Arkansas Telemarketing Fraud Laws
Telemarketing fraud occurs when a solicitor calls a victim and makes false statements or misrepresentations in order to talk the victim into giving the caller money or personal information. Arkansas' telemarketing fraud laws are contained in the Home Solicitation Sales Act. This act was created to regulate home solicitation sales in order to protect victims from deceptive sales practices. The following chart highlights the main aspects of this act.
|Arkansas Code Chapter 89: Home Solicitation Sales|
Knowingly and willfully committing a "deceptive trade practice."
What's a "Deceptive Trade Practice?"
|A deceptive trade practice can be any of the following acts committed by a seller in connection with a home solicitation sale:
Class A misdemeanor. Punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and/or imprisonment for up to one year.
Offenders must also pay the victim:
Valid Telemarketing Sales
It is important to note that not all unsolicited telemarketing calls are illegal. Arkansas' Home Solicitation Sales Act also sets out the requirements that solicitors must follow in order to conduct legal sales over the phone. Before a telemarketer's sale is enforceable there must be:
- A written document that:
- Is sufficient to indicate that a contract has been made between the parties
- Is signed by both the buyer and the seller
- Doesn't contain any new provisions that weren't included in the oral sales presentation
- Contains the name and address of the seller, and
- Contains the date that the buyer signed the document
- A copy of this written document must be provided to the buyer when he or she signs it
- The seller must not engage in any deceptive trade practices (as outlined above), and
- When the buyer signs the written document the seller must provide the buyer with a "notice of cancellation" form
Buyer's Right to Cancel Contract
Under Arkansas' telemarketing fraud laws, a buyer who enters into a contract during a telephone solicitation has the absolute right to cancel the contract until midnight of the third calendar day (excluding Sundays and holidays). The contract is cancelled when the buyer returns the notice of cancellation form back to the seller. In these situations, buyers can best protect themselves by sending the cancellation by registered mail.
After a buyer cancels a contract, the seller must return any payments that the buyer may have already made. The buyer also has the right to keep any goods that have already been delivered to him until the seller returns the buyer's payments in full. However, during this time period the buyer has a duty to take reasonable care of the goods in his possession.
Federal Laws and Registries that Apply to Telemarketing
- Telephone Sales Rule
- Telephone Consumer Protection Act
- Federal Trade Commission Act
- The National Do Not Call Registry
State laws change frequently. For case specific information about Arkansas' telemarketing fraud laws contact a local consumer protection attorney.
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