Senate Passes “do Not Call” Legislation

Thomas P. Morahan

March 26, 2009

Senator announced that the New York State Senate passed legislation  (S.4180), that would improve New York State’s "Do Not Call" Registry to eliminate more telemarketing calls.

"This registry will allow consumers more opportunities to protect their privacy," said Senator Morahan.

Since taking effect in 2001, the "Do Not Call" Registry has become one of the State’s most effective and popular consumer laws.The legislation will provide additional protections to consumers and further expands on efforts to block unsolicited and unwanted telemarketing sales calls.

The improvements to the New York State registry would include eliminating a loophole in current law that allows telemarketers to make unsolicited calls to ask consumers for a "face-to-face" meeting or sales presentation to discuss an offer, as long as the consumer is not required to pay for any goods or services until after the sales meeting or presentation.

In addition, the legislation would amend the New York law permitting businesses to make unsolicited telemarketing calls to customers with whom they have an existing business relationship. Under this proposal, businesses would not be allowed to make telemarketing calls to consumers with whom they have an established business relationship, if those customers have asked not to receive them.

The federal government instituted a similar nationwide registry which contains many of the same restrictions as New York’s law. The federal registry already prohibits businesses from calling those customers who have already stated that they do not wish to receive calls from or on behalf of that seller and there is no federal exemption for callers requesting face-to-face meetings.

The differences between the New York State registry and the federal registry have created confusion for consumers in this State and this legislation would help to eliminate the differences between the two registries and allow for better enforcement by the New York State Consumer Protection Board.

Over 4 million phone numbers have been registered with the New York State "Do Not Call" Registry since its inception in 2000 and the Consumer Protection Board has collected over one million dollars. To register your phone number, please visit or call 1-888-382-1222.

The legislation will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.