S‑0496.5   _____________________________________________






State of Washington      57th Legislature     2001 Regular Session


By Senators Finkbeiner, Horn, Winsley, McCaslin, Morton, Hale, Johnson and McDonald


Read first time 01/19/2001.  Referred to Committee on Economic Development & Telecommunications.

_1      AN ACT Relating to prerecorded telephone messages; amending RCW

_2  19.158.110; adding a new section to chapter 19.158 RCW; and

_3  prescribing penalties.




_5      Sec. 1.  RCW 19.158.110 and 1989 c 20 s 11 are each amended to read

_6  as follows:

_7      (1) Within the first minute of the telephone call, a commercial

_8  telephone solicitor or salesperson shall:

_9      (a) Identify himself or herself, the company on whose behalf

10  the solicitation is being made, the property, goods, or services

11  being sold; and

12      (b) Terminate the telephone call within ten seconds if the

13  purchaser indicates he or she does not wish to continue the

14  conversation.

15      (2) If at any time during the telephone contact, the purchaser

16  states or indicates that he or she does not wish to be called

17  again by the commercial telephone solicitor or wants to have his

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_1  or her name and individual telephone number removed from the

_2  telephone lists used by the commercial telephone solicitor:

_3      (a) The commercial telephone solicitor shall not make any

_4  additional commercial telephone solicitation of the called party

_5  at that telephone number within a period of at least one year; and

_6      (b) The commercial telephone solicitor shall not sell or give

_7  the called party's name and telephone number to another commercial

_8  telephone solicitor:  PROVIDED, That the commercial  telephone

_9  solicitor may return the list, including the called party's name

10  and telephone number, to the company or organization from which it

11  received the list.

12      (3) The utilities and transportation commission shall by rule

13  ensure that telecommunications companies inform their residential

14  customers of the provisions of this section and section 2 of this

15  act.  The notification may be made by:

16      (a) Annual inserts in the billing statements mailed to

17  residential customers; or

18      (b) Conspicuous publication of the notice in the consumer

19  information pages of local telephone directories.

20      (4) If a sale or an agreement to purchase is completed, the

21  commercial telephone solicitor must inform the purchaser of his or

22  her cancellation rights as enunciated in this chapter, state the

23  registration number issued by the department of licensing, and

24  give the street address of the seller.

25      (5) If, at any time prior to sale or agreement to purchase, the

26  commercial telephone solicitor's registration number is requested

27  by the purchaser, it must be provided.

28      (6) All oral disclosures required by this section shall be made

29  in a clear and intelligible manner.


30      NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  A new section is added to chapter 19.158

31  RCW to read as follows:

32      (1) The definitions in this subsection apply throughout this

33  section unless the context clearly requires otherwise.

34      (a) "Prerecorded telephone message" means an unsolicited

35  recorded telephone message without an introduction by an

36  unrecorded voice informing the receiver of the:  (i) Identity and

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_1  telephone number of the caller and (ii) option to immediately

_2  discontinue the call.

_3      (b) "Prerecorded telephone message" does not include a recorded

_4  message disseminated with the prior consent of the receiver or a

_5  recorded message related to public health, safety, or welfare. 

_6      (2) No person initiating a telephone call may use a prerecorded

_7  telephone message.  This section applies to all prerecorded

_8  telephone messages intended to be received by persons within the

_9  state.

10      (3) The legislature finds that the practices covered by this

11  section are matters vitally affecting the public interest for the

12  purpose of applying the consumer protection act, chapter 19.86

13  RCW.  A violation of this section is not reasonable in relation to

14  the development and preservation of business and is an unfair or

15  deceptive act in trade or commerce and an unfair method of

16  competition for the purpose of applying the consumer protection

17  act, chapter 19.86 RCW.  In addition to any other penalties or

18  remedies available under this chapter or chapter 19.86 RCW, a

19  person injured by a violation of this section may bring an action

20  for recovery of liquidated damages in the amount of one thousand

21  dollars per violation, plus court costs and attorneys' fees.

22      (4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict the

23  application of any laws applying to telephone solicitations.


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