The Federal Trade Commission has new rules about how marketers can place calls. There’s good news, and…if you read carefully…some exceptions that will permit some calls to continue.
Per their press release:
New Rule Prohibiting Unwanted “Robocalls” to Take Effect on September 1
Telemarketers Must Obtain Prior Written Approval from Consumers Who Want to Receive Such Calls
…prerecorded commercial telemarketing calls to consumers – commonly known as robocalls – will be prohibited, unless the telemarketer has obtained permission in writing from consumers who want to receive such calls…
The rule amendments going into effect on September 1 do not prohibit calls that deliver purely “informational” recorded messages – those that notify recipients, for example, that their flight has been cancelled, an appliance they ordered will be delivered at a certain time, or that their child’s school opening is delayed…as long as they do not attempt to interest consumers in the sale of any goods or services…the rule amendments also do not apply to calls concerning collection of debts where the calls do not seek to promote the sale of any goods or services.
In addition, calls not covered…including those from politicians, banks, telephone carriers, and most charitable organizations…The new prohibition on prerecorded messages does not apply to certain healthcare messages…
After September 1, consumers who receive prerecorded telemarketing calls but have not agreed to get them should file a complaint with the Commission, either on the donotcall.gov Web site or by calling 1-888-382-1222. (To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP/1-877-382-4357.)
The Commission’s 2008 press release announcing the changes to the TSR’s prerecorded telemarketing provisions and a link to the related Federal Register notice can be found on the FTC’s Web site at: http://www2.ftc.gov/opa/2008/08/tsr.shtm.