Summary: H.R.971 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (10/01/1990)

Telephone Operator Consumer Services Improvement Act of 1990 - Requires each provider of telephone operator services to: (1) identify itself to the telephone user at the beginning of each telephone call and before the user is charged for such call; (2) permit the customer to terminate the call at no charge before the call is connected; (3) make certain disclosures immediately to the customer concerning rates and charges; (4) ensure that persons that make telephones available to customers on business premises for interstate telephone calls using a provider of operator services (aggregators) are in compliance with certain requirements concerning the posting of notice and information relating to such provider; (5) withhold payments of compensation to aggregators that block access by an 800 or 950 number to interstate common carriers or that block access to equal access codes; (6) not bill for unanswered telephone calls or calls that do not reflect the origin of the call; and (7) not engage in "call splashing" (the transfer of telephone calls between providers of telephone services in such a way that the subsequent provider of the service is unable or unwilling to determine the location of the origin of the call). Outlines additional requirements to be followed by providers of telephone operator services for the first three years after enactment of this Act, as well as requirements for aggregators.

Requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to prescribe regulations to: (1) protect consumers from unfair and deceptive practices relating to their use of operator services to place interstate telephone calls; and (2) ensure that consumers have the opportunity to make informed choices in making such calls.

Requires the FCC to require: (1) each aggregator to ensure that each such telephone allows the consumer to obtain access to the provider of operator services desired by the customer through the use of an equal access code; or (2) providers of operator services to make available to their customers an 800 or 950 access code number for use in making operator service calls from anywhere in the United States. Requires the FCC to consider the need to prescribe compensation for owners of competitive public pay telephones for calls routed to providers of operator services other than the presubscribed provider of operator services for such telephone. Requires any telephone equipment manufactured or imported and installed more than 18 months after enactment of this Act to be technologically capable of providing consumers with access to providers of telephone operator services through the use of equal access codes.

Requires providers of telephone operator services to file and update regularly an informational tariff specifying rates charged to customers for telephone access and use. Allows the FCC to waive such requirements after four years after enactment of this Act under certain conditions. Authorizes the FCC to review such informational tariffs and initiate appropriate proceedings to determine whether regulatory objectives are being achieved in specific cases. Requires the FCC to: (1) submit reports on its findings; and (2) establish implementing regulations unless it determines that market forces are securing just and reasonable charges.