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Searching 2019-2020 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The statutes were updated in November, 2018, and contain all actions of the
2018 legislative session.

Title 9: Commerce and Trade

Chapter 135: UNSOLICITED MERCHANDISE; SOLICITATION IN THE GUISE OF A BILL, INVOICE, OR STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT

  • § 4401. Rights of recipient of unsolicited goods or services; obligation of business recipient to notify seller

    (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, if a seller delivers unsolicited goods to a recipient, the recipient may:

    (1) refuse the unsolicited goods; or

    (2) deem the unsolicited goods to be a gift and dispose of them in any manner without obligation to the seller; provided that, in the case of a recipient who is not a natural person, before disposing of the goods, the recipient shall make a reasonable effort to notify the seller that it has received the unsolicited goods.

    (b) If a seller delivers goods to a recipient in error and notifies the recipient of the error within 20 days, or before the recipient has used or disposed of the unsolicited goods, whichever is sooner, then:

    (1) The seller shall provide, within 20 days of the notification of error, for the pick-up or return shipment of any remaining portion of the unsolicited goods at the seller's expense and risk, during which time the recipient shall take reasonable care of the remaining unsolicited goods. The recipient need not tender the remaining goods at any place other than the place of delivery or the location of the remaining goods at the time of the notification of error and shall have no further obligation to accommodate the seller's schedule for pick-up or return shipment or otherwise to facilitate the recovery of the item beyond the requirements of this section. If the recipient refuses to relinquish any remaining portion of the unsolicited goods to the seller, or agrees to relinquish the remaining unsolicited goods to the seller and fails to do so, the recipient shall be liable for the cost of the unsolicited goods not relinquished to the seller.

    (2) The seller may discontinue services to the recipient. The recipient shall not be liable for any services delivered or used prior to the discontinuance of service.

    (c) In this section:

    (1) "Recipient" means a person who receives unsolicited goods, whether or not he or she was the intended recipient of them.

    (2) "Seller" means a person who delivers, renders, or causes to be delivered or rendered unsolicited goods to a recipient, whether or not the seller intends to charge the recipient for the unsolicited goods.

    (3) "Unsolicited goods" means any personal property or services delivered, rendered, or caused to be delivered or rendered by a seller to a recipient that are not requested by the recipient, whether or not the recipient and the seller have an existing business relationship. (Added 1969, No. 280 (Adj. Sess.); amended 1971, No. 235 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2011, No. 136 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. May 18, 2012.)

  • § 4402. Solicitation in the guise of a bill, invoice, or statement of account

    (a) In this section:

    (1)(A) "Solicitation" means a document that reasonably could be considered a bill, invoice, or statement of account due, but is in fact an offer to sell goods or services to a consumer that were not requested by the consumer.

    (B) "Solicitation" does not include an offer to renew an existing agreement for the purchase of goods or services, provided that the offer specifies the date on which the existing agreement expires.

    (2) For purposes of subdivision (1)(A) of this subsection, factors to determine whether a document "reasonably could be considered to be a bill, invoice, or statement of account due" may include:

    (A) The document is described as a "bill," "invoice," "statement," "final notice," or similar title.

    (B) The document uses the term "remit" or "pay" with respect to a dollar amount, or similar wording.

    (C) The document purports to impose a kind of late fee or similar penalty for nonpayment.

    (D) The document refers to a dollar figure as an "amount due," "amount owing," or similar wording.

    (b) It is an unfair and deceptive act and practice in commerce in violation of section 2453 of this title for a person to send to a consumer through any medium a solicitation in violation of the requirements of this section.

    (c)(1) A solicitation shall bear on its face the following disclaimer in conspicuous boldface capital letters of a color prominently contrasting with the background against which it appears, including all other print on the face of the solicitation, and that are at least as large, bold, and conspicuous as any other print on the face of the solicitation but not smaller than 30-point type: "THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A SOLICITATION FOR THE SALE OF GOODS OR SERVICES. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS OFFER."

    (2) For purposes of subdivision (1) of this subsection, "color prominently contrasting" excludes any color, or any intensity of an otherwise included color, that does not permit legible reproduction by ordinary office photocopying equipment used under normal operating conditions and which is not at least as vivid as any other color on the face of the solicitation.

    (d)(1) The disclaimer required in subsection (c) of this section shall be displayed conspicuously apart from other print on the page immediately below each portion of the solicitation that reasonably could be construed to specify a monetary amount due and payable by the recipient.

    (2) The disclaimer required in subsection (c) of this section shall not be preceded, followed, or surrounded by words, symbols, or other matter that reduces its conspicuousness or that introduces or modifies the required text, such as "Legal Notice Required By Law" or similar wording.

    (3) The disclaimer required in subsection (c) of this section shall not, by folding or any other means, be made unintelligible or less prominent than any other information on the face of the solicitation.

    (4) If a solicitation consists of more than one page, or if any page is designed to be separated into portions, the disclaimer required in subsection (c) of this section shall be displayed in its entirety on the face of each page or portion of a page that reasonably could be considered a bill, invoice, or statement of account due as required in this subsection. (Added 2013, No. 44, § 4.)