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State: Consumers have rights to stop solicitations after joining loyalty programs

State officials Thursday urged the public to know their rights to stop unwanted solicitations after joining company loyalty programs.

"Consumers complain about phone calls from companies and sometimes these calls are legal — because the consumer ‘signed up’ when they started the loyalty program," Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, who oversees the state’s Division of Consumer Protection, said in a statement Thursday. "Consumers need to know the law empowers them to stop these unwanted communications."

Officials said loyalty programs are offered through point systems on credit cards, a tiered-incentive system from airlines, or paid programs such as Amazon Prime or other subscription memberships.

Consumers should be aware of certain moves they can make to protect themselves before signing up for loyalty programs, authorities said.

They include:

  • Asking about automatic phone opt-outs, including searching for the company website and calling its loyalty program to state the consumer no longer wants to receive emails or texts.
  • Company marketing emails require opt-out options under federal law; find the company link and seek its unsubscribe options.
  • Go to the company’s website and find how to opt-out of text solicitations.
  • Closing out loyalty programs they no longer use and request the company remove personal information.

State officials said its Division of Consumer Protection enforces strictly enforces do not call violations. The Consumer Assistance Helpline is 800-697-1220 which is checked Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Consumer complaints can be filed at www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection.

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