Michigan Consumer Protection Act
AN ACT to prohibit certain methods, acts, and practices in trade or commerce; to prescribe certain powers and duties; to provide for certain remedies, damages, and penalties; to provide for the promulgation of rules; to provide for certain investigations; and to prescribe penalties.
The People of the State of Michigan enact:445.901 Short Title
Sec. 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Michigan consumer protection act".445.902 Definitions
Sec. 2. (1) As used in this act:
(a) Subject to subsection (2), "business opportunity" means the sale or lease of any products, equipment, supplies, or services for the purpose of enabling the purchaser to start a business, and in which the seller represents 1 or more of the following:
(i) That the seller will provide locations or assist the purchaser in finding locations for the use or operation of vending machines, racks, display cases, or other similar devices, or currency operated amusement machines or devices, on premises neither owned nor leased by the purchaser or seller.
(ii) That the seller may, in the ordinary course of business, purchase any or all products made, produced, fabricated, grown, bred, or modified by the purchaser using whole or in part the supplies, services, or chattels sold to the purchaser.
(iii) The seller guarantees that the purchaser will derive income from the business opportunity that exceeds the price paid for the business opportunity; or that the seller will refund all or part of the price paid for the business opportunity, or repurchase any of the products, equipment, supplies, or chattels supplied by the seller, if the purchaser is unsatisfied with the business opportunity. As used in this subparagraph, "guarantee" means a written or oral representation that would cause a reasonable person in the purchaser's position to believe that income is assured.
(iv) That the seller will provide a sales program or marketing program which will enable the purchaser to derive income from the business opportunity that exceeds the price paid for the business opportunity. This subparagraph does not apply to the sale of a marketing program made in conjunction with the licensing of a federally registered trademark or a federally registered service mark, or to the sale of a business opportunity for which the purchaser pays less than $500.00 in total for the business opportunity from any time before the date of sale to any time within 6 months after the date of sale.
(b) "Documentary material" includes the original or copy of a book, record, report, memorandum, paper, communication, tabulation, map, chart, photograph, mechanical transcription, or other tangible document or recording, wherever situated.
(c) "Performing group" means a vocal or instrumental group seeking to use the name of another group that has previously released a commercial sound recording under that name.
(d) "Person" means an individual, corporation, limited liability company, trust, partnership, incorporated or unincorporated association, or other legal entity.
(e) "Recording group" means a vocal or instrumental group that meets both of the following:
(i) At least 1 of the members of the group has previously released a commercial sound recording under the group's name.
(ii) At least 1 of the members of the group has a legal right to use the group's name, by virtue of use or operation under the group's name without abandoning the name of or affiliation with the group.
(f) "Sound recording" means a work that results from the fixation on a material object of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds regardless of the nature of the material object, such as a disk, tape, or other phono-record, in which the sounds are embodied.
(g) "Trade or commerce" means the conduct of a business providing goods, property, or service primarily for personal, family, or household purposes and includes the advertising, solicitation, offering for sale or rent, sale, lease, or distribution of a service or property, tangible or intangible, real, personal, or mixed, or any other article, or a business opportunity. "Trade or commerce" does not include the purchase or sale of a franchise, as defined in section 2 of the franchise investment law, 1974 PA 269, MCL 445.1502, but does include a pyramid promotional scheme as defined in section 2 of the pyramid promotional scheme act, MCL 445.2582.
(2) As used in this act, "business opportunity" does not include a sale of a franchise as defined in section 2 of the franchise investment law, 1974 PA 269, MCL 445.1502, or the sale of an ongoing business if the owner of the business sells and intends to sell only that single business opportunity.445.903 Unfair, Unconscionable, or Deceptive Methods, Acts, or Practices in Conduct of Trade or Commerce; Rules; Applicability of Subsection (1)(hh)
Sec. 3. (1) Unfair, unconscionable, or deceptive methods, acts, or practices in the conduct of trade or commerce are unlawful and are defined as follows:
(a) Causing a probability of confusion or misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship, approval, or certification of goods or services.
(b) Using deceptive representations or deceptive designations of geographic origin in connection with goods or services.
(c) Representing that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities that they do not have or that a person has sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation, or connection that he or she does not have.
(d) Representing that goods are new if they are deteriorated, altered, reconditioned, used, or secondhand.
(e) 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.
(f) Disparaging the goods, services, business, or reputation of another by false or misleading representation of fact.
(g) Advertising or representing goods or services with intent not to dispose of those goods or services as advertised or represented.
(h) Advertising goods or services with intent not to supply reasonably expectable public demand, unless the advertisement discloses a limitation of quantity in immediate conjunction with the advertised goods or services.
(i) Making false or misleading statements of fact concerning the reasons for, existence of, or amounts of price reductions.
(j) Representing that a part, replacement, or repair service is needed when it is not.
(k) Representing to a party to whom goods or services are supplied that the goods or services are being supplied in response to a request made by or on behalf of the party, when they are not.
(l) Misrepresenting that because of some defect in a consumer's home the health, safety, or lives of the consumer or his or her family are in danger if the product or services are not purchased, when in fact the defect does not exist or the product or services would not remove the danger.
(m) Causing a probability of confusion or of misunderstanding with respect to the authority of a salesperson, representative, or agent to negotiate the final terms of a transaction.
(n) Causing a probability of confusion or of misunderstanding as to the legal rights, obligations, or reme dies of a party to a transaction.
(o) Causing a probability of confusion or of misunderstanding as to the terms or conditions of credit if credit is extended in a transaction.
(p) Disclaiming or limiting the implied warranty of merchantability and fitness for use, unless a disclaimer is clearly and conspicuously disclosed.
(q) Representing or implying that the subject of a consumer transaction will be provided promptly, or at a specified time, or within a reasonable time, if the merchant knows or has reason to know it will not be so provided.
(r) Representing that a consumer will receive goods or services "free" or "without charge", or using words of similar import in the representation, without clearly and conspicuously disclosing with equal prominence in immediate conjunction with the use of those words the conditions, terms, or prerequisites to the use or retention of the goods or services advertised.
(s) Failing to reveal a material fact, the omission of which tends to mislead or deceive the consumer, and which fact could not reasonably be known by the consumer.
(t) Entering into a consumer transaction in which the consumer waives or purports to waive a right, benefit, or immunity provided by law, unless the waiver is clearly stated and the consumer has specifically consented to it.
(u) Failing, in a consumer transaction that is rescinded, canceled, or otherwise terminated in accordance with the terms of an agreement, advertisement, representation, or provision of law, to promptly restore to the person or persons entitled to it a deposit, down payment, or other payment, or in the case of property traded in but not available, the greater of the agreed value or the fair market value of the property, or to cancel within a specified time or an otherwise reasonable time an acquired security interest.
(v) Taking or arranging for the consumer to sign an acknowledgment, certificate, or other writing affirming acceptance, delivery, compliance with a requirement of law, or other performance, if the merchant knows or has reason to know that the statement is not true.
(w) Representing that a consumer will receive a rebate, discount, or other benefit as an inducement for entering into a transaction, if the benefit is contingent on an event to occur subsequent to the consummation of the transaction.
(x) Taking advantage of the consumer's inability reasonably to protect his or her interests by reason of disability, illiteracy, or inability to understand the language of an agreement presented by the other party to the transaction who knows or reasonably should know of the consumer's inability.
(y) Gross discrepancies between the oral representations of the seller and the written agreement covering the same transaction or failure of the other party to the transaction to provide the promised benefits.
(z) Charging the consumer a price that is grossly in excess of the price at which similar property or services are sold.
(aa) Causing coercion and duress as the result of the time and nature of a sales presentation.
(bb) Making a representation of fact or statement of fact material to the transaction such that a person reasonably believes the represented or suggested state of affairs to be other than it actually is.
(cc) Failing to reveal facts that are material to the transaction in light of representations of fact made in a positive manner.
(dd) Subject to subdivision (ee), representations by the manufacturer of a product or package that the product or package is 1 or more of the following:
(i) Except as provided in subparagraph (ii), recycled, recyclable, degradable, or is of a certain recycled content, in violation of guides for the use of environmental marketing claims, 16 CFR part 260.
(ii) For container holding devices regulated under part 163 of the natural resources and environmental protection act, 1994 PA 451, MCL 324.16301 to 324.16303, representations by a manufacturer that the container holding device is degradable contrary to the definition provided in that act.
(ee) Representing that a product or package is degradable, biodegradable, or photodegradable unless it can be substantiated by evidence that the product or package will completely decompose into elements found in nature within a reasonably short period of time after consumers use the product and dispose of the product or the package in a landfill or composting facility, as appropriate.
(ff) Offering a consumer a prize if in order to claim the prize the consumer is required to submit to a sales presentation, unless a written disclosure is given to the consumer at the time the consumer is notified of the prize and the written disclosure meets all of the following requirements:
(i) Is written or printed in a bold type that is not smaller than 10-point.
(ii) Fully describes the prize, including its cash value, won by the consumer.
(iii) Contains all the terms and conditions for claiming the prize, including a statement that the consumer is required to submit to a sales presentation.
(iv) Fully describes the product, real estate, investment, service, membership, or other item that is or will be offered for sale, including the price of the least expensive item and the most expensive item.
(gg) Violating 1971 PA 227, MCL 445.111 to 445.117, in connection with a home solicitation sale or telephone solicitation, including, but not limited to, having an independent courier service or other third party pick up a consumer's payment on a home solicitation sale during the period the consumer is entitled to cancel the sale.
(hh) Except as provided in subsection (3), requiring a consumer to disclose his or her Social Security number as a condition to selling or leasing goods or providing a service to the consumer, unless any of the following apply:
(i) The selling, leasing, providing, terms of payment, or transaction includes an application for or an extension of credit to the consumer.
(ii) The disclosure is required or authorized by applicable state or federal statute, rule, or regulation.
(iii) The disclosure is requested by a person to obtain a consumer report for a permissible purpose described in section 604 of the fair credit reporting act, 15 USC 1681b.
(iv) The disclosure is requested by a landlord, lessor, or property manager to obtain a background check of the individual in conjunction with the rent or leasing of real property.
(v) The disclosure is requested from an individual to effect, administer or enforce a specific telephonic or other electronic consumer transaction that is not made in person but is requested or authorized by the individual if it is to be used solely to confirm the identity of the individual through a fraud prevention service database. The consumer good or service shall still be provided to the consumer upon verification of his or her identity if he or she refuses to provide his or her Social Security number but provides other information or documentation that can be used by the person to verify his or her identity. The person may inform the consumer that verification through other means than use of the Social Security number may cause a delay in providing the service or good to the consumer.
(ii) If a credit card or debit card is used for payment in a consumer transaction, issuing or delivering a receipt to the consumer that displays any part of the expiration date of the card or more than the last 4 digits of the consumer's account number. This subdivision does not apply if the only receipt issued in a consumer transaction is a credit card or debit card receipt on which the account number or expiration date is handwritten, mechanically imprinted, or photocopied. This subdivision applies to any consumer transaction that occurs on or after March 1, 2005, except that if a credit or debit card receipt is printed in a consumer transaction by an electronic device, this subdivision applies to any consumer transaction that occurs using that device only after 1 of the following dates, as applicable:
(i) If the electronic device is placed in service after March 1, 2005, July 1, 2005 or the date the device is placed in service, whichever is later.
(ii) If the electronic device is in service on or before March 1, 2005, July 1, 2006.
(jj) Violating section 11 of the identity theft protection act, 2004 PA 452, MCL 445.71.
(kk) Advertising or conducting a live musical performance or production in this state through the use of a false, deceptive, or misleading affiliation, connection, or association between a performing group and a recording group. This subdivision does not apply if any of the following are met:
(i) The performing group is the authorized registrant and owner of a federal service mark for that group registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
(ii) At least 1 member of the performing group was a member of the recording group and has a legal right to use the recording group's name, by virtue of use or operation under the recording group's name without having abandoned the name or affiliation with the recording group.
(iii) The live musical performance or production is identified in all advertising and promotion as a salute or tribute and the name of the vocal or instrumental group performing is not so closely related or similar to thatused by the recording group that it would tend to confuse or mislead the public.
(iv) The advertising does not relate to a live musical performance or production taking place in this state.
(v) The performance or production is expressly authorized by the recording group.
(ll) Violating section 3e, 3f, 3g, 3h, 3i, or 3k.
(2) The attorney general may promulgate rules to implement this act under the administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to 24.328. The rules shall not create an additional unfair trade practice not already enumerated by this section. However, to assure national uniformity, rules shall not be promulgated to implement subsection (1)(dd) or (ee).
(3) Subsection (1)(hh) does not apply to either of the following:
(a) Providing a service related to the administration of health-related or dental-related benefits or services to patients, including provider contracting or credentialing. This subdivision is intended to limit the application of subsection (1)(hh) and is not intended to imply that this act would otherwise apply to health-related or dental-related benefits.
(b) An employer providing benefits or services to an employee.445.903a Home Appliance; Contents of Service Contract
Sec. 3a. (1) As used in this section, "company" means a person engaged in trade or commerce who provides a service contract to consumers.
(2) A service contract for the repair or maintenance of a home appliance shall contain the following provision: If performance of the service contract is interrupted because of a strike or work stoppage at the company's place of business, the effective period of the service contract shall be extended for the period of the strike or work stoppage.445.903b Failure of Seller to File Notice Unlawful; Form and Contents of Notice; Notice of Change in Information; Reference to MCL 445.903 Includes Reference to This Section
Sec. 3b. (1) In addition to the unfair, unconscionable, or deceptive methods, acts, or practices in the conduct of trade or commerce defined in section 3, it is unlawful for the seller of a business opportunity to fail to file a notice with the attorney general on or before the first sale of a business opportunity in this state if the purchaser pays more than $500.00 in total for the business opportunity from anytime before the date of sale to anytime within 6 months after the date of sale. The form of the notice shall be prescribed by the attorney general. The attorney general shall not require the seller to file more than the following information:
(a) The name of the seller.
(b) The name under which the seller intends to do business.
(c) The seller's principal business address.
(d) If the seller is not domiciled in Michigan, a consent to service of process.
(2) The seller shall immediately notify the attorney general of a change in the information contained in the notice.
(3) A reference to section 3 in this act shall be considered to include a reference to this section.445.903c Advertising or Listing in Telephone Directory; Misrepresenting Name or Location Prohibited; Violation; Penalty; Applicability to Telephone Service Provider, Publisher, or Distributor
Sec. 3c. (1) A person shall not advertise or cause to be listed in a telephone directory an assumed or fictitious business name that intentionally misrepresents where the business is actually located or operating or falsely states that the business is located or operating in the same area covered by the telephone directory.
(2) A person who violates this section is subject to a civil fine of not less than $100.00 or more than $10,000.00.
(3) This section does not apply to a telephone service provider or to the publisher or distributor of a telephone service directory, unless the conduct proscribed in this section is on behalf of that telephone service provider or that publisher or distributor.445.903d Advertising or Listing in Telephone Directory; Misrepresenting Name or Location Prohibited; Violation; Penalty; Applicability to Telephone Service Provider, Publisher, or Distributor
Sec. 3d. (1) A person shall not advertise or cause to be listed in a telephone directory a business address or local telephone number that intentionally misrepresents where the business is actually located or operating or that falsely states that the business is located or operating in the same area covered by the telephone directory.
(2) A person who violates this section is subject to a civil fine of not less than $100.00 or more than $10,000.00.
(3) This section does not apply to a telephone service provider or to the publisher or distributor of a telephone directory, unless the conduct proscribed in this section is on behalf of that telephone service provider or that publisher or distributor.
(4) This section does not apply to a telephone service provider that lists, in a telephone directory, a local telephone number that forwards calls to provide customer service.445.903e Issuance of Gift Certificate; Prohibited Conduct; Definitions
Sec. 3e. (1) A person engaged in the retail sale of goods or services shall not do any of the following in connection with a gift certificate issued for retail goods or services:
(a) Refuse to accept a gift certificate in payment for goods or services used or bought for use primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, including, but not limited to, goods or services advertised on sale or pursuant to a liquidation or closeout. This subdivision does not apply if the gift certificate has an expiration date that does not violate section 3g and it is presented for redemption after that expiration date.
(b) In any manner restrict the holder of a gift certificate from using the gift certificate in a manner consistent with the stated terms and conditions of the gift certificate.
(c) Alter any term or condition of a gift certificate after it is issued.
(d) If a gift certificate has any terms or conditions, fail to disclose the terms and conditions to a prospective purchaser by doing any of the following:
(i) If a gift certificate is offered for sale by mail, conspicuously stating in the offer that "terms and conditions are applied to gift certificates and gift cards".
(ii) If a gift certificate is offered for sale by electronic, computer, or telephonic means, including a statement that "terms and conditions are applied to gift certificates or gift cards" before the prospective purchaser is able to purchase the gift certificate or conspicuously including that statement in the electronic message offering the gift certificate for purchase.
(e) If a gift certificate has any terms or conditions, fail to disclose the terms and conditions by conspicuously printing the terms and conditions on 1 of the following:
(i) The gift certificate.
(ii) The envelope or packaging containing the gift certificate, if a toll-free telephone number to access the terms and conditions is printed on the gift certificate.
(iii) A separate printed document delivered to the purchaser, if a toll-free telephone number to access the terms and conditions is printed on the gift certificate.
(f) If a gift certificate has any terms or conditions, fail to include in any advertisement or promotion for the gift certificate a notice that states that "terms and conditions are applied to gift certificates and gift cards".
(g) If the value of the gift certificate or remaining balance of the gift certificate is less than the purchase price of goods or services, refuse to accept the gift certificate and apply it to the purchase price of the goods or services.
(2) As used in this section and sections 3f and 3g:
(a) "Person engaged in the retail sale of goods" includes a person conducting a closeout, liquidation, or going-out-of-business sale on behalf of the person engaged in the retail sale of goods or that person's creditors.
(b) Subject to subsection (3), "gift certificate" means a written promise or a gift card or other electronic payment device that meets all of the following:
(i) Is usable at a single retailer, is usable at an affiliated group of retailers that share the same name, mark, or logo, or is usable at multiple, unaffiliated retailers or service providers.
(ii) Is issued in a specified amount.
(iii) May or may not be increased in value or reloaded.
(iv) Is purchased or loaded on a prepaid basis for the future purchase or delivery of goods or services.
(v) Is honored upon presentation.
(c) "Terms and conditions" includes, but is not limited to, an expiration date or a fee charged for the replacement of a gift certificate that is lost, stolen, or destroyed.
(d) "Use" of a gift certificate includes making purchases with or adding value to the gift certificate.
(3) As used in this section, "gift certificate" does not include any of the following:
(a) A general use, prepaid card or other electronic payment device that is issued or sponsored by a financial institution in a predetermined amount and is usable at multiple, unaffiliated retailers or at automated teller machines. As used in this subdivision, "financial institution" means a bank, bank and trust, national bank, savings bank, savings and loan association, credit union, or money transmitter organized under the laws of this state, another state, the District of Columbia, the United States, or any territory or protectorate of the United States and their respective subsidiaries, affiliates, or holding companies.
(b) An electronic payment device linked to a deposit account.
(c) A prepaid telephone calling card regulated under state or federal law or a card used in connection with prepaid wireless telephone service.
(d) An electronic payment device used to access an account from which an individual may pay medical expenses, health care expenses, dependent care expenses, or similar expenses on a pretax basis under the internal revenue code, 26 USC 1 to 1789, or regulations adopted pursuant to the internal revenue code.
(e) A prepaid discount card or program used to purchase identified goods or services at a price or percentage below the normal and customary price, if any expiration date of the prepaid discount card or program is clearly and conspicuously disclosed.
(f) A payroll card or other electronic payment device linked to a deposit account and given in exchange for goods or services rendered.
(g) A gift certificate sold below face value or at a volume discount to an employee, to a nonprofit or charitable organization, or to an educational institution for fund-raising purposes.
(h) A gift certificate distributed to a consumer or employee pursuant to an awards, rewards, loyalty, or promotional program, if the consumer or employee is not required to give consideration for the gift certificate.
(i) An electronic credit voucher issued by a person that holds a certificate issued under chapter 411 of title 49 of the United States Code, 49 USC 41101 to 41113, or a permit issued under chapter 413 of title 49 of the United States Code, 49 USC 41301 to 41313.445.903f Possession or Use of Gift Certificate; Charging Service Fee Prohibited; "Service Fee" Defined
Sec. 3f. A person engaged in the retail sale of goods or services shall not charge an inactivity fee or other service fee to a consumer for the possession or use of a gift certificate. As used in this section, "service fee" does not include any fee charged to and paid by a consumer in connection with the sale of a gift certificate, unless the fee is deducted or debited from the face value of the gift certificate.445.903g Expiration of Gift Certificate; Limitation
Sec. 3g. A person engaged in the retail sale of goods or services shall not sell a gift certificate to a consumer that expires within a period of less than 5 years.445.903h Vehicle Rental Transaction; Inclusion of Vehicle License Cost Recovery Fee; Amount; Fee in Excess of Costs; Duties of Car Rental Company; Definitions
Sec. 3h. (1) At the time a car rental company provides a consumer with a price quote or estimate for a vehicle rental transaction, and in the rental agreement, the car rental company shall do either of the following:
(a) Provide an estimated total price for the vehicle rental transaction.
(b) Disclose the existence of any vehicle license cost recovery fee and any other separately stated mandatory fee.
(2) If a vehicle license cost recovery fee is included as a separately stated mandatory fee in a vehicle rental transaction, the amount of the fee shall be based on the car rental company's good-faith estimate of the car rental company's average per vehicle portion of the total annual costs to license, title, and register its vehicles.
If the total amount of the vehicle license recovery fees collected by a car rental company under this section in any calendar year exceeds the car rental company's actual costs to license, title, and register rental vehicles for that calendar year, the car rental company shall do both of the following:
(a) Retain the excess amount.
(b) Adjust the vehicle license recovery fees for the following calendar year by reducing the fees by an amount equal to the excess amount collected in the preceding calendar year.
(3) As used in this section:
(a) "Car rental company" means a person whose primary business is renting vehicles to consumers under rental agreements for periods of 90 days or less.
(b) "Estimated total price" means an estimated total for a vehicle rental transaction based on the duration of the vehicle rental transaction, the rental rate, and any mandatory fees.
(c) "Mandatory fee" means a fee, charge, or surcharge that a car rental company includes in every vehicle rental transaction. A fee, charge, or surcharge associated with optional products and services available for purchase by a consumer at the time of rental is not a mandatory fee.
(d) "Vehicle" means a motor vehicle as defined in section 33 of the Michigan vehicle code, 1949 PA 300, MCL 257.33.
(e) "Vehicle license cost recovery fee" means a charge that may be included in a vehicle rental transaction originating in this state to recover costs incurred by a car rental company to license, title, and register rental vehicles.445.903i Ownership or Operation of Clothing Donation Box; Definitions
Sec. 3i. (1) A person that engages in the conduct of trade or commerce and owns or operates a clothing donation box shall not do any of the following:
(a) Mark the clothing donation box or any sign near the clothing donation box in any manner that represents or implies that any personal property placed in the clothing donation box, or the proceeds of that personal property, is donated to 1 or more charitable organizations if it is not.
(b) Display the name, logo, trademark, or service mark of a charitable organization on a clothing donation box or on any sign near the clothing donation box if that charitable organization does not receive any of the personal property placed in the clothing donation box or any of the proceeds of that personal property.
(c) If charitable organizations receive some but not all of the personal property placed in the clothing donation box or the proceeds of that personal property, fail to clearly and conspicuously disclose on the donation box or on a sign at the donation box the name, address, and telephone number of each charitable organization that receives any of that property or those proceeds; what percentage of that property or those proceeds that charitable organization receives; the name, address, and telephone number of any other person that receives any of that property or those proceeds; and what percentage of that property or those proceeds that person receives.
(2) As used in this section:
(a) "Charitable organization" means a benevolent, educational, philanthropic, humane, patriotic, religious, or eleemosynary organization of persons organized for any lawful purpose or purposes not involving pecuniary profit or gain for its officers or members.
(b) "Clothing donation box" means a receptacle in which a person may place clothing or other items of personal property he or she intends to donate to a charitable organization and that has a capacity of at least 27 cubic feet.445.903k Providing, Offering, or Receiving Compensation for Providing or Offering of Veterans' Benefit Service; Advertising or Promoting Event Regarding Veterans' Pension or Medical Benefits; Limitations; Definitions
Sec. 3k. (1) A person that is engaged in trade or commerce shall not engage in any of the following acts or practices:
(a) Providing, or offering to provide, a veterans' benefit service to a veteran or family member of a veteran unless the person is any of the following:
(i) Employed by a government agency that is authorized to provide the veterans' benefit service.
(ii) An accredited individual under the federal laws and regulations applicable to the administration of veterans' benefits.
(iii) An employee or authorized representative of a recognized veterans' services organization.
(b) Receiving compensation for providing or offering to provide a veterans' benefit service to a veteran or family member of a veteran unless all of the following are met:
(i) The person is permitted to receive compensation for providing or offering to provide that service to the veteran or family member under the federal laws and regulations applicable to the administration of veterans' benefits.
(ii) Before providing or offering to provide that service, the person discloses all of the following to the veteran or family member:
(A) That the person is not affiliated with a government agency or recognized veterans' services organization.
(B) If applicable, that the veterans' benefit service is available free of charge from a government agency or recognized veterans' services organization.
(C) That the veteran may qualify for benefits other than or in addition to the benefits the veteran or family member may obtain if the person is engaged to provide the veterans' benefit service.
(D) That receipt of a certain level of veterans' benefits is not guaranteed if the person is engaged to provide the veterans' benefit service.
(c) Using financial or other personal information gathered for insurance or other purposes in providing or offering to provide a veterans' benefit service, unless the requirements of this section are met.
(d) Receiving compensation for referring a veteran or a family member of a veteran to an individual who is accredited by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
(e) Representing, either directly or by implication, either orally or in writing, that the receipt of a certain level of veterans' benefits is guaranteed.
(2) A person engaged in trade or commerce shall not advertise or promote any event, presentation, seminar, workshop, or other public gathering regarding veterans' pension or medical benefits or entitlements that does not include the following disclosure: "This event is not sponsored by, or affiliated with, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, or any other congressionally chartered or recognized organization of honorably discharged members of the Armed Forces of the United States or any of their auxiliaries. Products or services that may be discussed at this event are not necessarily endorsed by those organizations. You may qualify for benefits other than or in addition to the benefits discussed at this event.".
(3) All of the following apply to the disclosure required under subsection (2):
(a) The disclosure must be in the same type size and font as the term "veteran" or any variation of that term as used in the event advertisement or promotional materials.
(b) The disclosure must be disseminated, both orally and in writing, at the beginning of any event, presentation, seminar, workshop, or other public gathering regarding veterans' benefits or entitlements.
(c) The disclosure does not apply if the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the department of military and veterans affairs, the Michigan veterans affairs agency, or any other congressionally chartered or recognized organization of honorably discharged members of the Armed Forces of the United States or any of their auxiliaries have granted written permission to the advertiser or promoter for the use of its name, symbol, or insignia to advertise or promote events, presentations, seminars, workshops, or other public gatherings described in this subsection. The disclosure also does not apply if the event, presentation, seminar, workshop, or gathering is part of an accredited continuing legal education course.
(4) This section does not apply to officers, employees, or volunteers of this state, of any county, city, or other political subdivision of this state, or of a federal agency of the United States, who are acting in their official capacity.
(5) As used in this section:
(a) "Compensation" means money, property, or anything else of value, including, but not limited to, exclusive arrangements or agreements for the provision of services or the purchase of products.
(b) "Recognized veterans' services organization" means a veterans' services organization that is recognized under the federal laws and regulations applicable to the administration of veterans' benefits.
(c) "Veterans' benefit service" means any of the following:
(i) The preparation, presentation, or prosecution of a claim affecting an individual who has filed or has expressed an intention to file an application for veteran, dependent, or survivor pension or medical benefits under laws administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or the department of military and veterans affairs pertaining to veterans, dependents, and survivors.
(ii) Advice or representation concerning the preparation, presentation, or prosecution of a claim described in subparagraph (i).