Florida tightens restrictions on phone and text solicitations
On May 25, the Florida governor signed HB 761 (the “Act”) to clarify notice requirements relating to telephone and text message solicitations and to outline conditions under which certain civil actions may be brought. Specifically, the amendments provide that “unsolicited” telephone sales calls involving an automated system used to select and dial numbers or one that plays a recorded message cannot be made without the prior express written consent of the called party. Consent may now be obtained by a consumer “checking a box indicating consent or responding affirmatively to receiving text messages, to an advertising campaign, or to an e-mail solicitation.”
The Act also clarifies that before the commencement of a civil action for damages for text message solicitations, the called party must reply “STOP” to the number that sent the message. The called party may bring an action only if consent is not given and the telephone solicitor continues to send text messages 15 days after being told to cease. The new requirements apply to any suit filed on or after the Act’s immediate effective date, as well as to any putative class action not certified on or before the effective date of the Act. The Act became effective immediately.