Cell Phone Solicitation Bill Stuck

Legislation to ban random sales calls to your cell phone easily cleared the state Senate Thursday in Tallahassee, but powerful interests are ganging up against the bill, and this week’s vote is likely the only vote the bill will see this year.

On busy days, there are wall to wall cell phones in use at the state Capitol, and like most phone users these lobbyists share a disdain for unwanted calls on their cell phones.

So it was with little debate the state Senate gave overwhelming approval to a bill that bans unsolicited calls to cell hones. Sen. Victor Crist of Tampa was outspoken on the issue.

“To get an unwanted sales solicitation on our cell phone and then have to pay for it? Not acceptable.”

It seems like a no-brainer, banning unwanted calls on your cell phone. But think again. There are powerful interests working against the bill in the state House.

The devil is in the details. A powerful coalition of banking, insurance and securities interests have ganged up against the bill. They argue it lacks common sense.

Rep. Dwight Stansel sits on the house committee that has the bill. He says it could shut down commerce.

“If you called a cell phone, whether you were on a land line or your cell phone, if you call their cell phone and you didn’t have permission to call their cell phone, yes, you would be in violation of that law as written.”

Even if the bill doesn’t pass, which looks likely, opponents suggest you call the national or state Do Not Call Lists.

You don’t have to wait on the Legislature to get rid of those annoying telemarketing calls. You can also sign up with the state’s Do Not Call List by calling 1-800-HELP-FLA or clicking on www.800helpfla.com.

The state charges $10 to get on their list, or you can sign with the National Do Not Call List at www.donotcall.gov, or by calling 1-888-382-1222.