Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina recently settled with the North Carolina Attorney General regarding the AG’s allegations that BCBS violated the state’s law when it obtained North Carolina residents’ contact information from a registered voter database and contacted residents using auto-dialing technology and pre-recorded messages in connection with a campaign to raise public awareness regarding the health care debate. Under state law, the use of automatic dialing technology and pre-recorded messages to make unsolicited calls to state residents’ personal phone numbers is prohibited. The settlement agreement requires BCBS to pay $95,000, requires BCBS to comply with state telemarketing laws, including BCBS establishing and implementing written policies to ensure compliance with state telemarketing laws.

TIP: In addition to federal laws and regulations regarding unsolicited telephone calls made to consumers, the majority of states have similar if not more restrictive laws concerning such calls. Companies looking to make unsolicited calls to consumers, whether for marketing or sales purposes or for other purposes, should ensure that they are in compliance with both state and federal law.