During the 2012 legislative session, my colleagues and I worked to pass legislation designed to dramatically reduce unwanted calls, texts and other unsolicited electronic messages to your cell phones. House Bill 1549, which received wide support in the General Assembly and was signed by the governor on June 14, allows you to add your cell phone number to our state’s “No-Call” list.
When the No-Call list was created more than 10 years ago, the usage of cell phones was not as widespread as it is today. In fact, more and more people are dropping their landlines and only using their cell phone numbers as their primary source of contact, which has led to the increase of unwanted communication on these mobile devices. You can now add your cell phone number to the No-Call list that currently includes more than 1.8 million landlines in the Show-Me State.
With this new law, “telephone solicitation” is now defined as any voice, fax, short messaging service (SMS), or multimedia messaging service (MMS) for the purpose of encouraging the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods or services. The bill prohibits a telemarketer from sending such communications to a phone number on our state’s No-Call list.
To add your residential or cell phone number to the state’s No-Call list, visit www.ago.mo.gov/nocalllaw to complete the online registration, or call 866-BUZZOFF (866-289-9633). There is no cost to add your home and cell phone numbers, and as long as you keep the same number, there is no need to register year after year. There are four registration deadlines each year, and the Attorney General’s office submits the names to telemarketers every three months. For example, if you register by Aug. 1, then telemarketers cannot call you after Oct. 1.
Signing up is a quick and easy way to protect your privacy and put a stop to unwanted one-sided conversations that cost you time and money.
Now that this new law is scheduled to take effect and cell phones will have the same protections from commercial telemarketers as do land lines, it is important that we keep it from being amended to allow exceptions for certain industries which would water down its protections. I am committed to making sure that this does not happen as we move forward.