June 6, 2008
Jefferson City, Mo. - Attorney General Jay Nixon's efforts to crack down on telemarketers violating Missouri's No Call Law have hit the $3 million mark. That's the amount those telemarketers have been ordered to pay Nixon's office for No Call violations. Since 2001 when the law took effect, Nixon has enlisted the help of consumers whose home phone numbers are registered on the No Call list. Those consumers filed complaints with the Attorney General's Office when they continued to receive telemarketing calls, resulting in more than 1,000 enforcement actions by Nixon's legal staff.
Court judgments against telemarketers have included phone companies, satellite television operators, so-called psychics and fortune tellers, mortgage brokers, an online dating service and many more. Familiar names include DirecTV, Charter Communications, ADT Security Systems, TracFone Wireless, AT&T, MCI, Sprint and SBC.
"The telemarketing industry considers Missouri one of the most aggressive enforcers of No Call laws in the nation," said Nixon. "That's thanks to the efforts of consumers who have filed complaints against telemarketers, and my office's commitment to ensuring Missourians have the peace and quiet they want and deserve at home."
Nixon's actions in federal court effectively erased an exemption the Missouri General Assembly had written into the No Call law. Nixon sued AT&T, MCI, Sprint and SBC for continuing to call Missourians after they had asked the companies to stop contacting them. The four phone companies ended up paying a total of $200,000 in penalties and, more importantly, agreed not to call Missourians on the No Call list. This was a significant development, because the Missouri legislature exempted telephone companies from complying with the No Call list.
More than 2.5 million Missouri phone numbers are now registered on the No Call list. Registration is free and permanent. Consumers do not need to renew their registration, but if they change phone numbers, they will need to add their new numbers to the list.