TRENTON – A bill that would prevent the transmission of unsolicited advertisements if it incurs a fee for the recipient cleared the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee this morning.
A1218, whose prime sponsors include Paul Moriarty, (D-4), Turnersville; Jon Bramnick, (R-21), Westfield; and Ruben Ramos Jr., (D-33), Hoboken, addresses a facet of the 21st-century telecommunications age that bedevils consumers: being forced to pay for something they don’t want. The bill cleared the panel unanimously.
Under this bill, the recipient’s permission would be needed before sending advertisements, and companies would be required to offer to customers an option to block all text messages. Telecommunications companies still would be allowed to transmit account information to a customer so long as a fee is not incurred.
This bill, in different forms and with different sponsors between the two chambers, dates back to 2004, has passed the Assembly more than once, but always has hit a brick wall in the Senate.
Sen. Jeff Van Drew, (D-1), Dennis Township, has sponsored a companion bill this session in the upper chamber.
Moriarty said more than 4 billion unsolicited text messages a year are being sent out and he used as one example text ads that when responded to by a consumer actually divert the consumer to a web site that is “fishing’’ for information about the person.