Legislation Assembly Democrats R. Bruce Land, Bob Andrzejczak and Nancy Pinkin sponsored to create a state investigative unit dedicated solely to cracking down on telemarketing abuses was advanced Thursday by an Assembly committee.
“The ‘Do Not Call’ list is an important consumer protection measure, but it’s only effective if it’s properly enforced,” said Land (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “Telemarketers need to know that aggressive, unlawful practices will not be tolerated, and consumers who report such practices need to have confidence that their concerns will be taken seriously.”
The bill (A-2957) would establish a telemarketing fraud investigation unit within the Division of Consumer Affairs that would investigate consumer complaints related to telemarketing practices.
“Unwanted telemarketing calls continue to interrupt the lives of New Jersey residents, regardless of whether they have deliberately expressed that they are not interested or perhaps even logged a complaint,” said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “We must be proactive about cracking down on companies that casually break the law on a regular basis. This investigative unit will be essential as we fight back against uncompromising telemarketers who harass New Jerseyans.”
Under the bill, the unit would investigate cases including, but not limited to: calls made to individuals on the division’s “Do Not Call” list, calls received between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m., calls in which telemarketers fail to identify their purpose promptly, calls in which telemarketers block their information from caller ID and calls made to personal mobile devices.
“With modern telemarketers calling both landline and mobile phones, people constantly are bombarded by repeated, unsolicited calls. More than a mere nuisance, these calls can have a significant negative impact on a person’s quality of life,” said Pinkin (D-Middlesex). “At the foundation of the ‘Do Not Call’ law is the notion that New Jersey residents have a right to control who contacts them and when. A unit dedicated to enforcing this law will be a source of assistance and peace of mind for many who are subject to aggressive telemarketing tactics.”
New Jersey’s “Do Not Call” law imposes upon violators a fine of up to $10,000 for a first offense and up to $20,000 for each subsequent offense.
The legislation was advanced by the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee.