1. As used in this act:
"Advertisement" means the attempt, directly or indirectly by publication, dissemination, solicitation, endorsement or circulation or in any other way, to induce directly or indirectly any person to purchase any prepaid calling card or service, appearing in any newspaper, magazine, periodical, circular, in-store or out-of-store sign or other written matter placed before the consuming public, or in any radio broadcast, television broadcast, electronic medium or delivered to or through any computer.
"Company" means any entity, corporation, company, association, firm, partnership or other business entity, or individual engaged in the business of a prepaid calling service provider or prepaid calling card distributor in this State.
"Director" means the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs.
"Division" means the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety.
"Government fees" means and includes any and all fees, taxes and charges assessed pursuant to State or federal law, regulation or other mandate or requirement, including universal service fees and charges.
"Payphone surcharge" means the surcharge that a provider may charge a customer when that customer places a call with a card from a payphone using a toll-free access number. The payphone surcharge shall be deducted from a card's balance.
"Permitted fee" means the fees and surcharges that a provider may charge to, or deduct from, a card's balance for the use of that card, in addition to the rate per minute to the particular destination called, which includes and is limited to any payphone surcharge, any recharge convenience fee, any directory assistance fee, and any government fees.
"Prepaid calling card" or "card" means any right of use purchased for a sum certain that contains an access number and authorization code that enables a consumer to use a prepaid calling service. Such rights of use may be embodied on a card or other physical object or may be purchased by an electronic or telephonic means through which the purchaser obtains access numbers and authorization codes that are not physically located on a card or other object. "Prepaid calling card" shall not be construed to include cards or other rights of use that provide access to:
(1) telecommunications service if the card or other rights of use and telecommunications service are provided:
(a) for free or at no additional charge as a promotional item accompanying a product or service purchased by a customer; or
(b) pursuant to an awards, loyalty, rebate or promotional program without any separate monetary consideration being given by the customer solely in exchange therefor; or
(2) a wireless telecommunications service account if the purchaser has a pre-existing relationship with the wireless service provider or establishes a carrier-customer relationship via the purchase of the object.
"Prepaid calling card distributor" or "distributor" means and includes: (1) any company that purchases or receives prepaid calling cards from a prepaid calling service provider or distributor and sells or distributes those cards to one or more distributors of prepaid calling cards or to one or more prepaid calling card retailers; and (2) any company that otherwise actively engages in the promotion, advertising or dissemination of prepaid calling cards and which is not a provider. "Prepaid calling card distributor" shall not include any prepaid calling card retailers engaged exclusively in point-of-sale transactions with customers.
"Prepaid calling card retailer" means any company that sells or offers to sell prepaid calling cards directly to customers.
"Prepaid calling service" or "service" means any prepaid telecommunications service that allows customers to originate calls through a local, long distance or toll-free access number and authorization code, whether manually or electronically dialed. "Prepaid calling service" shall not include any service that provides access to a wireless telecommunications service account wherein the purchaser has a pre-existing relationship with the wireless service provider or establishes a carrier-customer relationship via the purchase of the object.
"Prepaid calling service provider" or "provider" means any company, providing prepaid calling service to the public using its own, or a resold telecommunications network, or voice over Internet technology.
"Toll-free number" means an 800 number, or other telephone number widely understood to be toll-free, which, when called as the destination number or as an access number, shall not result in the calling party being assessed, by virtue of completing the call, any fee, charge or higher rate for the call unless such fee, charge or higher rate is disclosed pursuant to subsection a. of section 2 of this act.
L.2007, c.293, s.1.
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