The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 287. Consumer disclosures
(a) Consent to Electronic Records. Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter, if a statute, regulation, or other rule of law requires that information relating to a transaction or transactions be provided or made available to a consumer in writing, the use of an electronic record to provide or make available (whichever is required) such information satisfies the requirement that such information be in writing if:
(1) The consumer has affirmatively consented to such use and has not withdrawn such consent.
(2) The consumer, prior to consenting, is provided with a clear and conspicuous statement:
(A) informing the consumer of:
(i) any right or option of the consumer to have the record provided or made available on paper or in nonelectronic form; and
(ii) the right of the consumer to withdraw the consent to have the record provided or made available in an electronic form and of any conditions, consequences (which may include termination of the parties' relationship), or fees in the event of such withdrawal;
(B) informing the consumer of whether the consent applies only to the particular transaction which gave rise to the obligation to provide the record, or to identified categories of records that may be provided or made available during the course of the parties' relationship;
(C) describing the procedures the consumer must use to withdraw consent as provided in subdivision (a)(2)(A)(ii) of this section and to update information needed to contact the consumer electronically; and
(D) informing the consumer how, after the consent, the consumer may, upon request, obtain a paper copy of an electronic record, and whether any fee will be charged for such copy.
(3) The consumer:
(A) prior to consenting, is provided with a statement of the hardware and software requirements for access to and retention of the electronic records; and
(B) consents electronically, or confirms his or her consent electronically, in a manner that reasonably demonstrates that the consumer can access information in the electronic form that will be used to provide the information that is the subject of the consent.
(4) After the consent of a consumer in accordance with subdivision (a)(1) of this section, if a change in the hardware or software requirements needed to access or retain electronic records creates a material risk that the consumer will not be able to access or retain a subsequent electronic record that was the subject of the consent, the person providing the electronic record shall:
(A) provide the consumer with a statement of:
(i) the revised hardware and software requirements for access to and retention of the electronic records; and
(ii) the right to withdraw consent without the imposition of any fees for such withdrawal and without the imposition of any condition or consequence that was not disclosed under subdivision (a)(2)(A) of this section.
(B) again comply with subdivision (a)(3) of this section.
(b) Other Rights.
(1) Preservation of Consumer Protections. Nothing in this chapter affects the content or timing of any disclosure or other record required to be provided or made available to any consumer under any statute, regulation, or other rule of law.
(2) Verification or Acknowledgment. If a law that was enacted prior to July 1, 2003 expressly requires a record to be provided or made available by a specified method that requires verification or acknowledgment of receipt, the record may be provided or made available electronically only if the method used provides verification or acknowledgment of receipt (whichever is required).
(c) Effect of Failure to Obtain Electronic Consent or Confirmation of Consent. The legal effectiveness, validity, or enforceability of any contract executed by a consumer shall not be denied solely because of the failure to obtain electronic consent or confirmation of consent by that consumer in accordance with subdivision (a)(3)(B).
(d) Prospective Effect. Withdrawal of consent by a consumer shall not affect the legal effectiveness, validity, or enforceability of electronic records provided or made available to that consumer in accordance with subsection (a) prior to implementation of the consumer's withdrawal of consent. A consumer's withdrawal of consent shall be effective within a reasonable period of time after receipt of the withdrawal by the provider of the record. Failure to comply with subdivision (a)(4) may, at the election of the consumer, be treated as a withdrawal of consent for purposes of this section.
(e) Prior Consent. This section does not apply to any records that are provided or made available to a consumer who has consented prior to the effective date of this title to receive such records in electronic form as permitted by any statute, regulation, or other rule of law.
(f) Oral Communications. An oral communication or a recording of an oral communication shall not qualify as an electronic record for purposes of this section except as otherwise provided under applicable law. (Added 2003, No. 44, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.)