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New Jersey Seeks to Prohibit Telemarketing Calls that Deliver Voicemail without Customer’s Telephone First Ringing

With the decline in available means to contact consumers by phone, ringless voicemail is an increasingly popular marketing technique. While the FCC petition for clarification as to whether ringless voicemail triggers TCPA obligations was withdrawn, regulation of the practice is by no means clear. 

The New Jersey Senate recently introduced legislation, Senate Bill 3505, that would prohibit telemarketers from employing any technology allowing them to place a telephone call to a consumer that delivers a voice message directly to the consumer’s voicemail box without his or her telephone first ringing.

The bill, which was introduced and referred to the Senate Commerce Committee, would amend existing New Jersey law to prevent telemarketers from using technology to circumvent the State’s law regarding telemarketing calls or its no-call list.  Persons who violate the bill’s provisions would face a penalty of up to $10,000 for the first offense and up to $20,000 for the second and each subsequent offense. 

TAKEAWAY: To avoid potential violations and steep penalties, businesses should familiarize themselves with the New Jersey bill, here, and re-examine their telemarketing practices to ensure that they do not employ any prohibited technologies both on a federal and state level.

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