2010 Tennessee Code
Title 47 - Commercial Instruments And Transactions
Chapter 18 - Consumer Protection
Part 15 - Consumer Telemarketing Protection
47-18-1526 - Telephone solicitations prohibited.

47-18-1526. Telephone solicitations prohibited.

(a)  As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

     (1)  “Consumer” means an actual or prospective purchaser, lessee or recipient of consumer goods or services;

     (2)  “Division” means the division of consumer affairs of the department of commerce and insurance;

     (3)  “Telephone solicitor” means any natural person, firm, organization, partnership, association or corporation, or a subsidiary or affiliate thereof, doing business in this state, who makes or causes to be made a telephonic sales call, including, but not limited to, calls made by use of automated dialing or recorded message devices;

     (4)  “Telephonic sales call” means a call made by a telephone solicitor to a consumer, for the purpose of soliciting a sale of any consumer goods or services, or for the purpose of soliciting an extension of credit for consumer goods or services, or for the purpose of obtaining information that will or may be used by the solicitor or a third party for the direct solicitation of a sale of consumer goods or services or an extension of credit for such purposes or in connection with prizes, gifts or awards presentations; and

     (5)  “Unsolicited telephonic sales call” means a telephonic sales call other than a call made:

          (A)  In response to an express request of the person called;

          (B)  Primarily in connection with an existing debt or contract, payment or performance of which has not been completed at the time of such call; or

          (C)  To any person with whom the telephone solicitor has a prior or existing business relationship.

(b)  No telephone solicitor shall make or cause to be made any unsolicited telephonic sales call to any residential, mobile or telephonic paging device telephone number unless such person or entity has instituted procedures for maintaining a list of persons who do not wish to receive telephone solicitations made by or on behalf of that person or entity, in compliance with 47 CFR 64 or 16 CFR 310.

(c)  (1)  No telephonic sales calls shall be made by a telephone solicitor to a consumer from a telephone if the telephone number of the caller is unlisted, or if the telephone solicitor is using telephone equipment which blocks the caller ID function on the telephone or telephone equipment of the number dialed so that the telephone number of the caller is not displayed on the telephone or telephone equipment which is technically capable of displaying the telephone number of the caller.

     (2)  (A)  In addition to any other penalty provided by this section, it is an offense for a person owning or directing the use of telephones or telephone equipment in violation of subdivision (c)(1) to use or intentionally employ or direct a telephone solicitor to use, or to contract for the use of, telephones or telephone equipment to make telephonic sales calls in violation of subdivision (c)(1).

          (B)  A violation of this subdivision (2) is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable only by a fine not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) for each violation.

(d)  The division shall investigate any complaints received concerning violations of this section pursuant to § 47-18-106. The civil penalty shall not exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation. This civil penalty may be recovered in any action brought under this part by the division, or the division may terminate any investigation or action upon agreement by the person to pay a stipulated civil penalty. The division or the court may waive any civil penalty if the person has previously made full restitution or reimbursement or has paid actual damages to the consumers who have been injured by the violation. It shall be an affirmative defense in any action brought under this subsection that the defendant has established and implemented reasonable practices and procedures to effectively prevent telephone solicitations in violation of the regulations established in this section.

[Acts 1996, ch. 948, § 1; 1998, ch. 734, § 1.]  

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