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The Florida Senate

CS/SB 1120 — Telephone Solicitation

by Regulated Industries Committee and Senators Gibson, Powell, and Gruters

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Commerce and Tourism Committee (CM)

This bill requires all sales telephone calls, text messages, and direct-to-voicemail transmissions to have the receiving consumer’s prior express written consent if the call will be made using an automated machine to dial the recipient’s phone number, or will play a recorded message upon connection with the recipient.

The bill creates a rebuttable presumption that a sales call made to a Florida area code is made either to a Florida resident or to a person in this state at the time of the call.

The bill creates a private right of action to enforce the above provisions. An aggrieved party may petition a court to enjoin the violating party. A prevailing plaintiff may recover the greater sum of either their actual monetary damages or $500. Additionally, a court may increase damages by up to three times, for a willful or knowing violation.

The bill amends the Florida Telemarketing Act to prohibit telephone sellers or salespersons from calling consumers outside of the hours between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. in the consumer’s time zone, and prohibits telephone sellers or salespersons from contacting consumers on the same subject matter more than three times in a 24-hour period. The bill clarifies that calls made through an automated dialer or recorded message are subject to the same prohibitions.

The bill also creates a crime punishable as a second-degree misdemeanor that prohibits telephone sellers or salespersons from using technology that displays a spoofed phone number in order to conceal the caller’s identity from the call recipient.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect on July 1, 2021.

Vote: Senate 40-0; House 115-0