U.S. Sens. Evan Bayh and Richard Lugar, both of Indiana, urged the Federal Communications Commission not to preempt their state's no-call law.
In a letter sent this week to the FCC, Bayh, a Democrat, and Lugar, a Republican, said imposing the federal no-call law on the state would weaken consumer protections. Industry groups have challenged no-call laws in Indiana and other states on the grounds that they are inconsistent with the federal law.
In Indiana's case, the state law exempts calls to consumers registered to the no-call list only if the consumers have given their express permission. Under its existing-business-relationship exemption, federal rules allow calls to consumers on the no-call list if the consumer has made a purchase from the caller within the past 18 months or an inquiry within three months.
Federal preemption of Indiana's no-call law would water down consumer rights and lead to thousands of unwanted telemarketing calls, the senators said. The FCC has yet to issue an opinion on preemption of state no-call laws, though K. Dane Snowden, chief of the FCC's consumer and government affairs bureau, said in February that the agency would act on the preemption issue “in the coming months.”
Scott Hovanyetz covers telemarketing, production and printing and direct response TV marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters