CHAPTER 743m
TELEMARKETING

Table of Contents

Sec. 42-284. Definitions.
Sec. 42-285. Contract requirements.
Sec. 42-286. Prohibited actions before receipt of signed contract.
Sec. 42-287. Exempted transactions.
Sec. 42-288. Applicability. Unfair trade practice.
Sec. 42-288a. Telephonic sales calls. Definitions. "No sales solicitation calls" listing. Prohibited acts. Regulations. Violations.
Secs. 42-289 to 42-294.

      Sec. 42-284. Definitions. As used in sections 42-284 to 42-288, inclusive:

      (1) "Consumer" means an actual or prospective purchaser, lessee or recipient of goods or services;

      (2) "Person" means a natural person, corporation, trust, partnership, incorporated or unincorporated association and any other legal entity; and

      (3) "Telemarketer" means any person who initiates the sale, lease or rental of consumer goods or services, or offers gifts or prizes with the intent to sell, lease or rent consumer goods by: (A) Telephonic means; or (B) use of television, radio or printed advertisement, postcard or other written notice with requests that the consumer contact the seller by telephone to inquire about goods or services and such advertisement, postcard or notice does not contain the price or a description of the goods or services.

      (P.A. 96-196, S. 1.)

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      Sec. 42-285. Contract requirements. (a) No oral agreement made by a consumer to purchase, lease or rent goods or services from a telemarketer shall be a binding, valid or enforceable contract against the consumer unless the telemarketer receives from the consumer a written and signed contract that discloses in full the terms of the sale, lease or rental agreement. Any goods sent or services provided to a consumer by a telemarketer without such written contract shall be deemed to be an unconditional gift to the consumer without any obligation by the consumer to the telemarketer.

      (b) The contract shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following information:

      (1) The name, address and telephone number of the telemarketer;

      (2) A list of all prices or fees being charged including any handling, shipping, delivery or other charges;

      (3) The date of the transaction;

      (4) A detailed description of the goods or services being sold, leased or rented; and

      (5) In ten-point boldface type, in a space immediately preceding the space allotted for the consumer's signature, the following statement: "YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO PAY ANY MONEY UNLESS YOU SIGN THIS CONTRACT AND RETURN IT TO THE ADDRESS CONTAINED IN THIS CONTRACT".

      (c) The telemarketer shall provide the consumer with a duplicate copy of the contract with the complete information as presented in the original contract, to be retained by the consumer as proof of the terms of the agreement to purchase, lease or rent.

      (P.A. 96-196, S. 2.)

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      Sec. 42-286. Prohibited actions before receipt of signed contract. (a) A telemarketer shall not accept payment from a consumer, or make or submit any charge to the consumer's credit card account, unless the telemarketer has received from the consumer a contract, signed by the consumer, which complies with section 42-285.

      (b) In the event that the consumer sends payment to the telemarketer, or the telemarketer makes or submits a charge to the consumer's credit card account, and the telemarketer has not received a signed contract from the consumer which complies with section 42-285, the telemarketer shall refund the consumer's payment or credit the consumer's credit card account.

      (P.A. 96-196, S. 3.)

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      Sec. 42-287. Exempted transactions. The provisions of sections 42-284 to 42-286, inclusive, shall not apply to:

      (1) Any transaction between a consumer and a publisher, owner, agent or employee of a newspaper marketing its own publications;

      (2) Any transaction between a consumer and a bank, out-of-state bank, Connecticut credit union, federal credit union or out-of-state credit union as each is defined in section 36a-2, or a mortgage broker, mortgage correspondent lender, mortgage lender, sales finance company or small loan lender licensed under chapter 668, in which any such person or such person's subsidiary, affiliate or agent markets its own services to a consumer;

      (3) Any transaction made pursuant to prior negotiations in the course of a visit by a consumer to a retail business establishment having a fixed, permanent location where goods are exhibited or services are offered for sale on a continuing basis;

      (4) Any transaction in which the business establishment or its majority-owned affiliate making the solicitation has a clear, preexisting business relationship with the consumer, provided the consumer has been provided the full name and the business location or phone number of the establishment or its majority-owned affiliate;

      (5) Any transaction in which the consumer purchases goods or services pursuant to an examination of a printed advertisement, brochure, catalog or other written material of the telemarketer which contains: (A) The name, address or post office box and telephone number of the telemarketer; (B) a full description of the goods or services being requested, including any handling, shipping or delivery charges; (C) any limitations, conditions or restrictions that apply to the offer; and (D) the refund policy of the telemarketer;

      (6) Any transaction in which the telemarketer or its subsidiaries, affiliates or agents is certified by, or providing services pursuant to tariffs filed with, the Department of Public Utility Control, the Federal Communications Commission or in which the telemarketer is a corporation which is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States, as from time to time amended, and in which the telemarketer is initiating the sale, lease or rental of consumer goods or services or offering gifts with the intent to sell, lease or rent consumer goods or services on its own behalf;

      (7) Any transaction in which: (A) The consumer may obtain a full refund for the return of undamaged and unused goods or services to the seller within seven days of receipt by the consumer; (B) the seller will process the refund within thirty days of receipt of the returned goods or notice of cancellation of services by the consumer; and (C) the consumer is clearly and conspicuously notified of his right to full refund for the return of undamaged and unused goods or any services not performed or a pro rata refund for any services not yet performed for the consumer;

      (8) Any transaction regulated under chapter 672a between a consumer and any broker-dealer, agent, investment advisor or investment advisor agent registered or specifically excluded from the registration requirement pursuant to chapter 672a;

      (9) Any transaction which is subject to the provisions of chapter 740;

      (10) Any transaction which is subject to the provisions of chapter 704; or

      (11) Any transaction between a consumer and a person or its majority-owned affiliate where such person or its majority-owned affiliate has been continuously operating for at least two years a retail business establishment having a fixed, permanent location under the same name as that used in connection with the telemarketing transaction and the goods or services offered in the telemarketing transaction are also offered for sale at the retail business establishment and telemarketer-originated sales comprise less than fifty per cent of establishment's total sales.

      (P.A. 96-196, S. 4; P.A. 08-176, S. 73; P.A. 10-32, S. 126.)

      History: P.A. 08-176 amended Subdiv. (2) to add "mortgage correspondent lender" and make conforming changes, effective July 1, 2008; P.A. 10-32 made technical changes in Subdiv. (2), effective May 10, 2010.

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      Sec. 42-288. Applicability. Unfair trade practice. (a) For the purposes of sections 42-284 to 42-287, inclusive, any transaction which occurs between a telemarketer and a consumer shall be considered to have taken place in this state if either the telemarketer or the consumer is domiciled in this state.

      (b) Violation of any provision of sections 42-284 to 42-287, inclusive, shall be an unfair or deceptive act or practice in violation of subsection (a) of section 42-110b.

      (P.A. 96-196, S. 5.)

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      Sec. 42-288a. Telephonic sales calls. Definitions. "No sales solicitation calls" listing. Prohibited acts. Regulations. Violations. (a) As used in this section:

      (1) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Consumer Protection;

      (2) "Consumer" means any individual who is a resident of this state and a prospective recipient of consumer goods or services;

      (3) "Consumer goods or services" means any article or service that is purchased, leased, exchanged or received primarily for personal, family or household purposes, and includes, but is not limited to, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities and other financial products;

      (4) "Department" means the Department of Consumer Protection;

      (5) "Doing business in this state" means conducting telephonic sales calls (A) from a location in this state, or (B) from a location outside of this state to consumers residing in this state;

      (6) "Marketing or sales solicitation" means the initiation of a telephone call or message to encourage the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods or services, that is transmitted to any consumer, but does not include a telephone call or message (A) to any consumer with that consumer's prior express written or verbal invitation or permission, (B) by a tax-exempt nonprofit organization, or (C) to a consumer in response to a visit made by such consumer to an establishment selling, leasing or exchanging consumer goods or services at a fixed location;

      (7) "Telephonic sales call" means a call made by a telephone solicitor to a consumer for the purpose of (A) engaging in a marketing or sales solicitation, (B) soliciting an extension of credit for consumer goods or services, or (C) obtaining information that will or may be used for marketing or sales solicitation or exchange of or extension of credit for consumer goods or services;

      (8) "Telephone solicitor" means any individual, association, corporation, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company or other business entity, or a subsidiary or affiliate thereof, doing business in this state that makes or causes to be made a telephonic sales call;

      (9) "Unsolicited telephonic sales call" means any telephonic sales call other than a call made: (A) In response to an express written or verbal request of the consumer called; (B) primarily in connection with an existing debt or contract, payment or performance of which has not been completed at the time of the call; or (C) to an existing customer, unless such customer has stated to the telephone solicitor that such customer no longer wishes to receive the telephonic sales calls of such telephone solicitor; and

      (10) "Caller identification service or device" means any telephone service or device which permits a consumer to see the telephone number of incoming calls.

      (b) The department shall establish and maintain a "no sales solicitation calls" listing of consumers who do not wish to receive unsolicited telephonic sales calls. The department may contract with a private vendor to establish and maintain such listing, provided (1) the private vendor has maintained national "no sales solicitation calls" listings for more than two years, and (2) the contract requires the vendor to provide the "no sales solicitation calls" listing in a printed hard copy format and in any other format offered at a cost that does not exceed the production cost of the format offered. The department shall provide notice to consumers of the establishment of a "no sales solicitation calls" listing. Any consumer who wishes to be included on such listing shall notify the department by calling a toll-free number provided by the department, or in any other such manner and at such times as the commissioner may prescribe. A consumer on such listing shall be deleted from such listing upon the consumer's written request. The department shall update such listing not less than quarterly and shall make such listing available to telephone solicitors and other persons upon request.

      (c) No telephone solicitor may make or cause to be made any unsolicited telephonic sales call to any consumer (1) if the consumer's name and telephone number or numbers appear on the then current quarterly "no sales solicitation calls" listing made available by the department under subsection (b) of this section, unless (A) such call was made by a telephone solicitor that first began doing business in this state on or after January 1, 2000, (B) a period of less than one year has passed since such telephone solicitor first began doing business in this state, and (C) the consumer to whom such call was made had not on a previous occasion stated to such telephone solicitor that such consumer no longer wishes to receive the telephonic sales calls of such telephone solicitor, (2) to be received between the hours of nine o'clock p.m. and nine o'clock a.m., local time, at the consumer's location, (3) in the form of electronically transmitted facsimiles, or (4) by use of a recorded message device.

      (d) No telephone solicitor shall intentionally cause to be installed or shall intentionally use any blocking device or service to circumvent a consumer's use of a caller identification service or device.

      (e) (1) Any person who obtains the name, residential address or telephone number of any consumer from published telephone directories or from any other source and republishes or compiles such information, electronically or otherwise, and sells or offers to sell such publication or compilation to telephone solicitors for marketing or sales solicitation purposes, shall exclude from any such publication or compilation, and from the database used to prepare such publication or compilation, the name, address and telephone number or numbers of any consumer if the consumer's name and telephone number or numbers appear in the then current quarterly "no sales solicitation calls" listing made available by the department under subsection (b) of this section.

      (2) This subsection does not apply to (A) any telephone company, as defined in section 16-1, for the sole purpose of compiling, publishing or distributing telephone directories or causing the compilation, publication or distribution of telephone directories or providing directory assistance, and (B) any person, for the sole purpose of compiling, publishing or distributing telephone directories for such telephone company pursuant to an agreement or other arrangement with such telephone company.

      (f) The commissioner may adopt regulations, pursuant to chapter 54, to carry out the provisions of this section. Such regulations may include, but shall not be limited to, provisions governing the availability and distribution of the listing established under subsection (b) of this section and notice requirements for consumers wishing to be included on the listing established under subsection (b) of this section.

      (g) A violation of any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed an unfair or deceptive trade practice under subsection (a) of section 42-110b, except no telephone solicitor may be liable under this section for a call made in violation of subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of this section if such telephone solicitor demonstrates that: (1) Such telephone solicitor established and implemented written procedures and trained its employees to follow such procedures to comply with subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of this section; (2) such telephone solicitor deleted from its call list any listing of a consumer on the then current quarterly "no sales solicitation calls" listing maintained pursuant to subsection (b) of this section; and (3) such call was made inadvertently.

      (h) In addition to any penalty imposed under chapter 735a, any telephone solicitor, who is liable under the provisions of subsection (g) of this section, shall be fined not more than eleven thousand dollars for each violation.

      (P.A. 00-118, S. 1, 3; P.A. 01-195, S. 97, 181; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 146(c), (d); P.A. 04-169, S. 17; 04-189, S. 1; P.A. 10-52, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 00-118 effective January 1, 2001; P.A. 01-195 made a technical change in Subsec. (c), effective July 11, 2001; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-169 replaced Commissioner and Department of Consumer Protection with Commissioner and Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 04-189 repealed Sec. 146 of June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, thereby reversing the merger of the Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective June 1, 2004; P.A. 10-52 added Subsec. (h) re fine of not more than $11,000 per violation, effective January 1, 2011.

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      Secs. 42-289 to 42-294. Reserved for future use.

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