It Was Bound to Happen - The Missourian: Opinion

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It Was Bound to Happen

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Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2012 12:25 pm

Another sign of the times is that Missouri now has a law that provides for adding cellphones to the no call list. Gov. Jay Nixon signed the legislation Thursday. The bill was passed by the last session of the General Assembly.

Many Missourians no longer have landline phones. They just use their cellphones. The law provides for protection from most telemarketing calls. It also bans unwanted text and multimedia messages. The governor said the law is another milestone in protecting Missouri consumers.

Nixon was attorney general in 2000 when the state first adopted the no call law for landlines. The law was in response to thousands of complaints from people about unwanted telephone solicitations. By 2003 more than 2.5 million Missourians had signed up to be on the list. The list has dropped to about 1.8 million because many people dropped their landlines and are just using their cellphones.

The new law bans automated messages, known as robocalls, with some exceptions. It does not prohibit political-related calls.

The attorney general’s office reported it gets 150 to 200 calls a week from citizens complaining about telemarketing calls or text messages to cellphones. The state does fine violators of the landline law. Fines totaling about $1 million were assessed. There is enforcement.

The state has been concerned about the scam artists who use the phones to promote their schemes. These crimes have been extended to people using only cellphones.

The law provides for penalties of up to $5,000 per violation.

Changing technology is resulting in more laws to protect citizens. This extension of the law to cellphones is but another example.

/opinion