Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia

Virginia Public Telephone Information Act

§ 59.1-424. Short title

This chapter may be cited as the "Virginia Public Telephone Information Act."

1989, c. 703.

§ 59.1-425. Definitions

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Alternate operator services provider" means a telecommunications company, other than a local exchange company or interexchange company certificated by the State Corporation Commission or an affiliate or agent of such a company, which provides intrastate long distance operator assisted services where human or automated call intervention is necessary for obtaining billing information from the end-user. However, this exception for local exchange companies and interexchange companies applies only where the rates charged are those of the local exchange company or interexchange company on file with the State Corporation Commission.

"Person" means individual and entity.

"Public telephone equipment provider" means any person who makes available for public use telephone equipment with access to the public switched network where a charge is made to the user for such use and intrastate local or long distance service is provided through such equipment by an alternate operator services provider. This includes but is not limited to hotels, motels, airports, baccalaureate institutions of higher education, hospitals, and coin-operated telephone equipment either privately owned or furnished by local exchange and interstate long distance telephone companies.

1989, c. 703.

§ 59.1-426. Notice requirements of article

A. Any public telephone equipment provider shall conspicuously display the identity of the company which will normally make the charge for any intrastate long distance calls or local operator-assisted calls not handled by the local exchange telephone company placed from such equipment.

B. 1. Public telephone equipment providers shall disclose on the telephone equipment the method to gain access to other intrastate long distance or local services. The notice shall also explain how to reach the local exchange telephone company operator unless the local exchange company operator can be reached by dialing "0."

2. A notice shall be conspicuously posted on or near the equipment stating "For long distance rates, dial........" All alternate operator service companies shall provide a toll free number to provide rate information and shall be able to quote a specific rate for each call upon inquiry. The posting of this notice shall be the responsibility of the subscriber to the alternate operator service.

C. The alternate operator service shall preannounce to the person placing the call the identity of the provider handling the intrastate toll or operator-assisted local call and the rate for the operator-assisted local call before a cost is incurred by the person placing the call.

D. No alternate operator service provider may bill for a call placed using a credit card issued by a local exchange telephone company or interexchange carrier without the express consent of the person placing the call.

E. No provider of operator services, whether or not certificated by the State Corporation Commission, shall enter into any contract or agreement with a customer which provides or permits call blocking of (i) the local exchange operator, (ii) other operator service providers' 950 or 800 numbers used to gain access to such carriers' networks, (iii) other operator service providers' 1-0-XXX-0+ numbers used to gain access to such carriers' networks, unless a waiver is first obtained from the State Corporation Commission, or (iv) emergency telephone numbers, such as 911.

F. Any person who adds a charge for use of telephone equipment in placing local or long distance calls shall conspicuously disclose the amount of the charge.

G. Every public telephone equipment provider, other than a telephone company certificated by the State Corporation Commission, owning coin-operated telephones shall conspicuously post on its coin-operated telephones a notice stating the local emergency telephone number and the complete address of the telephone. The letter size of the emergency number and address shall be at least one-quarter of an inch in height.

1989, c. 703; 1990, cc. 346, 357.

§ 59.1-427. Enforcement; penalties

Any violation of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute a prohibited practice pursuant to the provisions of § 59.1-200 and shall be subject to any and all of the enforcement provisions of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act, Chapter 17 (§ 59.1-196 et seq.) of this title.

1989, c. 703.

§ 59.1-428. Repealed

Repealed by Acts 2015, c. 709, cl. 2.