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November 1999

Pertinent New And Pending Legislation For Telephone Marketers


Several new laws that pertain to the call center industry have recently taken effect. What follows is a state-by-state listing of this legislation.

Louisiana law requires telephone solicitors to provide a name and telephone number where the telephone solicitor can be reached during normal business hours. In the event the telephone solicitor originates calls from a private branch exchange (PBX) and such PBX does not pass the identifying telephone number, the telecommunications provider must provide a trunk number which would identify the telephone solicitor. A telecommunications service provider would be exempt from this requirement in the event such delivery is not technically feasible. This law became effective August 15, 1999.

Effective September 7, 1999, New Hampshire now requires contracts between paid solicitors and charitable trusts to specify that contributor names, addresses, dates and amounts of contributions remain the sole property of the charity.

New York law prohibits the use of courier pickup and delivery services by a seller to retrieve a deposit or payment in connection with a prize award and permits the buyer to cancel the sale by any means in the event of a violation of this prohibition. This law was implemented July 1, 1999.

A recently enacted Oregon law provides for the establishment of a state-maintained list of residential telephone subscribers who do not wish to receive telephone solicitation calls.

Rhode Island law mandates that telephone marketers who are required to register post a $30,000 bond.

Telephone marketers are required to have procedures for maintaining a list of persons who do not wish to receive telephone sales calls, in compliance with federal law.

Calls by telephone marketers required to register are limited to 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

Calls made by automatic dialing-announcing devices must be preceded by a live operator who obtains the telephone subscriber's consent for the call and discloses the name of the business or other entity for which the message is being sent; the purpose of the message; the identity of the goods or services the message is promoting; and, if applicable, that the message intends to solicit payment or commitment of funds. This law became effective July 6, 1999.

Summary Of Do-Not-Call Laws
established a state-operated do-not-call database on July 1, 1999. Every company required to register as a “commercial telephone seller” in Alabama must comply with the state do-not-call list by January, 2000.

Alaska local exchange carriers (LECs) are now offering residential telephone customers who do not wish to receive unsolicited telephone solicitation calls a “black dot” next to their names in local telephone directories. Not all of the LECs are offering the “black dot” service at this time or providing lists to marketers.

Arkansas law (effective July 30, 1999) establishes, by January 1, 2000, a single statewide database of telephone numbers of Arkansas residents who object to receiving telephone solicitation calls. The state Attorney General must specify methods by which consumers may place their names on the list, how names and telephone numbers may be withdrawn from the list and the frequency with which the database will be updated. Telephone marketers have 10 days to update their lists whenever the official database is updated.

The term “telephone solicitation” does not include calls made to consumers with whom the caller has a prior or existing business relationship, in response to a prior written or express invitation or permission, calls to anyone who has placed a “for sale” sign on his or her property inviting a telephone response or calls made solely in connection with an existing debt or contractual obligation.

In addition, the act does not apply to licensed real estate agents, motor vehicle dealers or insurance agents soliciting business; investment brokers, dealers and agents registered with the Arkansas Securities Commissioner; calls made on behalf of a charitable organization when the telephone solicitor receives no compensation for its activities; calls on behalf of a newspaper of general circulation soliciting subscriptions or advertising; calls on behalf of federally or state-chartered banks if the call does not relate to credit card offers; and telephone calls made on behalf of funeral establishments licensed by the state if the call is related to services provided by the funeral home in its ordinary course of business.

Florida law prohibits telephone solicitors from placing sales calls to any residential, mobile or paging device telephone number appearing on the current quarterly listing published by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

As of July 1, 1998, Georgia prohibits telephone solicitation calls to residential subscribers in Georgia who have informed the state that they do not wish to receive unsolicited telephone sales calls. Calls made with a resident’s prior express invitation or permission; to a person with whom the caller has a prior or current relationship; or by or on behalf of charitable organizations recognized by the state of Georgia are exempt from “no call” provisions.

Kentucky law requires sellers registered under the state’s telephone registration law to obtain a “no telephone solicitation calls” list maintained by the Division of Consumer Protection and to limit calls to the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The law also prohibits telephone marketers from blocking the display of their phone numbers from caller I.D. devices. This law became effective July 15, 1998.
Tennessee law establishes a database at the Tennessee Regulatory Authority which allows residential telephone subscribers to indicate that they do not wish to receive telephone solicitation calls from telephone marketers. The database must be operational by July 1, 2000.

Pending Bills
A bill in Delaware, as amended and passed in the House, requires registration and bonding of telephone solicitors, contains identification and record keeping provisions and requires contracts for telephone sales.

Another Delaware measure establishes a biannual do-not-call list to be maintained by the Attorney General’s office. Telephone marketers have 30 days from publication before they are required to delete the names and telephone numbers on the list.

Additional legislation pending prohibits telephone marketers from blocking caller I.D. technology and requires them to maintain a list of consumers who do not wish to receive further calls from them or their clients.

An Illinois bill prohibits telephone solicitors from making calls in a manner that impedes the function of a recipient’s caller I.D. service.

Massachusetts legislation prohibits telephone solicitors from blocking caller I.D. technology.

Another Massachusetts bill requires employers to provide prior written notice informing employees of the types of monitoring the employer uses, what data are to be collected, a full description of how monitored information is used and the frequency of monitoring. Those who engage in telephone service observation must prominently place in their advertisements and in each customer bill a statement that the employer engages in service observation.

Michigan legislation prohibits employers from monitoring employee conversations unless a monitoring policy has been established and disclosed to the employees.

A bill in North Carolina requires the Secretary of State to establish a quarterly list of residential telephone subscribers who do not wish to receive telephone solicitation calls. The Secretary must provide consumers on the list with information about the Direct Marketing Association’s Telephone Preference Service (TPS), including how to participate in the program. Telephone solicitors who participate in TPS and make written certification of the fact to the Secretary are considered in compliance with the proposed law.

Calls in response to an express request of the called party; primarily in connection with an existing debt or contract; to any person with whom the telephone solicitor has a prior or existing business relationship; or 501(c)(3) organizations are exempt from do-not-call provisions.

Telephone marketers are prohibited from using any method to block or otherwise circumvent a subscriber’s caller I.D. service.

Pending legislation allows residential telephone subscribers to be placed on a state-maintained list of persons who do not wish to receive telephone solicitations. Telephone solicitors are prohibited from knowingly using any method to block or otherwise circumvent a telephone subscriber’s caller I.D. service.

Jerry Cerasale is the senior vice president of government affairs at the Direct Marketing Association. He is in charge of DMA’s contact with Congress, all federal agencies, and state and local governments.

Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation
(Required by 39 U.S.C. 3685)

Statement of ownership, management and circulation required by Act of Congress August 12, 1970 of C@ll Center Solutions™ for October 1998.

Publication Number: 682830

Date of filing: October 1, 1999

Frequency of Issue: Monthly

No. of Issues Published Annually: 12

Annual Subscription Price:
Free to qualified U.S. & Canada
$49.00 - non-qualifed U.S.
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Location of known office of publication and headquarters or general business offices of the publishers:
Technology Marketing Corporation,
One Technology Plaza,
Norwalk, CT 06854.

Names and addresses of publisher, editor and managing editor: Publisher, Nadji Tehrani; Editor: Erik Lounsbury; Editorial Director: Linda Driscoll. They are located at One Technology Plaza, Norwalk, CT 06854.

Owner: Nadji Tehrani, Technology Marketing Corporation, One Technology Plaza, Norwalk, CT 06854.

Known bondholders, mortgages and other security holders owning or holding 1 percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages or other securities: None.

That the average number of copies of each issue of this publication distributed during the 12 months preceding the above date was: 58,557.

Nadji Tehrani, Publisher.

Technology Marketing Corporation

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