Public Contracts; Telemarketing
Requires public contracts for telemarketing services to be performed in the United States. Gives consumers right to know the location of a call center.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to consumer protection.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that customers increasingly use the telephone and Internet to buy goods and services, inquire about transactions and bills, and get technical support or other information. Studies estimate that more than seventy per cent of customer interaction occurs in call centers that are frequently located offshore. Call centers in other countries may have different privacy and security standards than the United States.
The purpose of this Act is to guarantee that consumers have the right to know to whom they are talking and where they are calling as well as the right to secure financial transactions. In addition, this Act guarantees consumers the right to have their call rerouted to their country or state of origin and have none of their financial, credit, and identification information sent to any foreign country without their express written permission.
SECTION 2. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
consumer right to know
§ -1 Certain vendors required to perform all work in the United States. (a) The State shall only contract for telemarketing services or telephone center services with vendors that operate telemarketing or telephone center services on behalf of the State in the United States.
(b) The State shall require each vendor submitting a bid or contract to provide services for the State as set forth in subsection (a) to certify that only vendors who operate in the United States will be performing services under the contract. Any person who submits a certification required by this subsection known to be false shall be guilty of a class C felony.
(c) A contract entered into or performed in violation of this section is void. A contract that is void under this section may continue in effect until an alternative contract can be arranged when:
(1) Immediate termination would result in harm to the public health or welfare; or
(2) The continuation is approved by the State.
Approval of continuation of contracts under this subsection shall be given for the minimum period necessary to protect the public health or welfare.
§ -2 Customer sales or service call center requirements. (a) As used in this section the following terms shall mean as follows:
"Customer sales call center" means an entity whose primary purpose includes the initiating or receiving of telephonic communications on behalf of any person for the purpose of initiating sales, including telephone solicitations.
"Customer service call center" means an entity whose primary purpose includes the initiating or receiving of telephonic communications on behalf of any person for the purposes of providing or receiving services or information necessary in connection with the providing of services or other benefits.
"Customer services employee" means a person employed by or working on behalf of a customer sales call center or a customer service call center.
(b) Any person who receives a telephone call from, or places a telephone call to, a customer sales call center or a customer service call, upon request, has the right to:
(1) Know the identification of the city, state, and country where the customer service employee is located;
(2) Know the name or registered alias of the customer services employee;
(3) Know the name of the employer of the employee with whom the person is speaking; and
(4) Speak to a qualified employee of the company or government agency the person is doing business with.
(c) No person who receives a telephone call from, or places a telephone call to, a customer sales call center or a customer service call center shall have the person's financial, credit, or identifying information sent to any foreign country without express written permission.
§ -3 Violation. A violation of this chapter shall be an unfair or deceptive trade practice under section 480-2."
SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.