Tuesday, December 6, 2016

NEW TELEMARKETING PROVISIONS



This past week, new telemarketing restrictions were enacted by amending section 399-z and section 399-pp of the general business law with, in part,the following provisions:

"IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL FOR ANY TELEMARKETER OR SELLER TO CAUSE ANY CALLER IDENTIFICATION SERVICE TO KNOWINGLY TRANSMIT MISLEADING, INACCURATE, OR FALSE CALLER IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION, PROVIDED THAT IT SHALL NOT BE A VIOLATION TO SUBSTITUTE (FOR THE NAME AND PHONE NUMBER USED IN, OR BILLED FOR, MAKING THE CALL) THE NAME OR TELEPHONE NUMBER OF THE PERSON OR SELLER ON BEHALF OF WHICH A TELEMARKETING CALL IS PLACED."

However, how is this to be enforced? The Givernor's press release of December 1, 2016 states:

"The Division of Consumer Protection staff will be deployed across the State to educate New Yorkers, help them place their phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, and facilitate same-day consumer complaint filing in the face of deceptive new telemarketing tactics. Recently, telemarketers have repeatedly called consumers from the same phone number without leaving voicemail, giving the impression the call is from someone the consumer may know. When the consumer returns the call, they receive an unwanted sales pitch. The Division has already warned telemarketers that the this type of practice still constitutes a violation of the Do Not Call law if the repeated calls are being made to a phone number enlisted on the Do Not Call Registry.

The Division reminds consumers to report each and every unwanted call. Here are guidelines to place your phone number on the Do Not Call Registry and to file a complaint:
  • File a Do Not Call complaint. If you receive an unsolicited telemarketing call after your number has been on the Do Not Call Registry for more than 31 days, you can file a Do Not Call complaint with the Federal Trade Commission online at https://www.donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-290-4236).
  • File a complaint for each unwanted call. If your number is registered, you can and should file a complaint for every unsolicited telemarketing call you receive. Violators of the Do Not Call Law are subject to an $11,000 fine for every call  they make to your phone.
  • Register for Do Not Call online or by phone. If you are not registered, you can place your home landline or mobile phone number on the Do Not Call Registry online at https://www.donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-290-4236). Once you register your phone number, telemarketers not exempt from the Do Not Call Registry have up to 31 days from the date you register to stop calling you. Exemptions from the Do Not Call Law include calls from or on behalf of political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors. Companies with which you have an existing business relationship may still call you for up to 18 months (unless you ask them to place your number on their own do-not-call list).
  • For information about a Do Not Call outreach location near you, visit http://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/informing/donotcalloutreachlocations.htm."

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