Telemarketer crackdown bill could bring peace to your dinner table

The Do Not Call list doesn't apply to charities or political organizations

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A bill just passed in the Massachusetts House that aims to crack down on nuisance telemarketers. People told 22News telemarketers can be aggressive, won’t take no for an answer, or lie about who they are.

Picture it, dinner time when the phone rings. It’s happened to most of us and often a telemarketer is on the other end.

“I don’t think anybody has ever bought anything from a telemarketer over the phone,” said Matthew Chauvin of Belchertown. “I don’t see the point of the nuisance of getting the call. Personally, we screen all of our calls through an answering machine.”

A new bill that passed by the House would require telemarketers to identify who they work for within the first minute of the call.

Robocalls & telemarketers: Your consumer rights

Jed Lamagdelaine of Hadley told 22News, “If they let you know who they are and what company they are calling from, it gives you the opportunity to immediately hang up. I’d love to see more restrictions on telemarketers. I’d love to be on a no call list. I’ve tried that. It doesn’t always work.”

That’s because the Do Not Call list doesn’t apply to charities or political organizations.

When a telemarketer calls you, the number that displays on your caller I.D. usually cannot be used to call the telemarketer back. Under this bill, they need to display a number where you can reach them.

Rep. John Scibak of South Hadley is one of the lawmakers who gave key input on the bill. “It allows consumers the ability to respond. To know who calls them, and to call them back and say, stop calling me. In essence it allows the consumer to be as much or a nuisance to the telemarketer as the telemarketer may be to the consumer,” said Scibak.

The bill would ban telemarketers from misrepresenting themselves as emergency, medical, religious or educational workers. It requires them to record their calls and keep them for 180 days in case the attorney general needs to review them.

Rep. Scibak told 22News he doesn’t see why the bill wouldn’t pass the senate and then be signed into law by the governor.

CLICK HERE to add your name and number to the national DO NOT CALL registry.

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