Senate Bill Requires Disclosure of Offshore Customer Service Location

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Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill that would require customer service agents located outside of the United States and working on behalf of entities conducting business in the United States to reveal their physical location to U.S.-based customers at the beginning of any electronic communication initiated or received by them.

The Notification of Origin of Telecommunications and Internet Consumer Exchange (NOTICE) Act (S.1536), introduced on September 9, 2011, and co-sponsored by Sens. Bob Casey (D-Penn.) and Claudia McCaskill (DMo.), states that a “business entity that either initiates or receives a customer service communication shall require that each of its employees or agents participating in the communication disclose their physical location at the beginning of each customer service communication so initiated or received.” The bill defines “business entity” to include any entity established to make a profit by “purposefully availing itself of the privilege of conducting commerce [as defined by the Consumer Product Safety Act] in the United States,” and “customer service communication” is broadly defined to encompass telephone calls and other electronic communications between a consumer and a business entity “in furtherance of commerce.”

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