Requires any person or entity operating telephone numbers, the use of which causes the caller to be billed a fee on his or her telephone bill, to provide the caller with notice of the fee to be imposed for such call and advise the caller to hang up if he or she does not want to pay the fee.
Ayes (56): Addabbo, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Farley, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Johnson, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Martins, Maziarz, McDonald, Montgomery, Nozzolio, Oppenheimer, Parker, Peralta, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Saland, Sampson, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Storobin, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Excused (6): Adams, Alesi, Espaillat, Huntley, O'Mara, Perkins
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation to requiring persons or entities operating a telecommunications services system, access to which causes the caller to be charged a fee on his or her telephone service bill, to provide notice of the imposition of such fee
PURPOSE: To stop the victimization of unsuspecting telephone callers who falsely believe they are dialing information and resources telephone numbers, only to fall victim to costly phone scams. This bill will put a stop to telephone scammers that are using local numbers in advertisements to lure in unsuspecting callers. These scammers are then forwarding the calls to pay-per-call lines and then billing the unsuspecting caller for the phone charge.
This bill will require a notice of warning of fee/charge imposition for calling certain telephone numbers. The warning message will be in same language as advertisement for such call line.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new subsection to 336-b to read as follows: When applicable, providers of interactive information network services shall cause the following message or words to the effect of the following to be provided to the caller, in the language in which information during such call will be provided:
"The call you are placing will cost (rate at which fees or charges are incurred). In order for you to receive the information you are calling for, that fee will be charged to your telephone bill. If you do not want to pay this amount, please hang up."
The calculation of any applicable fees by the provider of an interactive information network service shall not commence until ten seconds after the provision of the notice of fees to be charged to the consumer required by this subsection.
This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.
JUSTIFICATION: On a daily basis, telephone scammers post advertisements throughout neighborhoods in New York State showing a local number to call for a variety of information requests of possible interest to consumers.
The local number prompts a call to a second number, which then charges the caller a hefty fee for the phone call. Many if not most times the caller receives worthless information after making calls looking for employment, affordable housing, child care, educational opportunities
and other subjects of interest to people searching to improve their living conditions.
This type of scam has been labeled "remote call forwarding" by the telephone companies. Since the area codes are local, they seem legitimate to any persons requesting information about the advertisement, however it is the second three numbers that are where the scam is hidden. Since the three digit exchange is not always advertised, the scammers prompt callers to a second number with the exchange that will charge a hefty fee to the caller.
This legislation will help stop these types of phone scams by keeping consumers informed of what they would be charged in the language that they could understand.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the 30th day after it shall become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7652 IN SENATE June 12, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sen. GRISANTI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to requiring persons or entities operating a telecommunications services system, access to which causes the caller to be charged a fee on his or her telephone service bill, to provide notice of the imposition of such fee THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivisions 5 and 6 of section 336-b of the general busi- ness law, as added by chapter 495 of the laws of 1991, are renumbered subdivisions 6 and 7, and a new subdivision 5 is added to read as follows: 5. WHEN APPLICABLE, PROVIDERS OF INTERACTIVE INFORMATION NETWORK SERVICES SHALL CAUSE THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE OR WORDS TO THE EFFECT OF THE FOLLOWING TO BE PROVIDED TO THE CALLER, IN THE LANGUAGE IN WHICH INFOR- MATION DURING SUCH CALL WILL BE PROVIDED: "THE CALL YOU ARE PLACING WILL COST (RATE AT WHICH FEES OR CHARGES ARE INCURRED). IN ORDER FOR YOU TO RECEIVE THE INFORMATION YOU ARE CALLING FOR, THAT FEE WILL BE CHARGED TO YOUR TELEPHONE BILL. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO PAY THIS AMOUNT, PLEASE HANG UP." THE CALCULATION OF ANY APPLICABLE FEES BY THE PROVIDER OF AN INTERAC- TIVE INFORMATION NETWORK SERVICE SHALL NOT COMMENCE UNTIL TEN SECONDS AFTER THE PROVISION OF THE NOTICE OF FEES TO BE CHARGED TO THE CONSUMER REQUIRED BY THIS SUBDIVISION. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY SERVICE PROVIDED BY: (A) A TELEPHONE CORPORATION AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN SECTION TWO OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE LAW, (B) A PROVIDER OF MOBILE SERVICE AS DEFINED IN 47 U.S.C. S 153, OR (C) A CABLE TELEVISION COMPANY AS DEFINED IN SECTION TWO HUNDRED TWELVE OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE LAW, OR THE AFFILIATES OF ANY OF THE FOREGOING. 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. LBD00013-04-2