CS for CS for SB 568                       First Engrossed (ntc)
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to telephone solicitation; amending s.
    3         501.059, F.S.; revising the definition of the term
    4         “telephonic sales call” to include voicemail
    5         transmissions; defining the term “voicemail
    6         transmission”; prohibiting the transmission of
    7         voicemails to specified persons who communicate to a
    8         telephone solicitor that they would not like to
    9         receive certain voicemail solicitations or requests
   10         for donations; requiring a solicitor to ensure that if
   11         a telephone number is available through a caller
   12         identification system, that telephone number must be
   13         capable of receiving calls and must connect the
   14         original call recipient to the solicitor; revising
   15         penalties; providing an effective date.
   17  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   19         Section 1. Paragraph (g) of subsection (1) of section
   20  501.059, Florida Statutes, is amended, a new paragraph (i) is
   21  added to that subsection, and subsection (5), paragraph (c) of
   22  subsection (8), and subsection (9) of that section are amended,
   23  to read:
   24         501.059 Telephone solicitation.—
   25         (1) As used in this section, the term:
   26         (g) “Telephonic sales call” means a telephone call, or text
   27  message, or voicemail transmission to a consumer for the purpose
   28  of soliciting a sale of any consumer goods or services,
   29  soliciting an extension of credit for consumer goods or
   30  services, or obtaining information that will or may be used for
   31  the direct solicitation of a sale of consumer goods or services
   32  or an extension of credit for such purposes.
   33         (i) “Voicemail transmission” means technologies that
   34  deliver a voice message directly to a voicemail application,
   35  service, or device.
   36         (5) A telephone solicitor or other person may not initiate
   37  an outbound telephone call, or text message, or voicemail
   38  transmission to a consumer, business, or donor or potential
   39  donor who has previously communicated to the telephone solicitor
   40  or other person that he or she does not wish to receive an
   41  outbound telephone call, or text message, or voicemail
   42  transmission:
   43         (a) Made by or on behalf of the seller whose goods or
   44  services are being offered; or
   45         (b) Made on behalf of a charitable organization for which a
   46  charitable contribution is being solicited.
   47         (8)
   48         (c) It shall be unlawful for any person who makes a
   49  telephonic sales call or causes a telephonic sales call to be
   50  made to fail to transmit or cause not to be transmitted the
   51  originating telephone number and, when made available by the
   52  telephone solicitor’s carrier, the name of the telephone
   53  solicitor to any caller identification service in use by a
   54  recipient of a telephonic sales call. However, it shall not be a
   55  violation to substitute, for the name and telephone number used
   56  in or billed for making the call, the name of the seller on
   57  behalf of which a telephonic sales call is placed and the
   58  seller’s customer service telephone number, which is answered
   59  during regular business hours. If a telephone number is made
   60  available through a caller identification service as a result of
   61  a telephonic sales call, the solicitor must ensure that
   62  telephone number is capable of receiving phone calls and must
   63  connect the original call recipient, upon calling such number,
   64  to the telephone solicitor or to the seller on behalf of which a
   65  telephonic sales call was placed. For purposes of this section,
   66  the term “caller identification service” means a service that
   67  allows a telephone subscriber to have the telephone number and,
   68  where available, the name of the calling party transmitted
   69  contemporaneously with the telephone call and displayed on a
   70  device in or connected to the subscriber’s telephone.
   71         (9)(a) The department shall investigate any complaints
   72  received concerning violations of this section. If, after
   73  investigating a complaint, the department finds that there has
   74  been a violation of this section, the department or the
   75  Department of Legal Affairs may bring an action to impose a
   76  civil penalty and to seek other relief, including injunctive
   77  relief, as the court deems appropriate against the telephone
   78  solicitor. The civil penalty shall be in the Class IV III
   79  category pursuant to s. 570.971 for each violation and shall be
   80  deposited in the General Inspection Trust Fund if the action or
   81  proceeding was brought by the department, or the Legal Affairs
   82  Revolving Trust Fund if the action or proceeding was brought by
   83  the Department of Legal Affairs. This civil penalty may be
   84  recovered in any action brought under this part by the
   85  department, or the department may terminate any investigation or
   86  action upon agreement by the person to pay a stipulated civil
   87  penalty. The department or the court may waive any civil penalty
   88  if the person has previously made full restitution or
   89  reimbursement or has paid actual damages to the consumers who
   90  have been injured by the violation.
   91         (b) The department may, as an alternative to the civil
   92  penalties provided in paragraph (a), impose an administrative
   93  fine in the Class III I category pursuant to s. 570.971 for each
   94  act or omission that constitutes a violation of this section. An
   95  administrative proceeding that could result in the entry of an
   96  order imposing an administrative penalty must be conducted
   97  pursuant to chapter 120.
   98         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.