There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (10/28/1999)

Phone Bill Fairness Act - Directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to: (1) jointly investigate billing practices of telecommunications carriers (carriers) to determine whether customer bills accurately assess and characterize the services received and fees charged, including any fees imposed as line-item charges; (2) take appropriate disciplinary actions for inaccuracies; and (3) report to Congress on investigation results.

Requires the FTC to treat any telecommunications billing practice or rate plan determined to be intentionally misleading as an unfair business practice for purposes of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

Requires the FCC, upon a finding that any holder of an FCC license has repeatedly and intentionally engaged in a telephone billing practice or utilized a rate plan that is misleading, to treat such holder as acting against public interest for purposes of the Communications Act of 1934.

Requires each carrier to display on the first page of each customer bill: (1) the average per-minute charge of telecommunications services for the billing period; and (2) the percentage of the total number of telephone calls of such customer that took place on a weekday, weekend, daytime, or nighttime, and the percentage that were billed to a calling card.

Requires customer bills to include: (1) an accurate name and description of any covered charge and the recipient of monies collected through such charge; (2) a statement of whether each such charge is required by law or by a governmental entity under its discretionary authority; and (3) an explanation of any reduction in charges or fees.

Directs each carrier required to contribute to universal services during the previous year to report to the FCC on their total contributions during the previous year and the total receipts from customers to recover such contributions. Directs the FCC to review such reports to determine whether such amounts are equal and, if not, to require such carrier to deposit an equal amount.