The Business Council opposes S.2440/A.5794 which would mandate that all telephone, cable television, wireless and internet service providers allow their customers the option to designate a third party to receive copies of their bills as well as any past due collection or termination notices.
Under current statute, the public service law requires only landline telephone companies to provide third party about the suspension or termination of a service. This bill not only seeks to expand the current notification requirement to all telephone, cable television, wireless and internet service providers but it also mandates the notification requirement includes giving the third party designee an actual copy of the bill and collection notice. This regulatory expansion raises many privacy concerns for both the effected companies and their customers. In addition, these privacy violations could subject the companies to expensive litigation.
Many telephone and cable companies already voluntarily offer third party notification services in way that meets both company and the customer needs. The additional government regulated mandate this bill would impose is costly and unnecessary. Telephone and cable companies will be forced to implement expensive changes to their billing systems that will end up hurting both the company and the customer.
New York should be going in the opposite direction and looking at ways to either eliminate or streamline existing regulations in statute with the goal of allowing telephone and cable companies to focus their efforts on delivering the services and billing options their customers’ desire.
For these reasons, The Business Council respectfully urges you to oppose this legislation.