Text messages now considered robocalls after new telemarketing law signed in New York

State News

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Tuesday that expanded New York state’s definition of telemarketing to include text messages.

Officials from the governor’s office say New Yorkers have had protection against unwanted robocalls under state law, but texting was not legally defined as telemarketing in New York until Tuesday. Officials say this legislation closes that loophole.

“Our consumer protections need to keep pace with technology and New Yorkers who have long been plagued by the nuisance of annoying calls from telemarketers now have to contend with unwanted texts attempting to sell them things they don’t want,” Gov. Cuomo said in a Tuesday press release. “This legislation closes this annoying loophole and will help ensure our laws are modernized to confront the needs of New Yorkers.”

“Aggressive telemarketing has long been an annoyance and potential source of fraud preying upon consumers, so much that we have had to establish a do not call registry to keep New Yorkers from being inundated with unwanted and often unscrupulous solicitation,” State Sen. Leroy Comrie said in a press release. “Now that cell phones are as common, if not more than landlines, electronic text messages to our mobile devices have become the newest unwelcomed invasive marketing technique. Consumers should not be burdened with excessive and predatory telemarketing in any form, including text messages and I thank my colleague Assemblyman Kenny Burgos for working with me on this bill to close this loophole, modernize the statute and protect the people. I commend the Governor for signing it into law.”

“During the pandemic, New Yorkers experienced a dramatic rise in text-based telemarketing because the law had not caught up with technological advancements,” State Assemblymemer Kenny Burgos said in a press release. “With this essential piece of legislation, New York consumers on the ‘Do Not Call Registry’ will no longer receive these types of messages. I thank the Governor for signing my bill, A6040, designed to include electronic text messages as a form of telemarketing, and I am proud to see this bill now become State law.”

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