December 6, 2019
This week, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill enacting the Nuisance Call Act, a telemarketing law aimed at curbing the receipt of unwanted commercial telephone calls by New York residents. The law is intended to build upon the State’s Do-Not-Call Law, which went into effect in 2001.
How does the new telemarketing law attempt to curb abusive telemarketing practices?
The new telemarketing law contains two important provisions for our readership. The first such provision requires live telemarketers to inform call recipients that they may request to be placed on the telemarketer’s entity-specific do-not-call list. This is meant to close a perceived loophole in the current Do-Not-Call Law, which otherwise only applies to prerecorded telemarketing calls and does not make any mention of calls placed by live telemarketers. If the customer elects to be placed on the entity-specific do-not-call list, then the telemarketer must immediately end the call and ensure that the telephone number is excluded from future telemarketing campaigns.
Significantly, the law also includes prohibitions on the use of lead information. Specifically, the statute restricts the sharing of a customer’s contact information (including name, telephone number, and email address) without the express written agreement of the customer.
Please note that the law will become effective on March 1, 2020.
Maintaining Compliance Amid Changes to Telemarketing Law
Typically, laws restricting telemarketing practices focus on the use of autodialing equipment. However, given the current climate in which the practices of unscrupulous telemarketers garner the most media and political attention, it should come as little surprise that regulators are turning their attention to other areas of telemarketing, even those practices that may impact aboveboard legitimate actors. New York’s chosen path has been to apply requirements previously applicable only to autodialed calls to live telemarketing calls as well. In addition, the law now places heightened consent requirements on the sale or sharing of lead information with one’s marketing partners. Those operating in the telemarketing space should anticipate similar future incursions from lawmakers and regulators across the country. In such a shifting telemarketing law landscape, it remains critical that telemarketers and advertisers work closely with knowledgeable counsel to ensure compliance will all applicable laws prior to launching any telemarketing campaign.
The material contained herein is provided for information purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.
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