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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 396-MM
Unlawful trial offers
General Business (GBS) CHAPTER 20, ARTICLE 26
§ 396-mm. Unlawful trial offers. 1. a. It shall be unlawful for a
person, partnership, firm, association, corporation or agent or employee
thereof to provide a free trial offer unless the material terms of the
offer are clearly and conspicuously disclosed. No additional products or
services or enrollment in any membership, for a fee, shall be provided
until the express consent of the consumer has been obtained.

b. At least fifteen, but not more than thirty days before a consumer
is required to cancel a free trial, the person, partnership, firm,
association, corporation or agent or employee thereof shall send to the
consumer the terms of the offer and the deadline to cancel; provided,
however, that where a free trial offer ends in less than thirty days,
the terms of the offer and the deadline to cancel shall be sent at least
seven days before a consumer is required to cancel the free trial. Such
notice is not required when the free trial is a magazine or newspaper
subscription and at any time cancellation occurs the consumer shall
receive a refund for issues not mailed; provided, however, that such
refund option is disclosed with the free trial subscription offer.

2. This section shall not apply to a negative option plan regulated by
the federal trade commission pursuant to Code of Federal Regulations,
title 16, part 425; and does not apply to other contractual plans or
arrangements such as continuity plans, subscription arrangements,
standing order arrangements, supplements and series arrangements, under
which the seller provides similar special interest goods or services to
a consumer who has consented in advance to receive the goods or services
on a periodic basis with no binding commitment period and no minimum
purchase amount.

3. This section shall not apply to any purchase when the person,
partnership, firm, association, corporation or agent or employee thereof
does not debit or charge any consumer account and sends the consumer an
invoice requesting payment which includes information about how to
cancel a free trial.

4. a. Every violation of this section shall be deemed a deceptive act
and practice subject to enforcement under article twenty-two-A of this
chapter. In every case where the court shall determine that a violation
of this section has occurred, it may impose a civil penalty of up to one
thousand five hundred dollars for each violation.

b. Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict any right
which any person may have under any other statute or the common law.