The new Florida Bill SB 1120, updating the “Florida Telemarketing Act” and the “Florida Do Not Call Act” has been in effect for just over one month now, since July 1st, 2021. The new bill acts as a specific state version of the federal “Telephone Consumer Protection Act” – TCPA, but offers more legal leverage to the consumer, expands on the definition of what an auto-dialer is, and prohibits the use of any automated calling systems without the written consent of the consumer.
The New Private Right of Action
The new law includes a private right of action featuring potential damages as high as $1500 for each willing violation. For damages that are not deemed to be willful, the reparations can amount to the actual damage or $500, whichever is greater. Depending on the severity of the violation, companies that are found guilty of non-compliance may have their calling activities halted in the state of Florida.
Expanded Definition for Auto-dialers
Probably one of the most important updates is the broadening of the federal TCPA auto-dialer definition:
“An auto-dialer is an automated system for the selection or dialing of telephone numbers or the playing of a recorded message”.
The new law asks for written consent on behalf of the consumer so that his or her number can be called via any type of automated calling system, also removing the previous exceptions. Here are the conditions that need to be met for a valid consent:
1. The purpose of the consent needs to be clear: authorizing the call to be made using an automated system or recorded message
2. It should be not required to sign the written agreement as a condition of purchasing any property, goods, or services.
Updates to the “Florida Telemarketing Act”
Everything that we mentioned up to this point are updates for the “Florida Do Not Call Act”. However, the Florida Bill SB 1120 also had a set of updates for the “Florida Telemarketing Act”:
– The call window a telemarketer can now use narrowed from 8 AM—9 PM to 8 AM—8 PM.
– During a 24-hour period are allowed only three callings attempts about the same subject matter.
Of course, call centers that target Florida consumers or phone numbers with a Florida area code need to become compliant with the new Bill and adjust their inbound and outbound procedures not only for their auto-dialing systems but also for their sales calls, text messages, voicemails and so on.
With a background in Anthropology and a passion for digital marketing and copywriting, Georgian enjoys translating complex, often technical, concepts into everyday words. He loves optimizing everything, from texts, marketing funnels, and PPC campaigns to visual creations, social media feeds, or landing pages.