Trent Cotney, Partner, Adams and Reese, LLP
If you run a business, you should be aware of Florida’s version of the national Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which legislators passed last year. This state version, Senate Bill 1120 (SB 1120), is similar to the federal TCPA and includes a private cause of action. It has been called Florida’s Mini-TCPA.
This law made revisions to the state’s Do Not Call Act (Section 501.059, Florida Statutes) and the state’s Telemarketing Act (Section 501.616).
Revisions to the Do Not Call Act
As you know, the Do Not Call Act was passed as a measure to protect consumers from unwanted solicitations. The changes to the law have created more restrictions for businesses.
Exemption Removals: In the earlier version of Do Not Call, there were three exemptions for automated marketing calls. Under these circumstances, calls were permitted:
■ If the phone number was not on the “no sales solicitation calls” list.
■ If the call was made as a response to a customer-initiated call.
■ If the call regarded services or goods previously purchased by the party called.
SB 1120 removed all these exemptions, making it more difficult for businesses to pursue customers.
Written Consent: The law stipulates that all marketing calls have “prior express written consent” for all numbers within an automated dialing system. The consent must be signed by the party being called and authorizes the caller to make the call or send the text. The agreement must include the number that is approved for contact and it must specify disclosure details that inform the called parties that they are authorizing telephone contact.