COLUMBUS, Ohio — If you’ve been in a car crash or been the victim of a crime you’ve probably also received a phone call immediately after from a chiropractor or health care practitioner looking to get you to make an appointment. Following a new Ohio law, that won’t be the case.
Put into effect last week, the new law prohibits telephone solicitation immediately following car crashes and other crimes. Now, those phone calls can not be made until at least 30 days after an incident, according to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.
The chiropractors and health care practitioners are also forbidden to text or email in the first 30 days. The only contact that can be made within the first 30 days of an incident must be sent via the U.S. Postal Service.
Anyone who receives a call, text or email from a telephone solicitor within 30 days of an accident or crime should call the attorney general’s office at 1-800-282-0515.
Telephone solicitors who break this law face up to a $5,000 fine for each violation and a $25,000 fine for each subsequent violation may also be imposed if the violation is validated, according to Yost.
By not adhering to the new law, telephone solicitors will also risk losing their licenses.
This law is accompanied by a new provision that deems a phone number of a victim of a crime, a witness to a crime or anyone involved in a crash is not a public record.
Prior to the new telephone solicitation laws, Ohio law listed the following requirements under the Telephone Solicitation Sales Act::
- Telephone solicitors may not block the disclosure of their telephone number on caller ID.
- A solicitor must state, within the first 60 seconds of a call, his or her real name, the company name, the purpose of the call, and the goods or services being sold.
- If a sale or agreement is made during the call, the telephone solicitor must (verbally) provide the consumer with the following information before requesting payment:
- Solicitor’s street address and telephone number;
- Total cost of the goods or services;
- Restrictions, limitations, or conditions;
- Refund/cancellation policy terms and conditions;<
- For prize promotions, a description of the prize, terms, and conditions, and
- The consumer’s rights under the law which require the telemarketer to either obtain a signed written confirmation or provide a 7-day notice of cancellation.
- Telephone solicitors who intend to offer prizes must provide notice to the Attorney General at least 14 days before making their calls.