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PRINTER'S NO. 2512
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1977
Session of
2024
INTRODUCED BY PARKER, GREEN, KHAN, FREEMAN, SANCHEZ, KINSEY,
WAXMAN, SCHLOSSBERG, CERRATO, CEPEDA-FREYTIZ, CIRESI, GAYDOS,
HILL-EVANS, MAYES, NEILSON AND DALEY, JANUARY 31, 2024
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON CONSUMER PROTECTION, TECHNOLOGY AND
UTILITIES, JANUARY 31, 2024
AN ACT
Amending the act of December 17, 1968 (P.L.1224, No.387),
entitled "An act prohibiting unfair methods of competition
and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of
any trade or commerce, giving the Attorney General and
District Attorneys certain powers and duties and providing
penalties," further providing for definitions and for
unlawful acts or practices and exclusions.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Sections 2(4) and 3(a) of the act of December 17,
1968 (P.L.1224, No.387), known as the Unfair Trade Practices and
Consumer Protection Law, are amended to read:
Section 2. Definitions.--As used in this act.
* * *
(4) "Unfair methods of competition" and "unfair or deceptive
acts or practices" mean any one or more of the following:
(i) Passing off goods or services as those of another;
(ii) Causing likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding
as to the source, sponsorship, approval or certification of
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goods or services;
(iii) Causing likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding
as to affiliation, connection or association with, or
certification by, another;
(iv) Using deceptive representations or designations of
geographic origin in connection with goods or services;
(v) Representing that goods or services have sponsorship,
approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits or
quantities that they do not have or that a person has a
sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation or connection that he
does not have;
(vi) Representing that goods are original or new if they are
deteriorated, altered, reconditioned, reclaimed, used or
secondhand;
(vii) Representing that goods or services are of a
particular standard, quality or grade, or that goods are of a
particular style or model, if they are of another;
(viii) Disparaging the goods, services or business of
another by false or misleading representation of fact;
(ix) Advertising goods or services with intent not to sell
them as advertised;
(x) Advertising goods or services with intent not to supply
reasonably expectable public demand, unless the advertisement
discloses a limitation of quantity;
(xi) Making false or misleading statements of fact
concerning the reasons for, existence of, or amounts of price
reductions;
(xii) Promising or offering prior to time of sale to pay,
credit or allow to any buyer, any compensation or reward for the
procurement of a contract for purchase of goods or services with
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another or others, or for the referral of the name or names of
another or others for the purpose of attempting to procure or
procuring such a contract of purchase with such other person or
persons when such payment, credit, compensation or reward is
contingent upon the occurrence of an event subsequent to the
time of the signing of a contract to purchase;
(xiii) Promoting or engaging in any plan by which goods or
services are sold to a person for a consideration and upon the
further consideration that the purchaser secure or attempt to
secure one or more persons likewise to join the said plan; each
purchaser to be given the right to secure money, goods or
services depending upon the number of persons joining the plan.
In addition, promoting or engaging in any plan, commonly known
as or similar to the so-called "Chain-Letter Plan," "Pyramid
Club" or "Pyramid Promotional Scheme." The terms "Chain-Letter
Plan" or "Pyramid Club" mean any scheme for the disposal or
distribution of property, services or anything of value whereby
a participant pays valuable consideration, in whole or in part,
for an opportunity to receive compensation for introducing or
attempting to introduce one or more additional persons to
participate in the scheme or for the opportunity to receive
compensation when a person introduced by the participant
introduces a new participant. The term "Pyramid Promotional
Scheme" means any plan or operation by which a person gives
consideration for the opportunity to receive compensation that
is derived primarily from the introduction of other persons into
the plan or operation rather than from the sale and consumption
of goods, services or intangible property by a participant or
other persons introduced into the plan or operation. The term
includes any plan or operation under which the number of people
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who may participate is limited either expressly or by the
application of conditions affecting the eligibility of a person
to receive compensation under the plan or operation, and
includes any plan or operation under which a person, on giving
any consideration, obtains any goods, services or intangible
property in addition to the right to receive compensation. As
used in this subclause the term "consideration" means an
investment of cash or the purchase of goods, other property,
training or services, but does not include payments made for
sales demonstration equipment and materials for use in making
sales and not for resale furnished at no profit to any person in
the program or to the company or corporation, nor does the term
apply to a minimal initial payment of twenty-five dollars ($25)
or less;
(xiv) Failing to comply with the terms of any written
guarantee or warranty given to the buyer at, prior to or after a
contract for the purchase of goods or services is made;
(xv) Knowingly misrepresenting that services, replacements
or repairs are needed if they are not needed;
(xvi) Making repairs, improvements or replacements on
tangible, real or personal property, of a nature or quality
inferior to or below the standard of that agreed to in writing;
(xvii) Making solicitations for sales of goods or services
over the telephone without first clearly, affirmatively and
expressly stating:
(A) the identity of the seller;
(B) that the purpose of the call is to sell goods or
services;
(C) the nature of the goods or services; and
(D) that no purchase or payment is necessary to be able to
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win a prize or participate in a prize promotion if a prize
promotion is offered. This disclosure must be made before or in
conjunction with the description of the prize to the person
called. If requested by that person, the telemarketer must
disclose the no-purchase/no-payment entry method for the prize
promotion;
(xviii) Using a contract, form or any other document related
to a consumer transaction which contains a confessed judgment
clause that waives the consumer's right to assert a legal
defense to an action;
(xix) Soliciting any order for the sale of goods to be
ordered by the buyer through the mails or by telephone unless,
at the time of the solicitation, the seller has a reasonable
basis to expect that it will be able to ship any ordered
merchandise to the buyer:
(A) within that time clearly and conspicuously stated in any
such solicitation; or
(B) if no time is clearly and conspicuously stated, within
thirty days after receipt of a properly completed order from the
buyer, provided, however, where, at the time the merchandise is
ordered, the buyer applies to the seller for credit to pay for
the merchandise in whole or in part, the seller shall have fifty
days, rather than thirty days, to perform the actions required
by this subclause;
(xx) Failing to inform the purchaser of a new motor vehicle
offered for sale at retail by a motor vehicle dealer of the
following:
(A) that any rustproofing of the new motor vehicle offered
by the motor vehicle dealer is optional;
(B) that the new motor vehicle has been rustproofed by the
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manufacturer and the nature and extent, if any, of the
manufacturer's warranty which is applicable to that
rustproofing;
The requirements of this subclause shall not be applicable and a
motor vehicle dealer shall have no duty to inform if the motor
vehicle dealer rustproofed a new motor vehicle before offering
it for sale to that purchaser, provided that the dealer shall
inform the purchaser whenever dealer rustproofing has an effect
on any manufacturer's warranty applicable to the vehicle. This
subclause shall not apply to any new motor vehicle which has
been rustproofed by a motor vehicle dealer prior to the
effective date of this subclause[.];
(xxi) Failing to conspicuously display or otherwise clearly
disclose any surcharge, fee or fine relating to a credit card or
debit card transaction to a customer; or
(xxii) Engaging in any other fraudulent or deceptive conduct
which creates a likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding.
* * *
Section 3. Unlawful Acts or Practices; Exclusions.--(a)
Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or
practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce as defined by
subclauses (i) through [(xxi)] (xxii) of clause (4) of section 2
of this act and regulations promulgated under section 3.1 of
this act are hereby declared unlawful. The provisions of this
act shall not apply to any owner, agent or employe of any radio
or television station, or to any owner, publisher, printer,
agent or employe of an Internet service provider or a newspaper
or other publication, periodical or circular, who, in good faith
and without knowledge of the falsity or deceptive character
thereof, publishes, causes to be published or takes part in the
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publication of such advertisement.
* * *
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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