The General Assembly finds all of the following:
(1) The use of the telephone to market goods and services to the home is now pervasive due to the increased use of cost-effective telephone solicitation technologies and techniques.
(2) While some consumers enjoy and benefit from telephone solicitations from legitimate telephone solicitors, many others object to these telephone solicitations as an intrusive invasion of their privacy in the home.
(3) In addition, the proliferation of telephone solicitations, especially during the evening hours, creates a nuisance and a disturbance upon the home and family life of telephone subscribers during a time of day used by many families for traditional family activities.
(4) North Carolina residents should have the freedom to choose whether or not to permit telephone solicitors to contact them.
(5) Individual privacy rights, personal safety, prevention of fraud, and commercial freedom of speech and trade must be balanced in a way that protects the privacy of individuals and permits legitimate telephone solicitation practices.
(6) Legitimate telephone solicitors have no interest in continuing to invade the privacy of those telephone subscribers who affirmatively express their desires to receive no further telephone solicitations.
(7) Many telephone subscribers who have transacted business with firms that employ telephone solicitations have experienced problems with their checking and credit card accounts being debited before they can evaluate the terms and conditions of the transaction, before they can evaluate the merchandise or service to be delivered, or without their agreement to enter into the transaction or authorize such transactions in the first place. Other telephone subscribers have had unauthorized charges placed on their telephone bill and have had their long-distance carrier switched without their authorization as a result of telephone solicitations.
(8) New technologies that make telephone solicitations more cost-effective also allow for the creation of a "Do Not Call" Registry through which North Carolina consumers can easily register their desires not to receive further telephone solicitations and telephone solicitors can easily access and employ lists of consumers who have registered those desires.
(9) The public interest requires an efficient mechanism for telephone subscribers to notify telephone solicitors that their telephone numbers cannot be called and additional protections for North Carolina residents who enter into consumer transactions initiated through telephone solicitations. (2003-411, s. 3.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014