I signed up my home number for the Do Not Call list in the fall and I'm on the registry. Yesterday, when I was working from home, I got a call from someone pitching mortgage refinancing, so I told the caller I was on the list and gathered her company's information. Since I was in front of my computer, I filed a complaint online. This morning, someone from the Consumer Protection Board called me at the office to talk about my complaint. He informed me that my complaint was being disallowed because of a loophole in the law. I understood that the law didn't apply to charitable causes, companies with which one has an existing relationship and whatnot, but there's another exemption. And it bugs me.
(a) "Unsolicited telemarketing sales call" means any telemarketing sales call other than a call made: (1) in response to an express written or verbal request of the specific customer called; (2) in connection with an established business relationship, which has not been terminated by either party; (3) to an existing customer, unless such customer has stated to the telemarketer or the telemarketer's agent that such customer no longer wishes to receive the telemarketing sales calls of such telemarketer; or (4) in which the sale of goods and services is not completed, and payment or authorization of payment is not required, until after a face-to-face sales presentation by the telemarketer or a meeting between the telemarketer and the customer.
Number (4) presents a huge loophole. Prett much anything that requires action subsequent to the phone call to complete the transaction is exempt. The gentleman from the CPB explained to me that "face-to-face" exemptions include mortgage refinancing companies, insurance salespeople, vacuum cleaner salesmen who want to come to the house, real estate folks - pretty much anything that requires further action after the call. He also explained that legislation getting rid of this exemption is going through the usual channels.
Pardon me, but doesn't this make the DNC law completely ineffective? Very few products are actually sold via a transaction completed on the phone. Maybe the DNC list will get rid of the guy who calls trying to sell an electric pimple popper or dent puller for your car, but it's not going to stop most of the phone calls that come in.
Thanks for the ineffective legislation, New York. At least the CPB is prompt in calling to tell folks their complaints are being disallowed...