers; 
Billing for Unauthorized Charges

0
3. Amend Sec.  64.2400 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  64.2400  Purpose and scope.

* * * * *
    (b) These rules shall apply to all telecommunications common 
carriers and to all bills containing charges for intrastate or 
interstate services, except as follows:
    (1) Sections 64.2401(a)(2), 64.2401(a)(3), 64.2401(c), and 
64.2401(f) shall not apply to providers of Commercial Mobile Radio 
Service as defined in Sec.  20.9 of this chapter, or to other providers 
of mobile service as defined in Sec.  20.7 of this chapter, unless the 
Commission determines otherwise in a further rulemaking.
    (2) Sections 64.2401(a)(3) and 64.2401(f) shall not apply to bills 
containing charges only for intrastate services.
* * * * *

0
4. Amend Sec.  64.2401 by redesignating paragraph (a)(3) as paragraph 
(a)(4), and add new paragraphs (a)(3) and (f) to read as follows:


Sec.  64.2401  Truth-in-Billing Requirements.

    (a) * * *
    (3) Carriers that place on their telephone bills charges from third 
parties for non-telecommunications services must place those charges in 
a distinct section of the bill separate from all carrier charges. 
Charges in each distinct section of the bill must be separately 
subtotaled. These separate subtotals for carrier and non-carrier 
charges also must be clearly and conspicuously displayed along with the 
bill total on the payment page of a paper bill or equivalent location 
on an electronic bill. For purposes of this subparagraph ``equivalent 
location on an electronic bill'' shall mean any location on an 
electronic bill where the bill total is displayed and any location 
where the bill total is displayed before the bill recipient accesses 
the complete electronic bill, such as in an electronic mail message 
notifying the bill recipient of the bill and an electronic link or 
notice on a Web site or electronic payment portal.
* * * * *
    (f) Blocking of third-party charges. Carriers that offer 
subscribers the option to block third-party charges from appearing on 
telephone bills must clearly and conspicuously notify subscribers of 
this option at the point of sale, on each telephone bill, and on each 
carrier's Web site.

[FR Doc. 2012-12673 Filed 5-23-12; 8:45 a.m.]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P