Attorney General Jim Jones says telephone solicitors are getting out of control, and he will ask the next Legislature for new laws to restrict them.
He recently told a news conference that about a fourth of the complaints screened by the consumer protection division deal with telemarketing. Most of them involve complaints from people who have purchased worthless goods or get nothing for their money.His proposed legislation would require telemarketers to register with the state and pay a fee and would require full disclosure about the solicitation, including what rights potential customers have.
He would also like a law that a commercial telephone solicitation is not final unless followed up by a written confirmation, and the purchaser would have three days to cancel. "Written confirmations would have to include specific language informing the purchaser of his or her cancellation rights," Jones said.
The proposal also:
- Requires telemarketers to hang up and free the purchaser's line within 10 seconds of being requested to do so by the purchaser.
- Bans charging the purchaser for the cost of the call if the purchaser has not been informed of the cost of the call and given an opportunity to terminate the conversation.
- Forbids misrepresenting goods or services and requires solicitors to disclose material information.
- Requires registration, and forbids any solicitor from claiming they have been approved or endorsed by any governmental agency.