Current as of: 2010
(a) Definitions. As used in this section:
(1) "Customer" means a customer, residing or located in Vermont, of a company providing telecommunications service as defined in subdivision 203(5) of Title 30.
(2) "Federal functional regulator" means a federal functional regulator as defined in 15 U.S.C. § 6809(2).
(3) "Financial institution" means a financial institution as defined in 15 U.S.C. § 6809(3).
(4) "Tax-exempt organization" means an organization described in Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Service Code (26 U.S.C. § 501(c)).
(5) "Telemarketer" means any telephone solicitor. However, "telemarketer" does not include any telephone solicitor who is otherwise registered or licensed with, or regulated or chartered by, the secretary of state, the public service board, the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration or the department of taxes, or is a financial institution subject to regulations adopted pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 6804(a) by a federal functional regulator. Telephone solicitors registered with the department of taxes to collect Vermont income withholding, sales and use, or meals and rooms tax, but not registered with any other agency listed in this subdivision, shall provide to the secretary of state an address and agent for the purpose of submitting to the jurisdiction of the Vermont courts in any action brought for violations of this section.
(6) "Telephone solicitation":
(A) means the solicitation by telephone of a customer for the purpose of encouraging the customer to contribute to an organization which is not a tax-exempt organization, or to purchase, lease, or otherwise agree to pay consideration for money, goods or services; and
(B) does not include:
(i) telephone calls made in response to a request or inquiry by the called customer;
(ii) telephone calls made by or on behalf of a tax-exempt organization, an organization incorporated as a nonprofit organization with the state of Vermont, or an organization in the process of applying for tax-exempt status or nonprofit status;
(iii) telephone calls made by a person not regularly engaged in the activities listed in subdivision (A) of this subdivision (6); or
(iv) telephone calls made to a person with whom the telephone solicitor has an established business relationship.
(7) "Telephone solicitor" means any person placing telephone solicitations, or hiring others, on an hourly, commission, or independent contractor basis, to conduct telephone solicitations.
(1) No telemarketer shall make a telephone solicitation to a telephone number in Vermont without having first registered in accordance with section 2464b of this title.
(2) No person shall make any telephone call to a telephone number in Vermont which violates the Federal Trade Commission's do not call rule, 16 C.F.R. subdivision 310.4(b)(1)(iii), or the Federal Communication Commission's do not call rule, 47 C.F.R. subdivision 64.1200(c)(2) and subsection (d), as amended from time to time.
(c) Violation. A violation of this section shall constitute a violation of section 2453 of this title. Each prohibited telephone call shall constitute a separate violation. In considering a civil penalty for violations of subdivision (b)(2) of this section, the court may consider, among other relevant factors, the extent to which a telephone solicitor maintained and complied with procedures designed to ensure compliance with the rules of the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.
(d) Criminal Penalties. A telemarketer who makes a telephone solicitation in violation of subdivision (b)(1) of this section shall be imprisoned for not more than 18 months or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both. It shall be an affirmative defense, for a telemarketer with five or fewer employees, that the telemarketer did not know, and did not consciously avoid knowing, that Vermont has a requirement of registration of telemarketers. Each telephone call shall constitute a separate solicitation under this section. This section shall not be construed to limit a person's liability under any other civil or criminal law. (Added 2001, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2003, No. 89 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 7, 2004.)
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