Prohibits cell phone service providers from requiring a customer to renew his or her service plan when adding a new phone line to such plan; and prohibits such provider from extending the time of services originally agreed to under contract.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation to protecting the rights of cell phone users
PURPOSE: Eliminates charges for the cancellation of an additional phone line and allows for the addition of a new phone line without renewing the original contract.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill adds a new Section 390-d to the General Business Law, which provides that cell phone service providers cannot cause a user to extend their existing contract simply because they have added an additional line to their current plan. This section also prohibits cell phone providers from charging a user for canceling a phone line from their account, as long as the primary line is kept active.
EXISTING LAW: None.
JUSTIFICATION: Cell phones have become almost as common as household phones. Most couples and families purchase contracts and add additional lines for their loved ones, so they can keep in touch. It is often the case that lines are added to a customer's existing contract (a child becomes a teenager, or a single adult becomes involved in a relationship), and just as frequently, lines are canceled (a couple breaks up, or a child graduates college and gets their own phone).
Cell phone providers currently charge customers a cancellation fee when they drop an additional line which was added to their primary phone line. Similarly, it is standard practice by most cell phone providers to require that customers, when adding an additional phone line to their contract, cause an automatic renewal of their contract.
The monthly cost for cell phone service, the additional charges that are frequently incurred, and the length of the cell phone contracts, are all quite extensive. Customers should not have to pay for the addition or removal of a line, as long as they maintain their main line.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-10 - S.1079/A.4954 - Passed Senate 2007/08 - S.1497/A.6996 - Referred to Consumer Protection 2005/06 - S.8493/A.12081 - Referred to Consumer Affairs & Protection
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1346 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 6, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. DILAN, DIAZ, HASSELL-THOMPSON, PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to protecting the rights of cell phone users THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new section 390-d to read as follows: S 390-D. CELL PHONE USERS' RIGHTS TO NOT RENEW. 1. ANY PERSON, FIRM, CORPORATION, OR OTHER ENTITY THAT HAS ENTERED INTO A CONTRACT WITH A CUSTOMER TO PROVIDE SUCH CUSTOMER WITH CELLULAR PHONE SERVICES FOR A FEE, SHALL NOT TREAT THE CUSTOMER'S ADDITION OF A NEW PHONE LINE TO THE EXISTING SERVICE PLAN AS THE RENEWAL OF SUCH PLAN, AND SHALL NOT EXTEND THE LENGTH OF TIME OF SERVICES ORIGINALLY AGREED TO UNDER CONTRACT. 2. ANY SUCH PERSON, FIRM, CORPORATION, OR OTHER ENTITY SHALL NOT IMPOSE ON THE CUSTOMER ANY SERVICE CHARGE, ADDITIONAL FEE OR ANY OTHER ADDITIONAL COST FOR THE CANCELLATION OF ANY PHONE LINE INCLUDED IN THE CUSTOMER'S SERVICE PLAN OTHER THAN THE PRIMARY PHONE LINE OF SUCH PLAN. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02669-01-1