> This past January I got a call from Peruzzi, a local car dealership
>> here in Bucks County PA (suburban Philadelphia), wishing me a Happy >> Holiday.
> I think people are going around telling each other -- quite falsely --
> that if the message doesn't explicitly announce things for sale, it's
> not an advertisement and therefore not a violation.
You're right, it's false.
A few weeks ago, a jeweler in my town used an autodialer to invite
> people for a free ring cleaning. He told me it wasn't an
> advertisement but an invitation. Worse, he made no attempt to avoid
> dialing hospitals, fire stations, large PBXes, etc. ... my first
> encounter with it was when my secretary got about 8 copies of the
> message via other phones rolling over to hers.
Tell him you are thinking of filing a class action suit. See if he'll settle asap.
I don't know, but I suspect someone is aggressively selling
> autodialers by telling people falsehoods about the law.
Very clever, and the salesperson is breaking no law, only the user!
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: What may be a bit more tricky, IMO is
> when the purported message is to 'wish happy holidays' as our
> original writer noted. When such a message is conveyed, is it still
> in fact a 'sales call' or an advertising pitch? PAT]
No, giving out calendars is clearly advertising (but not illegal) yet making such phone calls is a violation.