Bill Text: MS HB991 | 2018 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Door-to-door for-profit solicitors; establish code of conduct for.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-01-12 - Referred To Judiciary A [HB991 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2018-HB991-Introduced.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2018 Regular Session

To: Judiciary A

By: Representative Hopkins

House Bill 991

AN ACT TO ENACT A CODE OF CONDUCT FOR DOOR-TO-DOOR FOR-PROFIT SOLICITORS; TO SPECIFY REQUIREMENTS OF A DOOR-TO-DOOR FOR-PROFIT SOLICITOR; TO PROHIBIT CERTAIN ACTIONS BY A DOOR-TO-DOOR FOR-PROFIT SOLICITOR; TO PROVIDE FOR CERTAIN LICENSURE CONSEQUENCES IF A SIGN FOR NO SOLICITATION IS VIOLATED BY A DOOR-TO-DOOR FOR-PROFIT SOLICITOR; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

     BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

     SECTION 1.  (1)  Any for-profit solicitor who sells, offers to sell or attempts to sell goods or services to a homeowner or resident of a home or apartment, through direct physical contact, including door-to-door solicitation, shall:

          (a)  Carry an employee identification card or, if applicable, a copy of a currently pending application for license or registration and present said identification or proof of registration for inspection to the homeowner or resident;

          (b)  Truthfully and clearly identify himself or herself by name, their fully registered company name, and the purpose of his or her solicitation to the potential customer at the initiation of a sales presentation without request from the potential customer;

          (c)  Provide to the homeowner or resident, at no charge, a document or business card listing the solicitor's name, employer's name, address, phone number, license number if applicable;

          (d)  Not approach or solicit a home or residence at any time where a placard, sign or any other posting of whatever nature is displaying indicating that the homeowner or residential occupant does not wish to be solicited; and

          (e)  Comply with any applicable door-to-door solicitation ordinance consistent with state and federal law.

     (2)  Any door-to-door for-profit solicitor shall not engage in any deceptive, misleading, unlawful or unethical business practices with customers or consumers.  Such practices shall constitute improper, fraudulent or dishonest dealing.

     (3)  Any door-to-door for-profit solicitor, when engaging in the sale, installation, service or maintenance of a product or service, shall not falsely state or imply the following to a potential or existing customer:

          (a)  That a competitor company is going out of business or is in financial difficulty, or that such competitor company no longer exists;

          (b)  That a competitor company is changing or has changed its company name;

          (c)  That the for-profit solicitor is a representative agent of, if acting on behalf of, or is otherwise acting with the consent or approval of a competitor company;

          (d)  That the for-profit solicitor's company is a "sister" company of a competitor, or is acquiring, merging with, or has taken over or purchased the competitor company's accounts;

          (e)  That the for-profit solicitor is performing routine maintenance on a competitor company's product or equipment which is in the possession of a customer;

          (f)  That the for-profit solicitor's company is affiliated with, has the endorsement of, or is, in any manner, acting at the direction of any governmental or law enforcement agency; and

          (g)  Quoting statistics or providing other information that is known to be false or misleading, or which the for-profit solicitor has not made a reasonable effort to objectively quantify or substantiate.

     (4)  For recurring contracts, door-to-door for-profit solicitors shall:

          (a)  When contracting with existing or potential customers, use written materials which clearly and conspicuously set forth both the company and the customer's rights and obligations;

          (b)  Clearly and conspicuously disclose material terms and conditions of the offer before obtaining a customer's consent;

          (c)  Provide a copy of the contract to the customer immediately upon execution;

          (d)  Clearly and conspicuously disclose refund policies, including termination fees, to existing or potential customers prior to the sale of any product or service;

          (e)  Honor all refunds for customers in accordance with their stated refund policies; and

          (f)  Upon request, provide customers a written termination fee calculation and statement of the information upon which they base the calculation.

     (5)  To the extent allowed by licensure laws governing door-to-door for-profit solicitors, any door-to-door for-profit solicitor who violates Section 1(1)(d) of this act shall be given a warning by its licensure board after two (2) reported violations and shall have his or her license revoked after four (4) reported violations.

     SECTION 2.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2018.

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