COMMISSIONERSCONTACTS
Laura Chappelle, Chairman Mary Jo Kunkle
David A. Svanda 517-241-3323
Robert B. Nelson

	LANSING, November 20.   Citing the importance of balancing the need to 
provide protection to the public from unscrupulous suppliers with the need to 
encourage development of a competitive market, the Michigan Public Service 
Commission today adopted standards protecting Michigan's electric customers 
against slamming or cramming.  Slamming is the unauthorized switching of an 
electric customer from one electric service provider to another, while cramming 
is the billing of a customer for unauthorized electric services.  The Customer 
Choice and Electricity Reliability Act of 2000 requires that the Commission 
issue orders to protect Michigan's electric customers from slamming and cramming 
and authorizes the Commission to conduct contested proceedings to investigate 
any violations.

	Under today's approved procedures:

	*Customers may authorize an electric service supplier change through 
written authorization, a call to a toll free telephone number voice response 
unit, a web-based internet connection, notice to an appropriately qualified 
third party or a three-way call between the new supplier, the customer and 
the old supplier;
	*Verification for all switches will be provided through a customer 
identification or account number;
	*New suppliers must notify the customer and the existing supplier 
within seven days of the requested change in service, including the date on 
which the service will be switched;
	*No supplier may bill a customer for a service without the customer's 
consent;
	*Violation procedures include informal and formal dispute resolution, 
including fining violators not less than $20,000 or more than $30,000 for the 
first offense, not less than $30,000 or more than $50,000 for a second and 
subsequent offense, and up to $70,000 for repeated violations knowingly made 
in violation of the Act.

	"These standards involve simple and straightforward procedures that 
address slamming and cramming abuses without overly intruding into the process 
that permits customers to exercise their right to select another electric 
supplier," said Chairman Laura Chappelle.  "We've approved simple, concise 
guidelines to help promote a robust market while providing significant penalties 
to discourage slamming and cramming."

	The MPSC is an agency within the Department of Consumer and Industry 
Services.


Case No. U-12640  
November 20, 2001
(MPSC adopts standards protecting electric customers from slamming and cramming)