The legislation would amend the general business law to allow a person under a wireless telephone service plan to opt-out of a shared service phone plan under certain circumstances upon a written request and documentation related to domestic violence.
Wireless providers currently work with victims of domestic abuse on a case-by-case basis insuring that they can allow victims to cancel their contracts or change numbers. Since 2010, wireless carriers have afforded victims of domestic violence access to anonymous listings or pseudonymous identification without charge.
While The Business Council strongly shares the goal of insuring that victims of domestic violence have the flexibility to modify access to cellular phone service, we have several concerns regarding this bill.
- It may put state law into conflict with federal law. Since federal law prohibits state and local governments from regulating “the entry of or rates charged by any commercial mobile service or any private mobile service” the bill seems to be in conflict with federal law.
- It would contribute to a patchwork of inconsistent state regulations that could inhibit provider’s ability to help consumer due to conflicting state laws.
The wireless industry is already working diligently to address the same issues the legislation is attempting to address. The industry is unaware of any significant complaints from consumers to suggest that its current efforts are not addressing the needs of victims.
For these reasons, we respectfully oppose adoption of S.2436.