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Legislative Memo

Darren Suarez
Director of Government Affairs
T 518.465.7511
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

A.175 (Cahill) /S.75 (Peralta)

Support

SUBJECT:

Telephone Corporation Call Centers

 

DATE:

May 11, 2012

 

The Business Council strongly opposes this legislation, which would require telecommunications corporations to provide certain call center services to customers from centers located within their respective in-state service territories.

This bill is based on the specious argument that call center services provided from a location within a specific geographic region somehow provide a greater level of responsiveness and sensitivity to customer concerns and questions. Most of the specific services listed in the bill are done electronically (such as determining customer financial responsibility, determining required deposit or billing rates, preparing service orders, investigating high bills and credit arrangements).

The physical location of the call center has no bearing on the timeliness and responsiveness of addressing customer concerns.

This protectionist legislation is inappropriate in today’s telecommunication marketplace. For example, by increasing the costs of local businesses such as Verizon, and by encouraging retaliatory measures from other states, the bill would harm, rather than protect the legitimate economic interests of the State. 

Moreover, as the Governor recognized in vetoing similar legislation in 2008, the bill is manifestly unconstitutional by discriminating against out of state businesses in violation of the Commerce Clause.

A.175/S.75 flies in the face of the restructured, competitive premise of New York’s telecommunications industry and would increase costs to consumers by restricting companies from efficiently managing the costs associated with the operation of their call centers.

The Business Council strongly opposes measures such as A.175/S.75 which place unreasonable limits on business activity and for these reasons, we urge you to oppose this legislation