Saturday, December 11, 2010

Goodbye, Mr. Roboto!

I don't know about you, but it's about time these robo calls were regulated! Next on the agenda: those annoying calls from that newspaper company! I'm hoping our legislators will get to that eventually!

NEW YORK, NY (12/10/2010)(readMedia)-- The New York State Consumer Protection Board (CPB) alerts consumers to new protections and laws that address telemarketing practices which "game the system."

The Do Not Call Law is one of the State's most important consumer protections. Individuals who register their personal land and mobile phone numbers on the federal Do Not Call Registry are afforded some relief from annoying telemarketers. The new statute, advanced by the CPB, augments New York's protections against many deceptive and bothersome telemarketing practices. In particular, the amendments to the law:

  • Expand New York's "Do Not Call" Law protections to "robo-calls" including those that only leave a telemarketing message;
  • Restrict unsolicited telemarketing calls to the hours of 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.;
  • Require telemarketers to disclose at the outset of the call the nature of the goods or service they are selling; and,
  • Grant the CPB subpoena power to better investigate complaints.

"New Yorkers have the right to avoid harassment from telemarketers," said Governor David A. Paterson. "This law adds teeth to the existing law by expanding the definition of a telemarketing call to include prerecorded, unsolicited messages, and giving the Consumer Protection Board more authority to investigate companies using deceptive practices in the telemarketing industry."

"Restricting telemarketing calls to the hours of 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and applying the State's Do Not Call Law to 'robo' calls will help to further reduce unwanted telemarketing calls and safeguard the personal privacy of New Yorkers," said Mindy A. Bockstein, Chairperson and Executive Director of the CPB. "This new law, which also strengthens enforcement, provides all the more reason for consumers to place their telephone numbers on the Do Not Call Registry."

The law takes effect TODAY December 11, 2010.

More than 12 million New York telephone numbers are registered on the Do Not Call Registry. The CPB encourages all New Yorkers to add their personal telephone numbers to the Do Not Call Registry.

For additional Do Not Call and other consumer information, visit www.nysconsumer.gov or call the CPB toll-free at 1-800-697-1220.

The CPB, established in 1970 by the New York State Legislature, is marking its 40th anniversary as the State's top consumer watchdog and think tank. The CPB's core mission is to protect New Yorkers by publicizing unscrupulous and questionable business practices and product recalls; conducting investigations and hearings; enforcing the "Do Not Call" law; researching issues; developing legislation; creating consumer education programs and materials; responding to individual marketplace complaints by securing voluntary agreements; and, representing the interests of consumers before the Public Service Commission and other State and federal agencies.

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