ATA Warns of NY Telemarketing Bills

The American Teleservices Association is urging members to speak out against several New York bills meant to strengthen laws that curb telemarketing activities in the state.

In an e-mail to ATA members in New York, the association asked members to contact state representatives to oppose three proposals that would affect the existing business relationship exemption from the no-call list, list and data sharing and predictive-dialer abandonment rates.

Assembly Bill 3581 would amend the state's definition of existing business relationships, which are normally exempt from the national no-call list, to include only calls to consumers concerning an existing contract. The ATA has asked the Federal Communications Commission to override states whose definition of an existing business relationship is stricter than the federal definition, but the association said in its e-mail that defeating the bill now would be easier.

Assembly Bill 581 would require telemarketers to connect consumers to live representatives immediately for outbound calls, effectively making abandoned or dead-air calls illegal. Federal rules require telemarketers to abandon no more than 3 percent of calls per month and connect consumers to live agents within two seconds.

The final proposal is a pair of bills, Assembly Bill 636 and Senate Bill 248, affecting marketers who use third-party lists in unsolicited phone and written solicitations. Under the bills, marketers who rent, buy or trade lists would have to include opt-out notices in their solicitations.

The bills also would require any company preparing to rent, sell or exchange consumer data containing personal information to send notices to those consumers regarding their right to opt out. The notices could be sent as inserts in billing statements or other mailings.

Scott Hovanyetz covers telemarketing, production and printing and direct response TV marketing for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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