Gov. Jim Doyle and Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager have filed a lawsuit against three out-of-state telemarketing companies to ensure Wisconsin’s No Call law is fully enforced.
The No Call law prohibits telemarketers from calling those who have signed up to be on the list. In order to keep the law enforced, registered citizens can call Doyle’s office and report the company that violated the law.
Since the law began, Doyle’s office has referred 19 possible violations of the No Call program to Lautenschlager’s office with the intention of possible legal action. The office has also sent out more than 800 letters instructing companies to stop calling.
Lautenschlager filed the lawsuits for violations of the No Call law Sept. 8. The three companies named in the suit are Environmental Safety International Inc., P&M Consulting Inc., and Marktel II Inc. Each company made anywhere from 25 to 95 unsolicited calls, facing fines of up to $100 per violation.
Lautenschlager said she would continue to prosecute telemarketers for disobeying the law.
“Wisconsin citizens have overwhelmingly supported our No Call law and (have) signed up to prevent unwanted calls in unprecedented numbers,” Lautenschlager said. “It should not come as a surprise to companies ignoring or defying our No Call list that my office is vigorously enforcing Wisconsin law and will bring alleged violators to justice.”
In addition to keeping telemarketers from breaking the law, the governor’s office is also fighting to keep the federal government from overriding Wisconsin’s No Call law in the process of instituting a national plan that would override current state law.
More than half of the states have already implemented their own No Call laws, which are stricter than the plan the federal government is suggesting. The federal program would take effect in October.
“If a consumer on the state’s No Call law list cancels long-distance service with a company, that company has just one phone call to try to win back the business. Under the federal program, the same company could continue calling for 18 months,” the governor’s spokesman, Glen Loyd, said.
Doyle’s office is negotiating with the federal government to try and come to an agreement where Wisconsin would be permitted to keep the stricter version of the law. All of Wisconsin’s senators and representatives have written letters to the federal government requesting the Wisconsin version of the law remain dominant.
Wisconsin residents, including UW students, are affected by violations of the law.
“I started receiving calls on my cell phone from telemarketers, and I think that is taking it a little too far,” UW senior Courtney Dunn said. “The No Call law is a wonderful idea, and I think Wisconsin should do what they need to do in order to make sure the telemarketers stop calling.”
The law, which was implemented Jan. 1, 2003, now has over 1.1 million participants. The list restricts telemarketers from calling, with the exception of political, charity and survey calls.
To register, Wisconsin residents can either go to nocall.wisconsin.gov or call 1-866-966-2255.