Re: Telemarketing Law Question

What legal penalties apply to a telemarketer who autodials all the

> numbers in town that are not on the do-not-call list (without checking > whether they are homes, businesses, hospitals...)? > Our whole university was hit with a recorded ad for a local business > this morning. Receptionists with rollover systems got, of course, > numerous multiple copies.

Under 47 USC 227 the only restriction that applies to calling businesses (which would include your University) is that the caller is not allowed to simultaneously engage two or more numbers at the university. Now, if the logs from your switch can establish that the marketer was calling two (or more) extensions at the same time, you can sue him. It's worth $500 for each call he originated _while_ he had another line in use. Note: 'ringing', but not answered, *does* count as 'in use' for that 'multiple lines' test.

The marketer was presumably acting as 'agent' for the business being promoted -- this would make the business liable for the damages, as well as the marketer.

Calling residences with a recorded message is illegal *except* for a few special cases (prior express consent of the called party, bona fide emergency situation, etc.). This restriction applies

*REGARDLESS* of whether the residence number is listed on the Do-not-call list.

Calling 'emergency telephone numbers' -- '911', crisis lines, poison control centers, etc. -- with a recorded message is similarly forbidden.

As is calling "the telephone line of any guest room or patient room of a hospital, health care facility, elderly home, or similar establishment"

*OR* cell-phones, or any other 'called-party pays' number.

"Businesses" enjoy _only_ the protection against multiple

*simultaneous* calls. One *might* be able to pursue a 'harassment' action, but the outcome is far from certain.
Reply to
Robert Bonomi
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