Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan hold a press conference after Quinn signed a consumer protection bill, in Chicago.
CHICAGO – April 10, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a bill that protects consumers against the misleading business practices of dishonest alternative gas suppliers. At the signing ceremony, Governor Quinn was joined by Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Representative Michael J. Zalewski (D - Summit), Representative Monique Davis (D - Chicago) and Representative LaShawn K. Ford (D - Chicago).
“The protection of everyday consumers is vitally important,” said Governor Quinn. “This law will allow state regulators to keep a closer watch on companies that want to take advantage of our citizens.”
Senate Bill 171, sponsored by Senator Don Harmon (D - Oak Park) and Representative Thomas Holbrook (D - Belleville), was drafted in collaboration with Attorney General Madigan in response to consumer complaints that some alternative gas suppliers did not provide the savings promised to consumers.
The new law prohibits alternative gas suppliers from using misleading marketing promises or false statements to lure customers. In addition, the law allows consumers to rescind a service agreement within ten business days after the first bill, limits termination fees to $50 and protects against unauthorized switching of gas suppliers without the consumer’s permission.
Should an alternative gas supplier violate the new law, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) can impose stiff financial penalties and even stop them from doing business.
Also participating in the signing ceremony were David Kolata, Executive Director of Citizen Utility Board and William McNary, Co-Director of Citizen Action/Illinois.
( Will they be this friendly one year from now? )