Public Service Commissioner requests amendments be made to the current No-Call Law
JACKSON – Public Service Commission Chairman Brandon Presley is tired of seeing predatory telemarketers escape punishment through loopholes in the law and abuse of the Caller ID technology; he plans to change that. This week, Presley instructed the PSC’s legal staff to devise amendments to the state’s No-Call Law for possible new legislation to create the right for victims to directly sue telemarketers for at least $500 in damages per call when a violation occurs. Such a right exists for customers on the Federal Do Not Call List, but a lawsuit is not currently an option for those on Mississippi’s No-Call list. Under the proposal, the PSC would continue to enforce the state No-Call law, but consumers would have a route to also be personally compensated for damages and violations.
Under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, anyone on the federal No-Call list who receives more than one call over a twelve month period in violation of the Act can sue to recover actual monetary damages or $500 for each violation, whichever is greater. However, violations of the state’s No-Call law results in no such compensation to victims, with all fines and fees only covering administration of the law.
“I have always believed in hitting these telemarketers where it hurts…in their wallets. But it is the victims, whose privacy has been invaded, who should be the beneficiaries of monetary damages where possible. While the PSC will continue to track these predatory telemarketers down and issue fines, I want to make sure those victimized by these illegal practices have every possible option available to them under the law. They should have the right to be compensated,” Presley said.
PSC legal staff will prepare draft legislation to for consideration of the Commission to endorse and request for the upcoming 2018 session of the Mississippi Legislature. For more information about the PSC’s enforcement of the No-Call List visit www.psc.state.ms.us or call 1-800-637-7722.