"No Call" Law Set To Take Effect July 1st

The newly passed Mississippi Telephone Solicitation Act sets restrictions on when telemarketers can call prospective customers. Now the state's Public Service Commissioners are explaining to residents how the "no call" law will work.

The law takes effect July 1st. The legislation allows the Public Service Commission to compile a database of telephone numbers of residential subscribers who object to being called. No telephone solicitor could operate in Mississippi unless they bought the database and registered with the PSC.

"The law prohibits three things," Mississippi Public Service Commission Chairman Michael Callahan said. "It prohibits the telemarketer from calling someone on the no call bill. It limits the time when they can call to Monday through Saturday- eight a.m. to eight p.m. It also prohibits them from blocking their number on the caller ID."

Commissioners say the new bill is designed to target national telemarketers rather than local businesses. Many local businesses and organizations like banks, churches, real estate and insurance agencies will be allowed to make calls, but they will face new restrictions as well.

"If you are one of the businesses exempt from the no call provision of the bill you can still telemarket and you still have to go by the Monday through Saturday eight to eight and you still have to let your name come across the caller ID."

Public Service Commissioners also say the new bill will help protect the elderly from fraudulent telemarketers.

by Josh Ridgdell