The recently-signed Oklahoma Telephone Solicitation Act of 2022 (OTSA) will become effective November 1, 2022. The OTSA, like the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and the Florida Telephone Solicitation Act (FTSA) previously discussed here, prohibits telephonic sales calls (including texts) to wireless phones or landlines if such calls involve an automated system for the selection or dialing of telephone numbers without the prior express written consent of the called party.
Like the FTSA, the OTSA provides for a potentially more expansive definition of automatic dialing systems than the TCPA. The definition of automatic dialing systems under the OTSA includes systems that are capable of selecting or dialing telephone numbers, which may prohibit the use of “click to dial” systems or systems that select numbers that are dialed manually. The OTSA also creates a rebuttable presumption that calls or texts to a phone number with an Oklahoma area code are made to an Oklahoma resident or person physically present in the state.
Additional restrictions worth noting for businesses include:
- A prohibition against marketing telecommunications to Oklahoma consumers before 8:00 a.m. or after 8:00 p.m. local time. The TCPA restricts calls before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. local time.
- Capping commercial telephone solicitations to no more than three calls per 24-hour period on the same subject matter or issue, from any number to consumers “physically present” in Oklahoma.
The OTSA creates a private right of action where a called party can recover actual damages or $500 per violation, whichever is greater (and which can be tripled for willful or knowing violations). These statutory damages are identical to the TCPA and FTSA.
The OTSA and the FTSA differ from the TCPA in that they both specifically exempt (among other things) the following:
- Telephone solicitations made by businesses to consumers with an established business relationship or who have previously purchased from the same business enterprise.
- Isolated solicitations that are not in the course of repeated transactions.
- Solicitations for religious, charitable, political, or educational purposes.
- Major sales presentations to be completed at a later face-to-face meeting.
- Licensed securities, commodities, investment brokers, insurance brokers, agents or consumer representatives that solicit within the scope of their license.
- Some business-to-business sales, such as where the commercial telephone seller has been lawfully operating continually for at least three years under the same business name and has at least 50% of its dollar volume consisting of repeat sales to existing businesses.
Businesses engaging in telemarketing activities in Oklahoma should consult with counsel to make appropriate updates to their compliance programs.