Albany – Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman introduced legislation (A.9437) to curb unsolicited commercial text messages to cell phones. Text messages cost money for cell phone users to receive, leaving many users stuck with unwanted charges.
“Cell phone users should have a choice as to whether or not they want to be solicited via text message,” said Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman. “It is not only a nuisance to receive these text messages, but it is often costly.”
The new legislation allows cell phone users to register with the no telemarketing sales call statewide registry in order to prevent unwanted text messages. Under the new bill, once a cell phone user submits a number to the registry, telemarketers are prohibited from sending text messages to that user. The existence of mobile phone solicitation has been noted by industry watchdogs including the Utility Consumers Action Network who, in 2005, brought a case against Sprint for spamming its customers and charging them $.10 per text message.
Even for those cell phone contracts that offer a flat rate for phone service with a finite number of text messages as part of the service, unsolicited text messages exhaust the contract's text messaging limits forcing the consumer to be pay extra text messaging charges.
“We are living in a society that is bombarded with commercialism and advertising,” Millman added. “At the very least we should not have to pay to receive corporate America’s solicitations.”
Assemblywoman Millman looks forward to advocating for the passage of this legislation in the upcoming session.