Why Cuomo’s New Telemarketer Law Is a Waste of Time
A new law that's supposed to stop annoying calls from telemarketers in the Hudson Valley will probably not work.
This week Governor Cuomo officially signed off on the Nuisance Call Act, which is aimed at closing a loophole in the Do Not Call Registry. The new law requires live telemarketers to give consumers the option to be added to a do-not-call list. It also requires telemarketers to get written consent before sharing your contact information.
The 2001 Do Not Call Registry was created to stop computerized robocallers from bothering you at home. Since then, a loophole has allowed live callers to keep on interrupting your dinner with sales calls. This new law is supposed to close that loophole. This may sound like great news, but don't expect the calls to slow down any time soon.
The problem with any legislation aimed at telemarketers is that they're rarely enforced. Any reputable business is already following the law and not calling unsolicited customers in their home. The original law, banning computerized calls hasn't stopped many Hudson Valley residents from receiving dozens of calls a week from pre-recorded salesmen offering extended warranties or a bigger credit balance.
The major phone companies do have the technology to identify many of these robocalls and stop them from bothering you at your home. In June the FCC passed a law that allows carriers the option of automatically blocking these calls from reaching customers. Right now, this is voluntary.
Instead of creating unenforceable laws that target the criminals, it would make more sense to pass legislation forcing telephone companies to become more proactive in protecting their customers. We demand that websites do more to filter out spam and unwanted comments, so how come we don't expect the same from the phone company?
I think it's time the phone companies get more involved in controlling the content they send into our homes. While the major carriers have made some advances at blocking robocalls, they can certainly do a better job of pursuing technology that filters out more of the unwanted calls that plague us every day. As the cost of phone plans rises, so should the phone company's responsibility to its customers.
In the meantime, don't expect this new law to do anything to stop your phone from ringing during dinner. Until meaningful legislation is passed, it's best to just keep it off the hook.
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