LB - Randy Garrison

Home | Classifieds | Place Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Kudos | Obits | Real Estate | Subscriber Services | Villager | Health Directory | Contact Us
The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news June 25, 2016


2/12/2013 12:40:00 PM
Arizona wants to outlaw automated systems to send text messages trying to sell goods or services

Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services


PHOENIX -- The way state lawmakers figure it, it's annoying enough to get an unwanted text message.

But having to pay for it only adds insult to injury.

So the House Committee on Technology and Infrastructure voted unanimously Thursday to make it illegal for companies to use automated systems to send text messages trying to sell goods or services. Violators could wind up paying fines of $750.

And to be sure that companies don't look for a loophole, the same prohibition also applies to what are texts purportedly requesting survey information if the real aim ultimately is to get people to buy something.

Rep. David Stevens, R-Sierra Vista, said these messages come in all forms.

"A couple of days I got I got a text: Find all the hot babes in Phoenix,' he told members of the committee he chairs.

Arizona law already precludes companies from making "robocalls' to get people to buy anything.

And the Federal Communications Commission maintains a "do not call' list which allows individuals to register both landline and cell phone numbers to make them off limits to most unwanted calls. There are exceptions, though, for political calls and polling.

Stevens said his legislation falls in the same category.

The measure is drawing questions from several cell phone companies.

Jerry Fuentes, the president of AT&T for Arizona and New Mexico, said his company routinely sends text messages to its own customers who have been to one of their offices.

"For example, I'm in a store and I buy a service or product,' he told lawmakers.

"We'll send a text message and ask them about their experience,' Fuentes said, asking them things like if they got all their questions answered. "And we get the feedback from that so we can serve them better.'

But Rep. Lisa Otondo, D-Yuma, said the bottom line is that the message is unsolicited, as opposed to a customer having asked for such notifications.

Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff, said that, annoyance aside, some customers have not purchased a cell phone plan which includes a fixed number of text messages. The result, he said, is that each time one of those unwanted texts comes in, the customer's bill goes up by a quarter.

Lobbyists John Mangum, representing T-Mobile, told lawmakers if they want to make automated texts illegal, there needs to be an exception for situations where a customer has requested such notifications.

He noted that new federal rules, set to take effect in October, will require prior express written consent to deliver an autodialed marketing call or text message to a cell phone. That rules would not apply to things like flight updates, debt collection calls, surveys or bank account fraud alerts.

The legislation now goes to the full House.


    Most Viewed     Recently Commented
•   One dead, five injured in 10 vehicle crash on I-17 Sunday (6403 views)

•   Jerome Declares Emergency: Town under mandatory water restrictions (4535 views)

•   Game and Fish reports nuisance bear may have moved on (2964 views)

•   RUMOR CONTROL: No, Verde Valley Humane Society, does not euthanize dogs (2479 views)

•   26 wildland fires currently burning in Arizona (2436 views)





Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to Facebook character limits. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
Find more about Weather in Cottonwood, AZ
Click for weather forecast





Submission Links
 •  Submit your feedback about our site

Find It Features Blogs Celebrate Submit Extras Other Publications Local Listings
Classifieds | Place Ad | Galleries | Kudos | Real Estate | Subscriber Services | e-News | RSS | Site Map | Find Verde Jobs | Contact Us
LB - Lamb Auto 0617 Nissan Red 989x150

© Copyright 2016 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Verde Independent is the information source for Cottonwood and Verde Valley area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Western News&Info, Inc.® Verde News Online is a service of WNI. By using the Site, verdenews.com ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the Site's terms of use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the Site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Verde News Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved