1345.20 Action by aggrieved consumer for switch in natural gas or public telecommunications service providers with consent.

(A) An aggrieved consumer may bring an action for a declaratory judgment, an injunction, or other appropriate relief against a supplier that is violating or has violated section 1345.18 of the Revised Code. The court may issue any order or enter a judgment as necessary to ensure compliance with section 1345.18 of the Revised Code or prevent any act or practice that violates that section. In addition, upon a preponderance of the evidence, the court:

(1) Shall issue an order providing for all of the following:

(a) Rescinding the aggrieved consumer's change in service provider;

(b) Requiring the supplier to absolve the aggrieved consumer of any liability for any charges assessed the consumer, or refund to the aggrieved consumer any charges collected from the consumer, by the supplier during such period, after the violation occurred, that is determined reasonable by the court;

(c) Requiring the supplier to refund or pay to the aggrieved consumer any fees paid or costs incurred by the consumer resulting from the change of the consumer's service provider or providers, or from the resumption of the consumer's service with the service provider or providers from which the consumer was switched;

(d) Requiring the supplier to make the consumer whole regarding any bonuses or benefits, such as airline mileage or product discounts, to which the consumer is entitled, by restoring bonuses or benefits the consumer lost as a result of the violation and providing bonuses or benefits the consumer would have earned if not for the violation, or by providing something of equal value.

(2) May issue an order providing for any of the following:

(a) Requiring the supplier to comply or undertake any necessary corrective action;

(b) Assessing upon the supplier forfeitures of not more than one thousand dollars for each day of each violation. However, if the preponderance of the evidence shows that the supplier has engaged or is engaging in a pattern or practice of committing any such violations, the court may assess upon the supplier forfeitures of not more than five thousand dollars for each day of each violation. Upon collection, one-half of any such forfeiture assessed under this division shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in which the action was brought and one-half shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the general revenue fund.

(B) Upon a finding in an action under division (A) of this section that a supplier is violating or has violated section 1345.18 of the Revised Code, a service provider or providers of natural gas service or public telecommunications service from whom the aggrieved consumer was switched may bring an action seeking the relief authorized by this division. Upon the filing of such action, the court may issue an order providing for either of the following:

(1) Requiring the supplier to compensate the service provider or providers from which the aggrieved consumer was switched in the amount of all charges the consumer would have paid that particular service provider for the same or comparable service had the violation or failure to comply not occurred;

(2) Requiring the supplier to compensate the service provider or providers from which the aggrieved consumer was switched for any costs that the particular service provider incurs as a result of making the consumer whole as provided in division (A)(1)(d) of this section or of effecting the resumption of the consumer's service.

(C) No action may be brought under division (A) of this section to recover for a transaction more than two years after the occurrence of a violation. No action may be brought under division (B) of this section more than one year after the date on which a ruling in an action brought under division (A) of this section was rendered.

Cite as R.C. § 1345.20

History. Effective Date: 05-17-2000