April 2007 - Call Compliance News
The FTC has submitted its annual report to Congress regarding the national “do-not-call” registry as required by law. Please contact me if you would like a copy of this report which analyses the effectiveness of the “do-not-call” registry, the size of the “do-not-call” registry, and its effect on telephone solicitations. The review also contains a summary of the FTC’s enforcement activities and states that as of September 2006 more than 132,000,000 names were on the list.
The Colorado House is considering a bill (HB 1322) which would regulate telemarketing for mortgage brokering purposes. All mortgage telemarketing would be required to comply with the Telemarketing Sales Rule.
The Florida court of appeals has reversed an earlier trial court decision which ruled that a previous retail purchase did not constitute a “prior established business relationship” such that there was an exemption to the state “do-not-call” list. Previously, the state had argued that a person who made a purchase at a store did not have a “prior” relationship. The appellate court reversed this decision.
A bill has been introduced in the Florida House (HB 33) which would require political telephone calls include a prompt disclosure that the call was paid for by a particular candidate and would bar such calls to persons on the Florida “do-not-call” list if using a recorded message.
Kentucky has passed a law which adopts the federal “do-not-call” list and ends Kentucky’s independent state “do-not-call” list.
Kentucky has passed a law which amends the state’s telemarketing law to prohibit misrepresentation regarding the geographical location of a florist or any business. The law prohibits the use of local numbers which are forwarded to a location outside the calling area if the name of the business indicates that it is located in that particular geographical area.
Idaho has passed a law requiring that automatic dialing announcing devises promptly disclose at the outset of the message the name of the person for whom the message is being made, the purpose of the message, and the contact information of the caller.
The telemarketing registration section of the attorney general’s office in the state of Idaho has substantially revised its interpretation of its telemarketing registration law. The state will now require that entities which hire telemarketers, but do not call “in house”, register with the state as a telemarketer, unless otherwise exempt. Thus, if a service bureau attempts to register in Idaho, the state will request proof of exemption or registration from each of that service bureau’s clients before registering the service bureau. Because Idaho has many of the same exemptions found in many other states, this could be as easy as providing information regarding the clients’ exemption with the service bureau registration or renewal. Please contact me if you have questions.
The Missouri House is considering a bill (HB 112) which would include text messaging in the definition of telephone solicitations so that such messages would be prohibited unless exempt from the Missouri “do-not-call” list.
The North Carolina General Assembly is considering a bill which would modify the current restrictions regarding prerecorded messages. The bill would specifically bar political candidates from placing unsolicited telephone calls to persons whose names are on the national “do-not-call” registry.
North Dakota has adopted a change to its telemarketing law which amends the law to include voice, text, or other electronic communications in the definition of messages (SB 2195).
The Pennsylvania House is considering a bill which would amend the state’s definition of “telephone solicitation call” to require registration for charities which use professional fundraisers to raise funds. The state has many exemptions, however, and even if the statute is modified, it would be unlikely that many entities would be required to register.
The Pennsylvania House is considering a bill (HB 1091) which would regulate “persuasive poles” conducted by telephone. Persuasive poles will be required to disclose at the beginning of the call the name of the entity paying for the pole.
The Vermont House is considering another bill (HB 306) which would require that express oral authorization, as required by law, be tape recorded by the telemarketer and stored for a period of at least four years.
Vermont has amended its lobbying law to require disclosure by lobbyists of expenses incurred in telemarketing poling or other similar activities (HB 357).
The American Teleservices Association is considering a set of inbound calling standards designed to set an industry standard for how inbound calls are treated. If you are an ATA member you should review this proposal and support self regulatory attempts.
A public hearing was held in May 2006 regarding the Canadian “do-not-call” list. The Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission has since worked on four issues with regard to the “do-not-call” list:
1) Database Management
3) Complaint Awareness
4) Privacy Insecurity.
Based on these goals, the CRTTC has issued two reports. As in the United States, the report recommends funding the list through entities accessing it as required by law. The report also recommended that consumers have a limited period of time to make a complaint after having received the improper telemarketing call, 14 days from the live call or 30 days from receipt of a prerecorded call.