*New Yorkers Flock to DNC List

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New York state's new do-not-call list has proved popular with consumers, who have turned out in droves for the chance to block telemarketing calls, the state's Board of Consumer Protection said yesterday.


Approximately 200,000 people signed up in the 30 days after registration began for the list, which does not take effect until April 2001. Registration began Oct. 12, the day Gov. George Pataki signed the bill that brought New York's state DNC list into being.


New Yorkers can sign up for the list by calling the board's toll-free number. Approximately 3,000 people signed up for the list in the three hours following the opening of registration.


"It was really wild," said board spokesman Jon Sorenson. "We're talking moments after the bill was signed, calls started coming in."


Based on rates of enrollment for DNC lists in other states, New York expected about 500,000 people to sign up. The state has not changed its initial estimate.


Under the state's DNC law, telemarketers can be fined up to $2,000 for each violation. Telemarketers must purchase the list from the state four times a year. Its price has not been established.


Companies have 30 days after receiving the DNC list to remove the names of registered consumers from their telemarketing rolls.


Another bill, which Pataki signed into law with the DNC legislation, requires telemarketers doing business in New York to register with the state every two years for $500. The bill also requires telemarketers to post a $25,000 bond in order to operate in New York.


The high rate of consumers signing up for New York's DNC list is no surprise, said Kevin Brosnahan, spokesman for the American Teleservices Association. Consumers tend to sign up early for the lists, well ahead of the date the list becomes effective.


New York is one of 13 states with legislation in place mandating state-run DNC lists. The ATA believes state DNC lists unnecessarily duplicate federal laws that require telemarketers to keep their own inhouse DNC lists, Brosnahan said.


Under federal laws, consumers can block calls from specific companies that call them and thus can pick and choose the types of telemarketing calls they receive, Brosnahan said.
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