New York Adopts Tougher Restrictions on Telemarketing

[author: Robert D. Forbes]

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently signed legislation adopting tougher restrictions on telemarketing within the state.

When the new law takes effect on November 12, 2012, New York will be the latest of many states to require all telemarketers doing business in the state to register with the state. The New York Department of State oversees the registration process and will have the authority to revoke or suspend the registrations of companies that violate New York’s telemarketing laws. Currently, telemarketers that are registered by other states or federal agencies are exempt from registration in New York. Although registration is now required for out-of-state telemarketers, they will still be exempt from New York’s fee and bonding requirements.

The new legislation also prohibits “robocalls” (i.e., prerecorded messages) unless the recipient has expressly consented in writing to receive them. The agreement with the recipient must (a) must include a clear and conspicuous disclosure that the purpose of the agreement is to make telemarketing sales calls, (b) not be required as a condition of purchasing any good or service, (c) evidence the recipient’s willingness to receive calls made by or on behalf of a specific seller, and (d) include the customer’s telephone number and signature.

In addition, robocalls to New York residents now must provide an option for recipients to add their phone number on the telemarketer’s do not call list and end the call immediately.