Volume I • Issue III

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March 2017

The Court Report

In the past year numerous states have increased scrutiny of marketing practices of energy suppliers.

In New York, as reported by an ABC news affiliate, a recent settlement on door-to-door sales activity cost one supplier millions in refunds to customers.

On March 6th of this year, the Michigan Attorney General’s office announced that complaints on energy were part of its top ten list of consumer complaint categories.

In February 2016, in a sudden decision, the New York Public Service Commission enacted “reset order,” issuing new rules severely restricting energy sales in their state.

A July 22nd order by acting state Supreme Court Justice Zwack said that energy service companies were denied due process and vacated the PSC’s earlier order.

Undeterred, the New York PSC this month is calling for proceedings to eliminate retail energy suppliers entirely, effectively barring consumers from the retail energy free market system created to prevent price fixing by utilities.

The current retail energy environment makes legal and regulatory risk for non-compliance extremely high. Your company needs a comprehensive compliance action plan. All Global Resources can help. Contact us today.

NEW JERSEY FIXES CONTRADICTORY
CELL PHONE LAWS
By Dan Rieke, C.E.C.P.

New Jersey has historically been one of a few states where solicitation calls to cell phones were banned, even if one obtained prior express written consent as mandated under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

In January 2015, however, several firms erroneously announced online that telemarketing could begin to cell phones in New Jersey within the boundaries of certain requirements. Some of those announcements came from entities that were known as “experts” in the compliance industry. Perhaps your company mistakenly followed that advice.

That fact is that New Jersey did, at that time, amend one of its statutes concerning solicitation calls to cell phones (Title 56, Chapter 8), leading to the assumption that the barrier to such calls was removed.

However, what those compliance firms failed to recognize was that another New Jersey law (Title 13, Chapter 45D), continued to block calls to cell phones. That law was not amended in January 2015, so in contrast to their expert opinion, solicitation calls to cell phones were still prohibited.

As long as those two separate statutes remained in conflict, no true path existed for solicitation calls to cell phones, even with consent as mandated under TCPA.

The state finally reconciled the two separate laws, and as of February 2017 both laws now are in synch. Sales calls to cell phones can now be done, within the boundaries of certain requirements.

Although manual dialing of cell phones in New Jersey is still prohibited without permission, these recent statutory revisions has brought New Jersey’s regulations into closer alignment with Federal requirements

Companies considering telemarketing or customer service calls to cell phones would do well to consult certified experts in customer engagement for a review of their marketing channels and practices.

All Global Resources represents an industry-respected standard of engagement compliance and safe harbor engineering. Call us today to learn more about our services.