DiNapoli finds problems with Do Not Call registry

Sep 29, 2018

The Do Not Call Registry was established to allow residents to block unwanted calls from telemarketers.

A recent New York State audit has identified staffing and response issues with the service. State Comproller Thomas DiNapoli reports that though the number of complaints rose to nearly one half million in 2017, the cases referred to legal counsel fell to just one. The audit found that issues with  staffing key legal positions lent to these problems.

New York State Comptroller
Credit WBFO News / WBFO

According to DiNapoli, "The Do Not Call Registry was created to help consumers avoid unwanted, nuisance calls from telemarketers, but requests to investigate violations of the law are going unanswered. Without enforcement of the law, telemarketers will continue to bother people who do not want calls, attempt to steal personal information or take money from the unsuspecting. Officials at the state's Division of Consumer Protection need to do a better job putting unwanted calls on mute."

The audit found that high personnel turnover contributed to the lack of response from the service. DiNapoli noted that the position of director of investigations was vacant for 18 months beginning in November of 2016, and there was no program attorney to oversee hearings and prosecutions for a full year between 2017 and 2018.

The Department of State has accepted the audit's findings and is responding.