If you are a telemarketer or making sales calls, it is important to follow both federal and state telemarketing laws.
Many companies make the mistake of assuming that they only need to follow the federal laws and avoid violating the Do Not Call Registry. The reality is that each state has the ability to make their own laws and to enforce them. If you are calling in your home state, you can easily place a call to your local Attorney General to identify any specific laws that you need to be following. If you are calling nationwide it becomes more complicated, and you need to make sure that your policies and procedures are established to avoid any violations.
Here are some state telemarketing laws that you need to know about:
- Missouri – The state of Missouri has a No Call Law. This law prohibits telemarketers from contacting any residential numbers that are on the states no call registry. Even if the individual has not listed their phone number on the federal registry, they could be listed on the statewide one. Missouri defines a telemarketer as anyone who is connected to a company that does telemarketing through incoming or outgoing phone calls. This includes automatic calls made from a computer, owners, operators, directors, and managers of said companies. In order to get a copy of the registry businesses have to apply for it and pay a $50 fee. The registry is updated every quarter and both in state and out of state companies must comply with the telemarketing laws.
- New York – New York has passed several state wide telemarketing laws that make it more difficult for companies making sales calls. They require that any telemarketing company using pre-recorded messages must have prior written consent before reaching New Yorkers at home. They also have a law requiring telemarketers raising money for charity to disclose how much of the money goes to the charity itself. Both in state and out of state companies must comply with their telemarketing laws and keep records of all activities for two years.
- Arizona – Telemarketing companies making sales calls in Arizona must first register with their Secretary of State. If any company has a change in their filing, it must be reported within ten days of the change. This applies to all companies making telemarketing calls in Arizona. The state does not allow telemarketing companies to block their Caller ID or use prerecorded messages on mobile devices.
These are only some of the states with specific telemarketing laws on the books. It is important to check the state laws prior to making calls in order to avoid any potential violations. You should also create a policies and procedures manual that includes how to follow both federal and state laws. This will be a good reference guide and show authorities that you are trying to comply if a mistake is accidentally made.
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