TRENTON, N.J.— Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes and the Mercer County Office of Consumer Affairs remind residents that as of September 1, a federal ban on prerecorded commercial telemarketing calls - known as “robocalls” - began under a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rule.
Robocalls cannot be placed to consumers unless the telemarketer has obtained permission in writing from those who want to receive such calls, under the FTC’s rule. Robocalls are permitted from charitable organizations and political organizations, as is currently allowed under the state’s Do Not Call law.
“Our citizens should not have their peace disrupted by unwanted recorded messages, along with the right to block unwanted solicitations on their home or mobile phone lines,” Hughes said. “Any resident who would like to file a complaint or who has questions about their rights can call Mercer County’s Office of Consumer Affairs at 989-6671.”
Consumers who receive robocalls may file complaints with the FTC at http://www.donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222.
New Jersey’s existing Do Not Call law provides the following:
- Prohibits telemarketers from calling New Jersey residents who have placed their residential and/or mobile phone numbers on the national “Do Not Call” registry;
- Prohibits telemarketers who haven’t registered with Consumer Affairs from calling any New Jersey resident;
- Prohibits all telemarketers from calling New Jersey residents between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.;
- Bars telemarketers from intentionally blocking the customer’s use of caller identification;
- Requires telemarketers, including sellers that carry out “any plan, program or campaign” to sell merchandise to consumers in New Jersey to register annually and disclose certain information about their business operations and principals;
- Imposes stiff penalties against violators of up to $10,000 for the first offense and up to $20,000 for each subsequent offense;
- Covers most telemarketing sales calls regardless of where the telemarketer is calling from;
- Requires telemarketers and sellers to maintain in-house “Do Not Call” lists pertaining to “existing customers” who have said they do not want to receive sales calls from the telemarketers; and
- Prohibits telemarketers from calling New Jersey residents on their cell phones, except in very limited circumstances.
To register phones, go to http://www.donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.
To file a complaint about a violation of the state’s Do Not Call law, contact the state Division at http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/donotcall/dnconlinefrm.htm or at
1-800-242-5846 (toll-free within N.J.) or 973-504-6200.