Law in Popular Culture
‘Seinfeld’ episode inspired new telemarketing law in New Jersey
The cast of Seinfeld is seen in a 1997 photo. From left: Jason Alexander, Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards. Photo from Shutterstock
Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill last week that that requires telemarketers to provide a callback number and to identify themselves and whom they represent within 30 seconds.
In the episode, Seinfeld tells a telemarketer who called him that he is busy, but he can call back if the telemarketer provides a home number. The telemarketer says that’s not allowed.
“Oh, I guess you don’t want people calling you at home,” Seinfeld says. “Well, now you know how I feel.”
The bill also bars telemarketing calls between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.
Forty-eight states, meanwhile, are trying to prevent robocalls made to phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry by filing a lawsuit against an Arizona-based company accused of facilitating the illegal calls.