SB 0763 Regulates unsolicited telephone sales calls
LR Number:3153S.20T Fiscal Note:3153-20
Committee:Aging, Families and Mental Health
Last Action:06/27/00 - Signed by Governor Journal page:
Effective Date:Varies
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Current Bill Summary

CCS/HCS/SS/SCS/SB 763 - This act regulates various telemarketing and electronic mail practices.

Section 407.020 - Currently, this section prohibits fraudulent marketing practices. Any institution or company under the Director of the Division of Credit Unions is added to the list of exempt entities.

Sections 407.1070 and 407.1073 - Terms relating to telemarketing are defined. The act requires a telemarketer to disclose certain information to the consumer, including information before a consumer pays for merchandise. A telemarketer may not misrepresent the terms of a prize or the characteristics of merchandise.

Section 407.1076 - This section prohibits certain actions by telemarketer. These actions include misrepresentation, threats, soliciting when requested not to or at inappropriate hours, requesting advance payment or without written authorization, and knowingly assisting a fraudulent telemarketer.

Section 407.1079 - Telemarketers must keep records for twenty-four months, including sale materials, prize, and consumer information. Records should be maintained accordingly in the event of dissolution or change of ownership. For offers of consumer credit products, compliance with certain federal laws will constitute compliance. The seller and the telemarketer may agree to divide responsibility for recordkeeping between them.

Section 407.1082 - Violators will be subject to penalties, as designated in this section. Consumers may recover damages.

Section 407.1085 - This act exempts certain solicitations. This includes telephone calls where a sale of merchandise is completed and a written contract is forwarded. This section also includes telemarketers that are regulated by state or federal agencies as of August 28, 2000. The Attorney General's office will receive telemarketing complaints. Complaints made about state- or federally-regulated entities will be forwarded to the regulating agency. All other complaints will be resolved by the Attorney General.

Section 407.1098 - Prohibits telemarketers from soliciting any consumer who has given notice to the Attorney General of his or her objection to telephone solicitations.

Section 407.1101 - By July 1, 2001, the Attorney General shall establish and operate a database of consumers who object to receiving telephone solicitations. By January 1, 2001, the Attorney General shall promulgate rules. Rules must require that local telecommunications companies notify residential subscribers of their rights. If the Federal Communications Commission establishes a national database, the Attorney General shall include Missouri's portion in its database. The Attorney General may use funds from general revenue and from the Merchandising Practices Revolving Fund to establish the database.

Section 407.1107 - Prohibits telemarketers from using methods to block a caller ID.

Section 407.1110 - The Attorney General may investigate and initiate proceedings against violators, with civil penalties up to $5000 for consumers who have received more than one objectionable solicitation over a twelve-month period. Due care and reasonable practices will be a defense. This act provides a two-year statute of limitations.

Section 407.1113 - Requires the Attorney General to establish an advisory group to help consumers understand their rights regarding telemarketing. The Attorney General will work with local telecommunications companies to distribute information. Consumer rights shall also be placed on the Attorney General's website.

Sections 407.1300 - 407.1340 - Contains definitions regarding commercial electronic mail (e-mail) message transmission. These sections prohibit the transmission of unsolicited commercial e-mail messages either by or to computers within Missouri without a return e-mail address or toll-free number the consumer may use to object to further e-mails. This provision does not apply to a service provider that only carries the message over its network. Violations will be considered unlawful merchandising practices. E-mail recipients may receive up to $500 or actual damages, whichever is greater. Interactive computer services may receive up to $1000 or actual damages, whichever is greater. Interactive computer services may block e- mail transmissions and will not be liable if they reasonably believe the transmissions are in violation of these sections.

Section 1 - If an entity is paid for soliciting contributions with the funds obtained from the solicitation, the entity making the calls must disclose the amount of contributions used to pay the entity for soliciting.

This act is substantially similar to HB 1172, 1501, 1633, 1440, 1634, 1177 & 1430.