ALBANY, NY (March 9, 2016) — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced a settlement agreement between the State and Hilton Grand Vacations Company, LLC over unsolicited telemarketing sales calls, in violation of the New York State Do Not Call Law. These calls were made to consumers whose telephone numbers were validly registered on the Do Not Call Registry. The company agreed to pay a settlement in the amount of $250,500 and change business practices before continuing to make such calls to New York consumers.
“New York State created the Do Not Call Law to ensure that residents who opt out of receiving promotional calls are not forced to deal with these harassing messages,” Governor Cuomo said. “This settlement will serve as a reminder that companies who violate this law will face consequences and that our administration will continue to protect New Yorkers from these unfair tactics.”
“New Yorkers should not be contacted by telemarketers once they are enrolled in the Do Not Call Registry,” said Acting Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. “This settlement represents a change in business practices that will protect consumers from unwanted sales calls. We thank Hilton Grand Vacation LLC for working with us on this matter.”
The New York State Do Not Call Law became effective in 2001, allowing consumers to place their home landline and personal mobile telephone numbers onto a central registry to reduce the number of unsolicited telemarketing calls they receive. The New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection enforces the New York State Do Not Call Law. In 2003, the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission collaborated to create the National Do Not Call Program and Registry.
The violations included no less than 334 unsolicited marketing calls to 133 consumers who were, in fact, validly registered on the National Do Not Call Registry. Hilton cooperated fully with the Department’s investigation and did not make any admission of wrongdoing. After resolving the disputed issues, they also agreed to limit its unsolicited telemarketing calls to only those made under the following conditions:
- To consumers whose telephone numbers are not validly registered on the national Do Not Call Registry, provided such consumers have not specifically directed the company or any of its affiliates to refrain from contacting them;
- To consumers whose telephone numbers are validly registered on the National Do Not Call Registry, but who are also “Hilton HHonors” members, provided such members have not specifically directed Hilton and/or any of its affiliates to refrain from contacting them;
- To consumers whose telephone numbers are validly registered on the National Do Not Call Registry, but who have established business relationships with Hilton directly, provided such consumers have not specifically directed Hilton and/or any of its affiliates to refrain from contacting them:
- To consumers whose telephone numbers are validly registered on the National Do Not Call Registry, but who have an established business relationship with Hilton by reason of having stayed at a place of lodging at a Hilton Worldwide portfolio of brands property, for purposes of promoting a product or service substantially related to those products or services upon which Hilton or its affiliates’ prior established business relationship was based, provided: 1) that such calls are not otherwise prohibited by the New York General Business Law and/or any other applicable statute or regulation; and 2) provided such consumers have not specifically directed Hilton and/or any of its affiliates to refrain from contacting them.
These calls may also not otherwise be prohibited by any applicable law.
For more information on the Do Not Call Law, go to the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection website.
File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
If you have a complaint against a business please call the Division’s hotline at (800) 697-1220. The Consumer Assistance Hotline is open Monday to Friday, excluding Federal Holidays, 8:30am to 4:30pm.
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