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CPUC Staff Initiatives Mandated by the Decision Revising General Order 168

Enhanced Enforcement and Fraud Prevention Initiatives

  • Create a Telecommunications Consumer Fraud Unit to resolve allegations of telecommunications consumer fraud and investigate the feasibility of a deputy Attorney General (AG) or District Attorney (DA) joining that unit.
  • Hold a workshop and draft a proposal regarding cramming-related reporting requirements.
  • Investigate the feasibility of a citation forfeiture program for violations of slamming statutes.
  • Collaborate on consumer law enforcement with and refer cases to DAs, the AG, or other governmental entities and work with outside law enforcement officials on incidences of fraud and abuse of consumers relating to communications.
  • Expand the scope of our existing toll free hotline and give high priority to addressing matters relating to fraud in the telecommunications industry.
  • Recommend how to streamline and increase the effectiveness of fraud enforcement processes to the Commission.

Consumer Complaint Resolution

  • Coordinate with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via vehicles such as a Memorandum of Understanding that may clarify how we jointly address customer complaints.
  • Work with telecommunications carriers to develop specific protocols and processes to ensure prompt attention to and timely conclusions of informal complaints filed with the Commission.
  • Continue to reduce the Commission's backlog of informal complaints and analyze specific suggestions for more effective complaint processing.
  • Reinstitute the Regulatory Complaint Resolution Forum.
  • Review and identify areas for streamlining the formal complaint process and making it "consumer friendly".
  • Prepare a Commission resolution recommending an appropriate process for improving Commission Staff's access to information necessary for resolving complaints.

Community and Education Initiatives

  • Develop and implement an interim consumer education campaign within 120 days, including a website and media campaign in the seven most common languages spoken in California.
  • Hold a workshop to investigate the "best practices" of other states, community-based organizations, the carriers, other state agencies, the FCC, and FTC.
  • Develop a Community Based Organization (CBO) Action Plan within 180 days of this decision to facilitate partnership with CBOs to address consumer complaints.
  • After workshops and securing Legislative funding, launch a second wave consumer education program with three prongs: (1) broad based information to residential and business customers; (2) information on consumer rights and complaint filing, and (3) information targeting limited English, senior, disabled and low-income consumers.
  • Disseminate consumer education material through our website, public service announcements, and via brochures distributed by CBOs and consumer groups, including those that target low income, senior, and the disabled communities.
  • Materials will be available to the seven primary languages spoken in California.
  • Develop a program to monitor and evaluate our consumer education programs for effectiveness. The program will include five components: design, data collection, analysis, reporting, and critique.
  • Create a Small Business Ombudsman at the Commission who would effectively encourage communication between the Commission and the small business community.
  • Report on special problems faced by consumers with limited English proficiency.
  • Work to augment the Commission budget to improve our ability to respond to consumer complaints by requesting funds for updating our antiquated complaints database system and hiring new call center personnel.
  • Work with the Department of Personnel Administration to obtain authority to hire bilingual call center and enforcement personnel.
  • May 11, 2006 Implementation Update.

Last Modified: 1/11/2008

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