SECTION 1. Section 1 of chapter 159C of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting the following definitions in their appropriate alphabetically-ordered locations, and by striking out any existing definitions of the same terms:--
“Charitable organization” shall have the same meaning as in section 18 of chapter 68, provided that such organization has satisfied the registration requirements of section 19 of said chapter 68.
“Marketing or sales solicitation,” the initiation of a telephone call or message to encourage the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods or services, that is transmitted to a consumer, but not including a telephone call or message: (i) to a consumer with that consumer’s prior express written or verbal invitation or permission; (ii) by a tax-exempt nonprofit organization, or any charitable organization, provided that the solicitation is conducted by a bona fide member or employee of or volunteer for such organization and without the involvement of any professional solicitor or commercial co-venturer as those terms are defined in section 18 of said chapter 68; (iii) by an individual or organization for a noncommercial purpose, such as a poll or survey; or (iv) 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.
SECTION 2. Section 4 of chapter 159C of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “device”, in line 3, the following sentence:-
The telephone solicitor must conduct all marketing or sales solicitation calls using a valid telephone number in which the consumer can directly communicate with the solicitor.
SECTION 3. Section 5A of chapter 159C of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out paragraph (a) and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
(a) A telephone solicitor shall disclose all of the following information within the first minute of a telephonic sales call and before requesting, accepting or arranging for payment by a consumer: (i) that the purpose of the telephone call is to make a sale or solicit funds; (ii) the correct name of the telemarketing company that employs the individual telemarketer who is making the call, provided that if the individual telemarketer is employed by a subcontractor hired by the telemarketing company holding the contract with the person or organization desiring the sale, then the individual telemarketer shall state as his or her employer the correct name of the subcontractor; (iii) the correct name of the ultimate seller whose goods or services are being offered by means of the telemarketing call; and (iv) a complete and accurate description of any goods or services being offered including, but not limited to, the retail market value of the goods or services.
SECTION 4. Said section 5A of chapter 159C is hereby further amended by adding the following 3 paragraphs:-
(c) A solicitor who misrepresents themselves, either verbally or in writing, to be a police officer, fireman, teacher, doctor, nurse, emergency medical technician, clergy member, or any member of an organization for which they may have contracted with shall be subject to civil penalties pursuant to chapter 93A, or any other remedy pursuant to section 8 of this chapter.
(d) A telephone solicitor as defined by section 1 of chapter 159C shall keep recordings of calls made or letters sent for the purpose of soliciting funds. The recordings of the phone calls shall be kept on file with the company for a period of not less than 180 days. At any point during this period these recordings shall be subject to audit and inspection by the office of the attorney general.
(e) A telephone solicitor working pursuant to chapter 159C shall be subject to civil liabilities pursuant to chapter 93A for any violation of the section or any other remedy pursuant to section 8 of this chapter.
SECTION 6: Paragraph (c) of section 8 of chapter 159C shall be deleted.
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