December 7, 2011
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster said today that he and 53 other state and territorial attorneys general have signed on to a letter to Congress urging members to reject the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011 (H.R. 3035). Koster said the bill would amend the Telephone Consumer Protection Act to allow debt collectors, marketers, and other businesses to robo-call consumers on their cell phones, leaving consumers who pay by the minute or have limited minutes to pick up the tab. The letter was sent today by the National Association of Attorneys General.
Koster said current federal law bans robo-calls to cell phones unless the consumer gives prior consent. He said this bill would change that and allow businesses to call any consumer who has provided his or her phone number during the course of a transaction, even if the consumer asks not to be contacted.
“In recent years, both state and federal laws have been enacted to better protect consumers from unwanted telephone solicitations, emails, and text messages,” Koster said. “This bill would undermine those laws, attack consumers’ telephone privacy, and make it more costly to own a cell phone.”
Koster also said he would like to see the Missouri General Assembly pass a law prohibiting robo-calls to cell phones and allowing consumers to add their cell phone numbers to Missouri’s no-call list. A separate Missouri law would give the Attorney General’s office the authority to file lawsuits and collect fines against businesses that broke the law.
Koster said the federal measure is currently being considered in the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
A copy of the NAAG letter can be found here: http://www.naag.org/sign-on_archive.php.