Rhode Island Telemarketing Laws

According to the State Telephone Regulation Report a law passed in 1998 that requires individual telemarketers to maintain their own in-house no-call lists and cease calling persons who ask not to be called again. The law depends on no-call lists maintained by individual telemarketing companies. It is a requirement that telemarketers maintain their own no- call lists as part of a comprehensive telephone solicitation law that makes violations of any provision a criminal misdemeanor carrying a $500 fine. Telemarketers are permitted only to call residents between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. With this law there are certain rules that telemarketers must follow when calling consumers:

Telemarketers must state who they are working for and what they are selling before they try to explain their sales pitch to you. Telemarketers must fully explain the offer or product they are selling including price, restrictions or conditions. Telemarketers need your express verifiable permission to withdraw any money from any of your accounts.

Currently The House of Representatives approved bill (SB-2246) on April 25, 2002 that creates a registry for consumers who want to prevent telemarketers from calling their home. The bill passed by a 70-16 vote despite concerns it contains too many exemptions, including banks, phone and insurance companies.

Interested consumers would sign up on a registry, to be maintained by the Attorney General’s Office. Telemarketers doing business in the state would have to purchase the list from the Attorney General’s Office. Companies that call people on the list would face a fine of up to $500 for a first violation.

For more information contact the Rhode Island Consumer Protection Unit at (401) 274-4400 .

Source: Rhode Island Attorney General and State Telephone Regulation Report

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