75-101.  Definitions.

The following definitions apply in this Article:

(1)        Affiliate. - A business establishment, business, or other legal entity that wholly or substantially owns, is wholly or substantially owned by, or is under common ownership with a telephone solicitor.

(2)        Automatic dialing and recorded message player. - Any automatic equipment that incorporates a storage capability of telephone numbers to be called or a random or a sequential number generator capable of producing numbers to be called that, working alone or in conjunction with other equipment, disseminates a prerecorded message to the telephone number called.

(3)        "Do Not Call" Registry. - The registry created and maintained by the Federal Trade Commission pursuant to the Telemarketing Sales Rule. It also means any other telemarketing registry created by the federal government, including the Federal Communications Commission. It also means any registry created by the Attorney General pursuant to G.S. 75-102(n).

(4)        Doing business in this State. - To make or cause to be made any telephone solicitation to North Carolina telephone subscribers, whether the telephone solicitations are made from a location inside North Carolina or outside North Carolina.

(5)        Established business relationship. - A relationship between a seller and a consumer based on:

a.         The consumer's purchase, rental, or lease of the seller's goods or services or a financial transaction between the consumer and the seller or one or more of its affiliates within the 18 months immediately preceding the date of a telephone solicitation; or

b.         The consumer's inquiry or application regarding a product or service offered by the seller within the three months immediately preceding the date of a telephone solicitation.

(6)        Express invitation or permission. - Any invitation or permission that is registered by the telephone subscriber on an independent form and that contains the telephone number to which calls can be placed and the signature of the telephone subscriber. The form may be completed and signed electronically.

(7)        Person. - Any individual, business establishment, business, or other legal entity.

(8)        Telemarketing Sales Rule. - The federal regulation promulgated by the Federal Trade Commission, 16 C.F.R. Part 310 (January 29, 2003 Edition), as amended, to implement the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act, 15 U.S.C. 6101-6108, as amended.

(9)        Telephone solicitation. - A voice communication, whether prerecorded, live, or a facsimile, over a telephone line or wireless telephone network or via a commercial mobile radio service that is made by a telephone solicitor to a telephone subscriber for the purpose of soliciting or encouraging the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods, or services; obtaining or providing information that will or may be used for that purpose; soliciting or encouraging a telephone subscriber's participation in any contest, sweepstakes, raffle, or lottery, whether legal or illegal; or obtaining a charitable donation. "Telephone solicitation" also includes those transactions that are defined as "telemarketing" under the Telemarketing Sales Rule.

(10)      Telephone solicitor. - Any individual, business establishment, business, or other legal entity doing business in this State that, directly or through salespersons or agents, makes or attempts to make telephone solicitations or causes telephone solicitations to be made. "Telephone solicitor" also includes any party defined as a "telemarketer" under the Telemarketing Sales Rule.

(11)      Telephone subscriber. - An individual who subscribes to a residential telephone service from a local exchange company, a competing local provider certified to do business in North Carolina, or a wireless telephone company; or the individuals living or residing with that individual.

(12)      Unsolicited telephone call. - A voice communication, whether prerecorded, live, or a facsimile, over a telephone line or wireless telephone network or via a commercial mobile radio service that is made by a person to a telephone subscriber without prior express invitation or permission. (2003-411, s. 3.)