Pennsylvania Legislature Seeking to Reduce Nuisance Calls, Strengthen Telemarketing Regulations

| February 25, 2019

VENANGO CO., Pa. (EYT) – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed House Bill 318, legislation intended to improve and strengthen Pennsylvania’s “Do Not Call” list.

House Bill 318 will amend the Telemarketer Registration Act of 1996 by eliminating the renewal requirement, which required phone numbers to be re-registered every five years or be dropped from the list. Under HB 318, residents will be able to register their phone numbers on the Pennsylvania “Do Not Call” list permanently.

The bill also seeks to reduce the nuisance of a number of telemarketing calls by banning telemarketing calls on legal holidays and will require computerized auto-dialers, commonly known as robocalls, to give residents an “opt-out” option at the very beginning of a call.

“Unwanted telemarketing calls are not only a nuisance to the consumer but can also be extremely intrusive and time-consuming,” said State Representative Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest).

“With House Bill 318, we are trying to make it easier for people to remain on the state’s do-not-call list and to set some restrictions for such unwanted calls. This legislation won’t address every call, especially from scammers that consistently keep changing their numbers, but this is an important first step into getting these type of calls under control,” continued Oberlander.

State Representative Cris Dush (R-Jefferson/Indiana) said that he likes the bill because a person’s name stays on the “Do Not Call” list permanently.

“Right now telemarketers can call again after five years if people forget to put their names back on the do not call list, because they can be dropped off the list after five years. This bill will make it permanent, a person’s number will stay on the do not call list until the person no longer has that number or they call and take themselves off the list,” said Dush.

The bill will now move on to the state Senate for consideration.

Senator Scott Hutchinson (R-Clarion/Venango/Butler) explains that “mostly because of creative use of technology, we just seem to be getting more and more nuisance telemarketing calls.”

“If there are ways we can help consumers stop that, I’m all in,” Hutchinson said. “No means ‘no’ for the consumer, and to the extent that we can do that, I’m very supportive of it.”

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