New Jersey Statutes Title 48. Public Utilities 48 § 3-86

a. Notwithstanding any provisions of the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c. 410 ( C.52:14B-1 et seq. ) to the contrary, the board, in consultation with the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety, shall initiate a proceeding and shall adopt, after notice, provision of the opportunity for comment, and public hearing, interim standards for electric power suppliers or gas suppliers, within 90 days of February 9, 1999, to prevent and establish penalties for unauthorized changes of a consumer's electric power supplier or gas supplier, a practice commonly known as “slamming.”  Such standards shall be effective as regulations immediately upon filing with the Office of Administrative Law and shall be effective for a period not to exceed 18 months, and may, thereafter, be amended, adopted or readopted by the board in accordance with the provisions of the “Administrative Procedure Act.”

b. Standards for the prohibition of unauthorized changes in a customer's electric power supplier or gas supplier shall include:

(1) An electric power supplier, an electric public utility, a gas supplier or a gas public utility shall not cause an unauthorized change in a customer's electric power supplier or gas supplier, a practice known as “slamming.”  A change in a customer's electric power supplier or gas supplier shall be deemed to be unauthorized unless the customer has done so affirmatively and voluntarily and the supplier has obtained the customer's approval , which approval shall be evidenced by the customer's written signature;  the customer's electronic signature;  an audio recording of a telephone call initiated by the customer;  independent, third-party verification, in accordance with paragraph (2) of this subsection, of a telephone call initiated by an electric power supplier, electric public utility, gas supplier or gas public utility;  or such alternative forms of verification as the board, in consultation with the Division of Consumer Affairs, may permit;

(2) (a) A company performing independent, third-party verification shall:  (i) be independent from the entity that seeks to provide the new service;  (ii) not be directly or indirectly managed, controlled, directed or owned, wholly or in part, by the entity that seeks to provide the new service, or by any affiliate of that entity;  (iii) operate from facilities physically separate from those of the entity that seeks to provide the new service;  and (iv) not derive any commission or compensation based upon the number of sales confirmed;

(b) A company performing independent, third-party verification shall obtain a customer's oral confirmation regarding the change and shall record that confirmation by obtaining appropriate verification data.  The record shall be available to the customer upon request.  Information obtained from a customer through confirmation shall not be used for marketing purposes;

(3) An electric power supplier, an electric public utility, a gas supplier or a gas public utility shall not fail to cause a change in a customer's electric power supplier or gas supplier, within a period of time determined to be appropriate by the board, when a supplier or utility is in receipt of a change order provided that such change order has been received in a manner that complies with federal and State rules and regulations, including as provided in this subsection;

(4) The acts of an agent of an electric power supplier, an electric public utility, a gas supplier or a gas public utility shall be considered the acts of the electric power supplier, electric public utility, gas supplier or gas public utility.

c. A customer's new electric power supplier, electric public utility, gas supplier or gas public utility shall notify the customer of the change in the customer's electric or gas supplier within 30 days in a manner to be determined by the board.

d. Bills to customers from an electric power supplier, electric public utility, gas supplier or gas public utility shall contain the name and telephone number of each supplier for whom billing is provided, and any other information deemed applicable by the board.

e. In addition to any other penalties, fines or remedies authorized by law, any electric power supplier, electric public utility, gas supplier or gas public utility that violates this section and collects charges for electric power supply or gas supply services from a customer or through an entity providing customer account services shall be liable to the electric power supplier, electric public utility, gas supplier or gas public utility previously selected by the customer in an amount equal to all charges paid by the customer after such violation in accordance with such procedures as the board may prescribe.  Any electric power supplier, electric public utility, gas supplier or gas public utility that violates this section shall also be liable for a civil penalty pursuant to section 34 of P.L.1999, c. 23 ( C.48:3-83 );  and the board is hereby authorized to revoke the license of any entity that violates this section.


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