[author: Katie Trial]
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2021 Decision in Facebook v. Duguid, which has still left some ambiguity around the definition of an autodialer, many states have started to hop on the bandwagon of enacting more restrictive state telemarketing laws. States such as Florida, Washington, and Oklahoma have recently passed their own laws. Now, Michigan is looking to take a step into the “Mini-TCPA” pool.
Michigan recently introduced a new bill entitled Michigan’s “Telephone Solicitation Act.” On June 30, 2022, Michigan state representative Mari Manoogian introduced House Bill 6307 (2022) which has been referred to the Committee on Commerce and Tourism.
How does the bill define an Automated Dialing System?
It is important to note, the bill would define an ADAD or “automatic dialing and announcing device” as:
“any device or system of devices that is used, whether alone or in conjunction with other equipment, for the purpose of automatically selecting or dialing telephone numbers.”
This definition is concerning for companies because even if they are not using an automated dialer to place marketing calls, if one is used in conjunction with other equipment, it could still fall under the sphere of an ADAD. Should this bill pass into law, companies should continuously evaluate their dialing devices to confirm that they don’t fall under what is considered an ADAD in Michigan and that they are making calls compliantly.
If enacted, the bill would make the following changes:
- Changes call time restrictions from 9 am to 9 pm to 9 am to 8 pm.
- Requires telephone solicitors to state their full first and last name and the full name, address, and telephone number of the organization or person on whose behalf the call is initiated at the beginning of the call.
- Restricts calls to consumers who are on the federal DNC list with an ADAD.
- Restricts companies from using misleading phone numbers to misrepresent the location of origin of a telephone solicitation.
- Restricts the use of recorded messages in whole or in part.
- Enacts a record keeping requirement for records related to telephone solicitations to be kept for 4 years.
- Restricts telephone solicitors to call consumers “repeatedly, continuously, or in a manner that a reasonable person would consider annoying, harassing, or abusive.” (However, the bill does not define what is constituted as “repeatedly” or “continuously.”)
If enacted, violations of the act could result in civil penalties of $25,000 per each violation, civil penalties of $75,000 per each violation if the consumer is over 75 or disabled, and $100,000 for each persistent and knowing violation if the consumer is over 75 or disabled.
The bill has only been introduced, so there is not cause to worry quite yet. The Michigan bill was introduced with 3 other bills- H.B. 6308, H.B. 6309, and H.B. 6310, which amend existing Michigan consumer laws, and can only go into effect if all 4 bills are enacted. Michigan’s “Telephone Solicitation Act” would only go into effect 90 days after the date that the governor has signed all 4 bills.