Connecticut Passes its own mini-TCPA, with sharp teeth: “…shall be fined not more than [eleven] twenty thousand dollars for each violation.”

The Connecticut Legislature passed its own version of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. This new law goes into effect in October, 2014. The full text (pdf) is pasted below.

 

Substitute Senate Bill No. 209

Public Act No. 14-53

AN ACT PROHIBITING UNSOLICITED COMMERCIAL TEXT
MESSAGES AND INCREASING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF
THE DO NOT CALL REGISTRY.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General
Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 42-288a of the general statutes is repealed and the
following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2014):
(a) As used in this section and section 2 of this act:
(1) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Consumer
Protection;
(2) “Consumer” means any individual who is a resident of this state
and a prospective recipient of consumer goods or services;
(3) “Consumer goods or services” means any article or service that is
purchased, leased, exchanged or received primarily for personal,
family or household purposes, and includes, but is not limited to,
stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities and other financial products;
(4) “Department” means the Department of Consumer Protection;
(5) “Doing business in this state” means conducting telephonic sales
calls (A) from a location in this state, or (B) from a location outside of Substitute Senate Bill No. 209

Public Act No. 14-53 2 of 7
this state to consumers residing in this state;
(6) “Prior express written consent” has the meaning provided in 47
CFR 64.1200, as amended from time to time;
[(6)] (7) “Marketing or sales solicitation” means the initiation of a
telephone call or message, including, but not limited to, a text or media
message, to encourage the purchase or rental of, or investment in,
property, goods or services, that is transmitted to any consumer, but
does not include a telephone call or message, including, but not
limited to, a text or media message (A) to any consumer with [that]
such consumer’s prior express written [or verbal invitation or
permission] consent, (B) by a tax-exempt nonprofit organization, or (C)
to a consumer in response to a visit made by such consumer to an
establishment selling, leasing or exchanging consumer goods or
services at a fixed location;
[(7)] (8) “Telephonic sales call” means a telephone call made by a
telephone solicitor, or a text or media message sent by or on behalf of a
telephone solicitor, to a consumer for the purpose of (A) engaging in a
marketing or sales solicitation, (B) soliciting an extension of credit for
consumer goods or services, or (C) obtaining information that will or
may be used for marketing or sales solicitation or exchange of or
extension of credit for consumer goods or services;
[(8)] (9) “Telephone solicitor” means any individual, association,
corporation, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability
company or other business entity, or a subsidiary or affiliate thereof,
doing business in this state that makes or causes to be made a
telephonic sales call, including, but not limited to, sending or causing
to be sent a text or media message to a consumer’s mobile telephone or
mobile electronic device;
(10) “Text or media message” means a message that contains Substitute Senate Bill No. 209

Public Act No. 14-53 3 of 7
written, audio, video or photographic content and is sent electronically
to a mobile telephone or mobile electronic device telephone number,
but does not include electronic mail sent to an electronic mail address;
[(9)] (11) “Unsolicited telephonic sales call” means any telephonic
sales call other than a telephonic sales call made: (A) [In response to an
express written or verbal request] Pursuant to the prior express written
consent of the consumer who is called or sent a text or media message;
(B) primarily in connection with an existing debt or contract, payment
or performance of which has not been completed at the time of the
telephonic sales call; or (C) to an existing customer, unless such
customer has stated to the telephone solicitor that such customer no
longer wishes to receive the telephonic sales calls of such telephone
solicitor; and
[(10)] (12) “Caller identification service or device” means any
telephone service or device which permits a consumer to see the
telephone number of incoming telephone calls or text or media
messages.
(b) The department shall establish and maintain a “no sales
solicitation calls” listing of consumers who do not wish to receive
unsolicited telephonic sales calls. The department may contract with a
private vendor to establish and maintain such listing, provided (1) the
private vendor has maintained national “no sales solicitation calls”
listings for more than two years, and (2) the contract requires the
vendor to provide the “no sales solicitation calls” listing in a printed
hard copy format and in any other format offered at a cost that does
not exceed the production cost of the format offered. The department
shall provide notice to consumers of the establishment of a “no sales
solicitation calls” listing. Any consumer who wishes to be included on
such listing shall notify the department by calling a toll-free number
provided by the department, or in any other such manner and at such
times as the commissioner may prescribe. A consumer on such listing Substitute Senate Bill No. 209

Public Act No. 14-53 4 of 7
shall be deleted from such listing upon the consumer’s written request.
The department shall update such listing not less than quarterly and
shall make such listing available to telephone solicitors and other
persons upon request.
(c) No telephone solicitor may make or cause to be made any
unsolicited telephonic sales call to any consumer (1) if the consumer’s
name and telephone number or numbers appear on the then current
quarterly “no sales solicitation calls” listing made available by the
department under subsection (b) of this section, unless (A) such call
was made by a telephone solicitor that first began doing business in
this state on or after January 1, 2000, (B) a period of less than one year
has passed since such telephone solicitor first began doing business in
this state, and (C) the consumer to whom such call was made had not
on a previous occasion stated to such telephone solicitor that such
consumer no longer wishes to receive the telephonic sales calls of such
telephone solicitor, (2) for telephone calls, to be received between the
hours of nine o’clock p.m. and nine o’clock a.m., local time, at the
consumer’s location or, for text or media messages, to be received on
the consumer’s mobile telephone or mobile electronic device at any
time, (3) in the form of electronically transmitted facsimiles, or (4) by
use of a recorded message device.
(d) No telephone solicitor [shall] may intentionally cause to be
installed or [shall] may intentionally use any blocking device or service
to circumvent a consumer’s use of a caller identification service or
device. No telephone solicitor [shall] may intentionally transmit
inaccurate or misleading caller identification information.
(e) (1) Any person who obtains the name, residential address or
telephone number of any consumer from published telephone
directories or from any other source and republishes or compiles such
information, electronically or otherwise, and sells or offers to sell such
publication or compilation to telephone solicitors for marketing or Substitute Senate Bill No. 209

Public Act No. 14-53 5 of 7
sales solicitation purposes, shall exclude from any such publication or
compilation, and from the database used to prepare such publication
or compilation, the name, address and telephone number or numbers
of any consumer if the consumer’s name and telephone number or
numbers appear in the then current quarterly “no sales solicitation
calls” listing made available by the department under subsection (b) of
this section.
(2) This subsection does not apply to (A) any telephone company, as
defined in section 16-1, for the sole purpose of compiling, publishing
or distributing telephone directories or causing the compilation,
publication or distribution of telephone directories or providing
directory assistance, and (B) any person, for the sole purpose of
compiling, publishing or distributing telephone directories for such
telephone company pursuant to an agreement or other arrangement
with such telephone company.
(f) The commissioner may adopt regulations, [pursuant to] in
accordance with chapter 54, to carry out the provisions of this section.
Such regulations may include, but shall not be limited to, provisions
governing the availability and distribution of the listing established
under subsection (b) of this section and notice requirements for
consumers wishing to be included on the listing established under
subsection (b) of this section.
(g) A violation of any of the provisions of this section shall be
deemed an unfair or deceptive trade practice under subsection (a) of
section 42-110b, except that no telephone solicitor may be liable under
this section for a call made in violation of subdivision (1) of subsection
(c) of this section if such telephone solicitor demonstrates that: (1) Such
telephone solicitor established and implemented written procedures
and trained its employees to follow such procedures to comply with
subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of this section; (2) such telephone
solicitor deleted from its call list any listing of a consumer on the then Substitute Senate Bill No. 209

Public Act No. 14-53 6 of 7
current quarterly “no sales solicitation calls” listing maintained
pursuant to subsection (b) of this section; and (3) such call was made
inadvertently.
(h) No telephone solicitor may make or cause to be made an
unsolicited, automatically dialed, recorded telephonic sales call to a
consumer without such consumer’s prior express written consent.
(i) In addition to the requirements of subsections (b) to (h),
inclusive, of this section, if a consumer’s mobile telephone or mobile
electronic device telephone number does not appear on the then
current quarterly “no sales solicitation calls” listing made available by
the department under subsection (b) of this section, no telephone
solicitor may send or cause to be sent a text or media message to such
number for the purpose of marketing or sales solicitation of consumer
goods, unless such telephone solicitor has received the prior express
written consent of the consumer to receive such text or media message.
(j) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (c) and (i) of this
section, a telecommunications company, as defined in section 16-1,
may send a text or media message to an existing customer, provided:
(1) Such telecommunications company does not charge the customer a
fee for such text or media message, and (2) such text or media message
is primarily in connection with (A) an existing debt, payment of which
has not been completed at the time the text or media message is sent,
(B) an existing contract between the telecommunications company and
the customer, (C) a wireless emergency alert authorized by federal law,
or (D) a prior request for customer service that was initiated by the
customer.
[(h)] (k) In addition to any penalty imposed under chapter 735a, any
telephone solicitor, who is liable under the provisions of [subsection
(g)] subsections (g) to (i), inclusive, of this section, shall be fined not
more than [eleven] twenty thousand dollars for each violation. Substitute Senate Bill No. 209

Public Act No. 14-53 7 of 7
Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2014) Each telephone and
telecommunications company, as defined in section 16-1 of the general
statutes, that issues an account statement to a consumer with respect to
service for a telephone, mobile telephone or mobile electronic device
shall, not less than two times per year, include on or with such
statement a conspicuous notice, informing the consumer with respect
to: (1) The prohibitions placed on telephone solicitors pursuant to
section 42-288a of the general statutes, as amended by this act, (2) how
to place the consumer’s telephone number, mobile telephone number
or mobile electronic device telephone number on the “no sales
solicitation calls” listing established pursuant to subsection (b) of
section 42-288a of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and (3)
how to obtain a “no sales solicitation complaint” form on the
Department of Consumer Protection’s Internet web site.
Approved May 28, 2014

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