Lawmakers in Tallahassee are considering disastrous changes to Florida’s Telemarketing Act that would make all telemarketing robocalls legal, including those made by scammers. HB 761/SB 1308.
In 2021, the Florida Legislature unanimously passed bipartisan legislation to prevent robo-dialed telemarketing cold calls (and text messages) in Florida. These changes have been wildly effective in reducing these intrusive calls.
In 2021, the number of FTC complaints from Floridians regarding unwanted calls was 388,227 and rising, up almost 100,000 from the previous year. Our law went into effect July 1, 2021, and in 2022, the FTC reported “only” 211,635 complaints. This is an astounding 45 percent decline in Floridian complaints compared to 2021.
Our telemarketing law as presently written is an important law that shields the privacy and tranquility of Floridians from robodialed telemarketing harassment. The current law is straightforward - if you want to call or text in mass using an “automated system” you simply must have written consent to do so. Our Florida law is the gold standard and is being copied by other states across the country.
The time, sanity, and tranquility of Floridians are valuable treasures and are not to be trifled with. Consumers simply do not want telemarketing robocalls. Florida had 4.1 billion robocalls into Florida in 2021, and 140,000,000 less robocalls in 2022-as a direct result of our law. Our law is working and I thus urge Florida citizens to call their representatives and tell them to vote “no” on the proposed bill which would blow up our law and make all telemarketing calls legal.
Billy Howard is an attorney specializing in consumer rights. Billy is often in the national and local media and recognized for his success against robodialers.