§2464a. Prohibited telephone solicitations

Link to law: http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/09/063/02464a
Published: 2015

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The Vermont Statutes Online



Title

09

:
Commerce and Trade






Chapter

063

:
CONSUMER PROTECTION






Subchapter

001
:
GENERAL PROVISIONS










 

§

2464a. Prohibited telephone solicitations

(a) Definitions.

As used in this section:

(1)

"Customer" means a customer, residing or located in Vermont, of a

company providing telecommunications service as defined in 30 V.S.A. § 203(5).

(2)

"Federal functional regulator" means a federal functional regulator

as defined in 15 U.S.C. § 6809(2).

(3)

"Financial institution" means a financial institution as defined in

15 U.S.C. § 6809(3).

(4)

"Tax-exempt organization" means an organization described in Section

501(c) of the Internal Revenue Service Code (26 U.S.C. § 501(c)).

(5)

"Telemarketer" means any telephone solicitor. However,

"telemarketer" does not include any telephone solicitor who is

otherwise registered or licensed with, or regulated or chartered by, the

Secretary of State, the Public Service Board, the Department of Financial

Regulation, or the Department of Taxes, or is a financial institution subject

to regulations adopted pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 6804(a) by a federal functional

regulator. Telephone solicitors registered with the Department of Taxes to

collect Vermont income withholding, sales and use, or meals and rooms tax, but

not registered with any other agency listed in this subdivision, shall provide

to the Secretary of State an address and agent for the purpose of submitting to

the jurisdiction of the Vermont courts in any action brought for violations of

this section.

(6)

"Telephone solicitation":

(A) means the

solicitation by telephone of a customer for the purpose of encouraging the

customer to contribute to an organization which is not a tax-exempt

organization, or to purchase, lease, or otherwise agree to pay consideration

for money, goods, or services; and

(B) does not

include:

(i) telephone

calls made in response to a request or inquiry by the called customer;

(ii) telephone

calls made by or on behalf of a tax-exempt organization, an organization

incorporated as a nonprofit organization with the State of Vermont, or an

organization in the process of applying for tax-exempt status or nonprofit

status;

(iii) telephone

calls made by a person not regularly engaged in the activities listed in

subdivision (A) of this subdivision (6); or

(iv) telephone

calls made to a person with whom the telephone solicitor has an established business

relationship.

(7)

"Telephone solicitor" means any person placing telephone

solicitations, or hiring others, on an hourly, commission, or independent

contractor basis, to conduct telephone solicitations.

(b) Prohibition.

(1) No

telemarketer shall make a telephone solicitation to a telephone number in

Vermont without having first registered in accordance with section 2464b of

this title.

(2) No person

shall make any telephone call to a telephone number in Vermont which violates

the Federal Trade Commission's Do Not Call Rule, 16 C.F.R. subdivision

310.4(b)(1)(iii), or the Federal Communication Commission's Do Not Call Rule,

47 C.F.R. subdivision 64.1200(c)(2) and subsection (d), as amended from time to

time.

(c) Violation. A

violation of this section shall constitute a violation of section 2453 of this

title. Each prohibited telephone call shall constitute a separate violation. In

considering a civil penalty for violations of subdivision (b)(2) of this

section, the court may consider, among other relevant factors, the extent to

which a telephone solicitor maintained and complied with procedures designed to

ensure compliance with the rules of the Federal Communications Commission and

the Federal Trade Commission.

(d) Criminal

Penalties. A telemarketer who makes a telephone solicitation in violation of

subdivision (b)(1) of this section shall be imprisoned for not more than 18

months or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both. It shall be an affirmative

defense, for a telemarketer with five or fewer employees, that the telemarketer

did not know, and did not consciously avoid knowing, that Vermont has a

requirement of registration of telemarketers. Each telephone call shall

constitute a separate solicitation under this section. This section shall not

be construed to limit a person's liability under any other civil or criminal

law. (Added 2001, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2003, No. 89 (Adj. Sess.),

§ 1, eff. April 7, 2004; 2011, No. 78 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 2, 2012.)
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