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Our Curious Amalgam

Dial L for Liability? Evolving Restrictions on Telemarketing to Consumers

Alicia L. Downey and Derek Andrew Jackson

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Many people with phone numbers find unsolicited promotional voice calls and text messages very annoying. Consequently, in the United States, telemarketing and telephone sales practices are regulated by federal and state consumer protection laws that are several decades old. These laws allow consumers to take private legal action for minimum statutory damages, which can amount to hundreds of dollars per violation, if a call or text is made to a phone number that is registered on the National Do-Not-Call Registry. However, some people argue that these laws are too harsh on legitimate businesses that communicate with their customers. Additionally, the question arises of how well these laws address new communication technologies that have emerged since the 1990s. In this episode, hosts Alicia Downey and Derek Jackson talk to Becca Wahlquist, a partner at Kelley, Drye & Warren, about these concerns and recent developments in consumer telemarketing law. Learn about the difficulties that businesses face in complying with a complicated and constantly changing set of federal and state laws and regulations that restrict telephone communications with consumers.