senate Bill S538

Allows individuals to register their telefacsimile telephone numbers with the consumer protection board as part of the "do not call" statewide registry

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Bill Status

  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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  • 07 / Jan / 2009
  • 06 / Jan / 2010


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Bill Details

Legislative Cycle:
Senate Consumer Protection
Law Section:
General Business Law

Sponsor Memo


An act to amend the general business law, the public service law and
the state finance law, in relation to allowing individuals to register
their telefacsimile telephone numbers with the consumer protection
board as part of the "do not call" statewide registry

This bill would allow individuals that have fax machines in their
homes to register their fax numbers with the "do not call" list so
that they could take action to stop receiving unsolicited
advertisements during the middle of the night.

Section 1: amends section 399-z of the general business law to amend
the name of the registry to reflect the inclusion of fax numbers. The
new name as designated by the bill would be the no telemarketing sales
calls and telefacsimile advertising statewide registry. Also, a new
subsections (1) (k), (1), (m) are added to the statute to provide
necessary definitions.

Subsection (k) defines "unsolicited telefacsimile advertisement" to
mean any telefacsimile message that promotes goods and services for
purchase by the recipient of such message, except when the recipient
has a pre-existing business relationship or contractual relationship
with the initiator of the message.

Subsection (1) defines "telefacsimile" to mean every process in which
electronic signals are transmitted by telephone lines for conversion
into written text.

Subsection (m) defines "telefacsimile advertiser" means any person,
corporation, partnership or association who initiates unsolicited
telefacsimile advertisements.

(2)(a) authorizes the board to maintain a no telemarketing sales calls
and telefacsimile advertising statewide registry listing customers who
do not wish to receive unsolicited calls or faxes. (b) permits the
sharing of phone numbers on this list with the federal trade
commission for inclusion on the national "do not call" registry.

3(a) prohibits a telemarketer from making or causing to be made any
unsolicited telemarketing sales call or unsolicited telefacsimile.
(b) no telefacsimile advertiser may make or cause to be made any
unsolicited telefacsimile advertisement 31 days after the customer's
name and number has been published on the no telemarketing sales calls
land telefacsimile advertising registry.

4. Sellers of fax equipment must post a sign informing their customers
of the provisions of this section.

Section 2: amends section 92-d of the public service law to require
phone companies to notify their customers of the no telemarketing
sales call and telefacsimile advertising statewide registry as is
currently required for telemarketing calls.

Section 3: amends section 97-www of the state finance law, fees and
fines collected from the registry shall be deposited in the consumer
protection account and be used to pay for the cost of producing and
distributing educational materials.

Section 4: separablity clause.

Section 5: effective date.
As created in 2000, section 399-z of the General Business Law contains
a procedure for consumers to remove their names from the call lists of
telemarketers. This bill would add to these consumer protections by
providing a means to add personal facsimile numbers to the "do not
call" list.

Currently, section 396-aa of the General Business Law prohibits the
sending of unsolicited telefacsimile advertisements during the work
day. The law was created to prevent the annoying practice of marketers
who advertise products via facsimile from tying up an individual's fax
line and preventing business related facsimiles from being transmitted
in a timely fashion. Therefore, the statute limits an unsolicited
telefacsimile advertisement to five pages and restricts the time
period during which such facsimiles may be received to between 9 p.m.
and 6 a.m. local time.

However, with the growth of technology, a large number of people are
working from home offices. Therefore, the prohibitions that provide
for receipt of these advertisements during nonworking hours are no
longer sufficient to protect the consumer working out of a home
office. Thus, some individuals have complained that similar to the
receipt of junk e-mail, the receipt of unsolicited telefacsimile
advertisements are a tax on the consumer by forcing consumers to
receive these advertisements at their own expense. The consumer must
pay for the telephone time used in the transmission of these faxes, as
well as, the office products, such as paper and toner, that these
advertisements use. Since the current law restricts the transmission
of these telefacsimile advertisements to non-working hours, many times
people are awakened by the sound of a ringing fax machine in the
middle of the night.

To rectify this situation, this legislation would allow individuals to
submit their personal fax numbers for inclusion in the "do not call"
list, making telefacsimi1e advertisers responsible to update their
lists and remove registrants from their telefacsimile advertising
lists in the same way that telemarketers are required to update their
call lists. The "do not call" list has been extremely successful in
reducing the number of annoying telemarketing calls received by a
consumer. By amending this statute to include unsolicited
telefacsimile advertisements, the registry will expand its protections
further to reduce the number of unwanted intrusions into the
consumers' homes.

2007-2008 - Consumer Protection

Minimal to register new applicants.

This act shall take effect on the 180th day after it shall have become
a law, except that effective immediately, the addition, amendment
and/or repeal of any rules or regulations necessary for the
implementation of section one of this act on its effective date is
authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before the
effective date.
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