New Jersey traditionally has had the most onerous state Do Not Call law, which prohibited all telemarketing sales calls to cell phones. The law did not even allow such calls to be made with the consumer’s consent. With 90% of Americans owning cell phones and 58.8% of households being either entirely or predominantly wireless today, that was particularly bad news for telemarketers.
However, on January 29, 2015, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law state Senate bill 1382, which significantly loosens the state’s restrictions on telemarketing to cell phones. The bill clarifies the state’s Do Not Call law to prohibit only unsolicited telemarketing sales calls from being made to cell phones. The amended law – which took in effect immediately upon Governor Christie’s signing – defines “unsolicited telemarketing sales call” as any telemarketing sales call other than a call made (1) in response to the express written request of the consumer called or (2) to an existing customer. The New Jersey Senate Commerce Committee clarified that the latter carve-out from the state Do Not Call law permits the placement of collection calls and calls to follow up on customer’s contractual obligations “unless the customer has stated to the telemarketer that the customer no longer desires to receive the telemarketing sales calls of the telemarketer.”