Significant Telemarketing Legislation Passed in 1999

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This has been an active year at the state level for legislation aimed at regulating the telemarketing industry. More than 200 legislative initiatives were introduced in state houses around the country this year. And, once again, most of those legislative initiatives were defeated. This article represents a quick rundown of some of the key bills that passed and became law or are awaiting the governor's signature.


Alabama. House Bill 589 establishes a state-run Do-Not-Call list to be administered by the attorney general's office. Effective July 1, the attorney general's office had responsibility to create the database. By Jan. 1, every telemarketing company that is required to register with the state as a "commercial telephone seller" must purchase the list from the state.


Arizona. Effective Aug. 6, 1999, Senate Bill 1326 eliminates 10 of the existing 17 categories for exemption in the state's registration statute. Those 10 industries would be required to file a limited registration statement with the state, containing the name, phone number and address of the seller, and the reason the seller will only file the limited statement.


Arkansas. House Bill 1564 establishes a state-run DNC list administered by the attorney general's office. Effective July 1, 2000, the office must create the database and every telemarketing company must purchase the list from the state.


House Bill 1992, which became effective July 30, prohibits the use of any device or method that blocks the transmission or display of caller-ID information on a consumer's caller-ID device.


Effective June 30, House Bill 2246 prohibits the use of demand drafts or other forms of negotiable paper in connection with a telemarketing transaction without the written authorization of the consumer.


California. Senate Bill 1159 was signed by the governor in July and requires certain specific verification procedures to confirm a consumer's desire to switch their electrical utility provider.


Idaho. House Bill 138 prohibits the use of any device or method that blocks the transmission or display of caller-ID information on a consumer's caller-ID device.


Illinois. House Bill 157 has been sent to the governor for his signature. If passed into law, this bill will prohibit the use of any device or method that blocks the transmission or display of caller-ID information on a consumer's caller-ID device.


Indiana. House Bill 1434 was signed by the Governor in May and now requires certain specific verification procedures to confirm a consumer's desire to switch their telecommunications provider.


Louisiana. House Bill 144 prohibits the use of any device or method that blocks the transmission or display of caller-ID information on a consumer's caller-ID device.


Montana. With the passage of Senate Bill 27, Montana now requires registration and bonding of some telemarketing companies. The statute has 18 categories for exemption.


Nebraska. Legislative Bill 469 was signed by the governor in April and requires companies to provide explicit notice of their cancellation policies unless they provide consumers with an unconditional seven-day right to review their purchases and return them. It also requires additional disclosures for companies offering prize promotions, prohibits the use of couriers to pick up payment from a customer, and prohibits the charging of advance fees for recovery services.


Nevada. Assembly Bill 283 will require many owners, managers and employees of teleservices companies to apply for work permits from their local sheriff's office.


Oklahoma. House Bill 1715 prohibits the use of any device or method that blocks the transmission or display of caller-ID information on a consumer's caller-ID device.


Oregon. Senate Bill 915 establishes a state-run DNC list administered by the attorney general's office.


Rhode Island. Effective July 6, the Rhode Island Telemarketing Act of 1999 requires registration and bonding of many telemarketing companies. The statute lists 13 categories for exemption. Companies that do not qualify for an exemption must also comply with new calling-hour restrictions.


Tennessee. House Bill 677 establishes a state-run DNC list administered by the Tennessee Regulatory Authority.
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