New York recently increased the civil penalties for Do Not Call Registry violations, nearly doubling them from $11,000 to $20,000 per violation. Each unlawful call is considered a violation – meaning penalties assessed for just a single calling campaign can quickly escalate to an astronomical amount. After investigation and enforcement, civil penalties can be imposed by the state’s Attorney General.
This fine also applies to violations for:
- calling during no-call times (callable hours are between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.);
- failing to provide required telemarketing disclosures;
- providing misleading, inaccurate, or false caller identification information; and/or
- failing to follow requirements regarding prerecorded messages.
You may recall that last December, New York passed legislation requiring telemarketers to give consumers the option to be added to the company’s internal do not call list at the beginning of the call after providing the telemarketer’s and solicitor’s name(s). Previously, telemarketers were only required to give consumers this option at some point during the call and did not specify when. Failure to provide this disclosure at the beginning of a call will also result in a $20,000 civil penalty per violation.
Both of these laws increase the need for closely tracking compliance. Noncompliance is costly and can add up quickly if violations stem from a large campaign. Before starting a non-exempt campaign, it is important to scrub numbers against the Do Not Call Registry as more states will increase civil penalties to deter unwanted calls to consumers.
* Jennifer Tran contributed to this post.
Michele is the Managing Partner at M&S and former Chief of the Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section. Bringing more than two decades of experience in the consumer protection arena, she advises highly regulated businesses on a wide range of telemarketing, privacy, and other consumer protection matters.