California releases a telecom Bill of Rights

The California Public Utilities Commission issued a new Telecommunications Consumer Bill of Rights to protect consumers from fraud and abuse.

California's PUC announced today that Californian's will have a new Telecommuniacations Consumer Bill of Rights which will include a toll-free hotline for complaints against wireless carriers.

Government Technology reports: "The special unit would be devoted to analyzing complaints from consumers about telecommunications fraud and quickly identifying sellers that target consumers with fraudulent information, slam and cram consumers with services they did not wish to purchase, and mislead consumers for whom English is a second language."

California citizens' new rights include:

  • Disclosure: Consumers have a right to receive clear and complete information about rates, terms and conditions for available products and services, and to be charged only according to the rates, terms and conditions they have agreed to.
  • Choice: Consumers have a right to select their services and vendors, and to have those choices respected by industry.
  • Privacy: Consumers have a right to personal privacy, to have protection from unauthorized use of their records and personal information, and to reject intrusive communications and technology.
  • Public Participation and Enforcement: Consumers have a right to participate in public policy proceedings, to be informed of their rights and what agencies enforce those rights, and to have effective recourse if their rights are violated.
  • Accurate Bills and Redress: Consumers have a right to accurate and understandable bills for products and services they authorize, and to fair, prompt and courteous redress for problems they encounter.
  • Non-Discrimination: Every consumer has the right to be treated equally to all other similarly situated consumers, free of prejudice or disadvantage.
  • Safety: Consumers have a right to safety and security of their persons and property.