Prohibits pay-per-call prize schemes from charging more for the call than that charged by a telephone corporation regulated by the appropriate regulatory commission for the same call.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation to restricting pay-per-call services
PURPOSE: To prohibit the practice of holding a contest in which the pay-per-call service, which is needed to claim the prize, charges a higher fee for the transmission of the call as assessed by a telephone corporation regulated by the public service commission.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Amends Section 369-ee of the General Business law bay adding a new subdivision 2-a to make it unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to offer a consumer a prize, if in order to claim the prize, the consumer must call a pay-per-call service where the charge for such service is greater than the charge for the transmission of the call as assessed by a telephone corporation regulated by the public service commission.
JUSTIFICATION: Every year, thousands of misleading phone calls are automatically placed to consumers, by a person, firm, or corporation leading them to believe, they had won a contest. In order to claim their prize, which could be anything from "new watch" to a "35mm camera", they are told that they have to place a return phone call to a given number. In most cases, the cost of the return phone call costs up to $9.95 a minute resulting in an excessive phone bill, which ends up being more expensive than the prize itself.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect 30 days after the date on which it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7595--A IN SENATE June 6, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sen. FUSCHILLO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection -- committee discharged and said bill committed to the Committee on Rules -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to restricting pay-per-call services THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 369-ee of the general business law is amended by adding a new subdivision 2-a to read as follows: 2-A. PRIZE CLAIMS BY PAY-PER-CALL SERVICES. IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL FOR ANY PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION TO OFFER A CONSUMER A PRIZE, IF IN ORDER TO CLAIM THE PRIZE, THE CONSUMER MUST CALL A PAY-PER-CALL SERVICE WHERE THE CHARGE FOR SUCH PAY-PER-CALL SERVICE IS GREATER THAN THE SERVICE CHARGE AUTHORIZED BY THE APPROPRIATE REGULATORY COMMISSION. AS USED IN THIS SUBDIVISION "PAY-PER-CALL SERVICE" MEANS ANY TELEPHONE SERVICE FOR WHICH THE CALLING PARTY IS ASSESSED, BY VIRTUE OF COMPLETING THE CALL, A CHARGE FOR WHICH THE CALLER PAYS A PER-CALL OR PER-TIME CHARGE. S 2. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD08552-02-2