(a) No telecommunications carrier shall submit or execute a change on the behalf of a subscriber in the subscriber's selection of a provider of telecommunications service except in accordance with the procedures prescribed in this subpart. Nothing in this section shall preclude any State commission from enforcing these procedures with respect to intrastate services.
(1) No submitting carrier shall submit a change on the behalf of a subscriber in the subscriber's selection of a provider of telecommunications service prior to obtaining:
(i) Authorization from the subscriber, subject to the following:
(A) Material misrepresentation on the sales call is prohibited. Upon a consumer's credible allegation of a sales call misrepresentation, the burden of proof shifts to the carrier making the sales call to provide persuasive evidence to rebut the claim. Upon a finding that such a material misrepresentation has occurred on a sales call, the subscriber's authorization to switch carriers will be deemed invalid.
(ii) Verification of that authorization in accordance with the procedures prescribed in this section. The submitting carrier shall maintain and preserve records of verification of subscriber authorization for a minimum period of two years after obtaining such verification.
(2) An executing carrier shall not verify the submission of a change in a subscriber's selection of a provider of telecommunications service received from a submitting carrier. For an executing carrier, compliance with the procedures described in this part shall be defined as prompt execution, without any unreasonable delay, of changes that have been verified by a submitting carrier.
(3) Commercial mobile radio services (CMRS) providers shall be excluded from the verification requirements of this part as long as they are not required to provide equal access to common carriers for the provision of telephone toll services, in accordance with 47 U.S.C. 332(c)(8).
(b) Any telecommunications carrier that becomes the subject of a Commission forfeiture action through a violation of the third-party verification process set forth in paragraph (c)(3) of this section will be suspended for a five-year period from utilizing the third-party verification process to confirm a carrier change.
(c) No telecommunications carrier shall submit a preferred carrier change order unless and until the order has been confirmed in accordance with one of the following procedures:
(1) The telecommunications carrier has obtained the subscriber's written or electronically signed authorization in a form that meets the requirements of § 64.1130; or
(2) The telecommunications carrier has obtained the subscriber's electronic authorization to submit the preferred carrier change order. Such authorization must be placed from the telephone number(s) on which the preferred carrier is to be changed and must confirm the information in paragraph (a)(1) of this section. Telecommunications carriers electing to confirm sales electronically shall establish one or more toll-free telephone numbers exclusively for that purpose. Calls to the number(s) will connect a subscriber to a voice response unit, or similar mechanism, that records the required information regarding the preferred carrier change, including automatically recording the originating automatic number identification; or
(3) An appropriately qualified independent third party has obtained, in accordance with the procedures set forth in paragraphs (c)(3)(i) through (c)(3)(iv) of this section, the subscriber's oral authorization to submit the preferred carrier change order that confirms and includes appropriate verification data (e.g, the subscriber's date of birth or social security number). The independent third party must not be owned, managed, controlled, or directed by the carrier or the carrier's marketing agent; must not have any financial incentive to confirm preferred carrier change orders for the carrier or the carrier's marketing agent; and must operate in a location physically separate from the carrier or the carrier's marketing agent.
(i) Methods of third party verification. Automated third party verification systems and three-way conference calls may be used for verification purposes so long as the requirements of paragraphs (c)(3)(ii) through (c)(3)(iv) of this section are satisfied.
(ii) Carrier initiation of third party verification. A carrier or a carrier's sales representative initiating a three-way conference call or a call through an automated verification system must drop off the call once the three-way connection has been established.
(iii) Requirements for content and format of third party verification. Any description of the carrier change transaction by a third party verifier must not be misleading, and all third party verification methods shall elicit, at a minimum: The date of the verification; the identity of the subscriber; confirmation that the person on the call is authorized to make the carrier change; confirmation that the person on the call wants to make the carrier change; confirmation that the person on the call understands that a carrier change, not an upgrade to existing service, bill consolidation, or any other misleading description of the transaction, is being authorized; the names of the carriers affected by the change (not including the name of the displaced carrier); the telephone numbers to be switched; and the types of service involved (including a brief description of a service about which the subscriber demonstrates confusion regarding the nature of that service). Except in Hawaii, any description of interLATA or long distance service shall convey that it encompasses both international and state-to-state calls, as well as some intrastate calls where applicable. If the subscriber has additional questions for the carrier's sales representative during the verification, the verifier shall indicate to the subscriber that, upon completion of the verification process, the subscriber will have authorized a carrier change. Third party verifiers may not market the carrier's services by providing additional information, including information regarding preferred carrier freeze procedures.
(iv) Other requirements for third party verification. All third party verifications shall be conducted in the same language that was used in the underlying sales transaction and shall be recorded in their entirety. In accordance with the procedures set forth in 64.1120(a)(1)(ii), submitting carriers shall maintain and preserve audio records of verification of subscriber authorization for a minimum period of two years after obtaining such verification. Automated systems must provide consumers with an option to speak with a live person at any time during the call.
(4) Any State-enacted verification procedures applicable to intrastate preferred carrier change orders only.
(d) Telecommunications carriers must provide subscribers the option of using one of the authorization and verification procedures specified in § 64.1120(c) in addition to an electronically signed authorization and verification procedure under 64.1120(c)(1).
(e) A telecommunications carrier may acquire, through a sale or transfer, either part or all of another telecommunica- tions carrier's subscriber base without obtaining each subscriber's authorization and verification in accordance with § 64.1120(c), provided that the acquiring carrier complies with the following streamlined procedures. A telecommunications carrier may not use these streamlined procedures for any fraudulent purpose, including any attempt to avoid liability for violations under part 64, subpart K of the Commission rules.
(1) No later than 30 days before the planned transfer of the affected subscribers from the selling or transferring carrier to the acquiring carrier, the acquiring carrier shall file with the Commission's Office of the Secretary a letter notification in CC Docket No. 00-257 providing the names of the parties to the transaction, the types of telecommunications services to be provided to the affected subscribers, and the date of the transfer of the subscriber base to the acquiring carrier. In the letter notification, the acquiring carrier also shall certify compliance with the requirement to provide advance subscriber notice in accordance with § 64.1120(e)(3), with the obligations specified in that notice, and with other statutory and Commission requirements that apply to this streamlined process. In addition, the acquiring carrier shall attach a copy of the notice sent to the affected subscribers.
(2) If, subsequent to the filing of the letter notification with the Commission required by § 64.1120(e)(1), any material changes to the required information should develop, the acquiring carrier shall file written notification of these changes with the Commission no more than 10 days after the transfer date announced in the prior notification. The Commission reserves the right to require the acquiring carrier to send an additional notice to the affected subscribers regarding such material changes.
(3) Not later than 30 days before the transfer of the affected subscribers from the selling or transferring carrier to the acquiring carrier, the acquiring carrier shall provide written notice to each affected subscriber of the information specified. The acquiring carrier is required to fulfill the obligations set forth in the advance subscriber notice. The advance subscriber notice shall be provided in a manner consistent with 47 U.S.C. 255 and the Commission's rules regarding accessibility to blind and visually-impaired consumers, 47 CFR 6.3, 6.5 of this chapter. The following information must be included in the advance subscriber notice:
(i) The date on which the acquiring carrier will become the subscriber's new provider of telecommunications service,
(ii) The rates, terms, and conditions of the service(s) to be provided by the acquiring carrier upon the subscriber's transfer to the acquiring carrier, and the means by which the acquiring carrier will notify the subscriber of any change(s) to these rates, terms, and conditions.
(iii) The acquiring carrier will be responsible for any carrier change charges associated with the transfer, except where the carrier is acquiring customers by default, other than through bankruptcy, and state law requires the exiting carrier to pay these costs;
(iv) The subscriber's right to select a different preferred carrier for the telecommunications service(s) at issue, if an alternative carrier is available,
(v) All subscribers receiving the notice, even those who have arranged preferred carrier freezes through their local service providers on the service(s) involved in the transfer, will be transferred to the acquiring carrier, unless they have selected a different carrier before the transfer date; existing preferred carrier freezes on the service(s) involved in the transfer will be lifted; and the subscribers must contact their local service providers to arrange a new freeze.
(vi) Whether the acquiring carrier will be responsible for handling any complaints filed, or otherwise raised, prior to or during the transfer against the selling or transferring carrier, and
(vii) The toll-free customer service telephone number of the acquiring carrier.
[65 FR 47691, Aug. 3, 2000, as amended at 66 FR 12892, Mar. 1, 2001; 66 FR 28124, May 22, 2001; 68 FR 19159, Apr. 18, 2003; 70 FR 12611, Mar. 15, 2005; 73 FR 13149, Mar. 12, 2008; 83 FR 33143, July 17, 2018]