09.08.01.09

.09 Advertising.

A. General Requirements.

(1) A licensed home improvement contractor may not solicit home improvement business by way of advertisement in a newspaper, magazine, circular, or printed document, or by way of television or radio announcement, unless the name and license number of the contractor are stated in the advertisement.

(2) A licensee may not directly or indirectly publish any advertisement relating to home improvements, including finance or credit terms, that contains an assertion, representation, or statement of fact that is false, deceptive, or misleading.

(3) General statements, such as "Factory to You", "Direct to You", "Buy from the Manufacturer", "Save the Middleman's Profit", or phrases of similar meaning may not be used unless the advertiser is actually the maker or producer of the merchandise advertised or offered for sale.

B. Discount Coupons. An advertisement which offers a discount coupon may not contain a requirement that the coupon be presented before the contractor provides an estimate or proposal.

C. Guaranties or Warranties.

(1) If reference is made to a guaranty or warranty, or the word "guarantied" or "warranted" is used, the terms, conditions, limitations, and period of time covered shall be clearly and conspicuously disclosed. The terms shall indicate whether items such as "labor and material only", "repair", "replacement", or "full refund" are offered. Basic limitations shall be disclosed in the advertisement.

(2) With respect to any guaranty offered by a licensee, compliance with the Maryland Consumer Products Guaranty Act, Commercial Law Article, 14-401—14-409, Annotated Code of Maryland, shall constitute prima facie evidence that a licensee has complied with §A(2) of this regulation. The Maryland Home Improvement Commission shall provide a copy of the Consumer Products Guaranty Act to any licensee within 5 days after receipt of a written request.

D. Special Disclosure Requirements.

(1) Credit Terms and Charges.

(a) Statements and claims regarding installment buying plans, finance, credit service, and carrying or service charges, including references to down payments, amounts, and frequency of payments, shall be accurate and clearly understandable, made in good faith, and in compliance with all other statutes or regulations regulating installment contracts.

(b) If a repayment price is offered, it shall be stated in specific amounts. The number of payments shall be stated, and the combination of amounts and number of payments advertised shall be readily available.

(2) Prices.

(a) If a price is stated in an advertisement which does not include all costs of items necessary for the proper function and appearance of the installed product, this shall be clearly and conspicuously qualified in conjunction with the stated price by an explanatory statement.

(b) When the price or specific credit terms are stated in an advertisement, the advertisement shall accurately describe what is being offered at that price or on those terms. Any limitations to, or conditions on, what will be supplied at the stated price or credit terms shall be clearly and conspicuously stated in immediate conjunction with the featured statement.

(c) If the price advertised does not include all of the accessories which either appear in the advertisement, or which are necessary to affect proper installation and proper use of the item, the advertisement shall state that fact clearly and prominently in immediate conjunction with the advertised price. Extra charges may not be used as a device to disguise the actual selling price of merchandise.

(3) Delivery Charges. If an extra charge is required to make delivery of an advertised home improvement item, it shall be clearly and conspicuously stated in the advertisement.

(4) Installation Charge. If installation is extra, the advertising shall disclose the fact clearly and conspicuously in immediate conjunction with the advertisement. For example:

(a) Installation Extra;

(b) Plus Installation;

(c) Installation at Extra Cost.

(5) Offer Not Valid in Maryland. A statement that an offer in an advertisement is not valid in Maryland shall be conspicuously displayed in the advertisement.