[X]

10
Helpful
Votes

Federal Trade Commission Informative - FTC adds restrictions to telemarketers' prerecorded messages on auto-dialed calls

Review by DebtorBasher on 2008-08-20
The FTC adds additional restrictions to telemarketers' use of prerecorded messages on auto-dialed calls, but the debt collection and banking industries are exempt.

The Federal Trade Commission Tuesday announced that it had approved rule changes in the way telemarketers can use prerecorded messages in making calls with predictive dialers.

The new FTC rules will prevent telemarketers from making prerecorded sales calls unless a consumer explicitly agrees to receive the calls and will require all recorded sales calls to provide an opt-out feature. The opt-out feature must be in place by December 1, 2008.

The new rules are amendments to the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) and do not impact the accounts receivable management industry. The ARM industry, and banks that are seeking debt payments, satisfy the exemption clauses of the TSR, although the new rule does not explicitly exempt collectors. Also exempt from the new rules are political calls and charitable solicitations, and “informational” calls, such as notifications from an airline that a passenger’s flight has been cancelled.

The FTC said it was compelled to change the rules under overwhelming response from consumers to do something about prerecorded telemarketing messages.

"Just like the provisions of the Do Not Call Registry, these changes will protect consumers' privacy," said FTC Chairman William E. Kovacic. "The amendments now directly enable consumers to choose whether they want to receive prerecorded telemarketing calls."

The prerecorded call amendment requires that any prerecorded telemarketing call must:

1) allow the telephone to ring for at least 15 seconds or four rings before an unanswered call is disconnected;
2) begin the prerecorded message within two seconds of a completed greeting by the consumer who answers;
3) disclose at the outset of the call that the recipient may ask to be placed on the company's do-not-call list at any time during the message;
4) in cases where the call is answered by a person, make an automated interactive voice and/or keypress-activated opt-out mechanism available during the message that adds the phone number to the company's do-not-call list and then immediately ends the call;
5) in cases where the call is answered by an answering machine or voicemail, provide a toll-free number that allows the person called to be connected to an automated interactive voice and/or keypress-activated opt-out mechanism anytime after the message is received.

insideARM
August 20, 2008
Comments:9 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-09-08
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-20:
All sounds good, but of course the bad guys won't follow the rules and there will be no enforcement of any of this. VH anyway.
Posted by Principissa on 2008-08-20:
I agree with super. It's a great idea, but the bad ones will figure out a way around it. And the calls will start from dinner until I'm ready to put the kids to bed. Even with the do not call list, they still manage to call here.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-20:
Anyone who uses the opt-out mechanism will simply be telling the telemarketers that a real person answered. The numbers will be sold and traded.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2008-08-20:
PassingBy...it said: in cases where the call is answered by a person, make an automated interactive voice and/or keypress-activated opt-out mechanism available during the message that adds the phone number to the company's do-not-call list and then immediately ends the call;

Yeah, there's always a way around it...but the companies that violated the "Do Not Call List" did have a lot of lawsuits agaisnt them and they had to pay fines....whether or not those fines were enough for the companies to stop, I don't know.
Posted by Slimjim on 2008-08-20:
Like debtor implies, ignore these laws can become a real problem for companies. The FTC doesn't play when it comes to this stuff and although many will continue to violate the statutes, those that get caught are made such an example of, it really should make even the fly-by-night outfits think twice.
Posted by Nohandle on 2008-08-20:
I see they are still up to their same old tricks: Also exempt from the new rules are political calls and charitable solicitations. We had a local election not long ago that got particularly nasty between two candidates. I don't recall getting as many calls in my life. Some were recorded and many not. Aggravation to the final degree. FTC how about making the politicians think twice while you're at it?
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2008-08-20:
I don't think we should be bothered with the political or charitable solicitations as well.. they are just as disturbing as any other calls. People have their own charities they donate to without being hammered on the phone for charities we never even heard of...and with them only being "Volunteers" who knows who they are giving money or credit card info to...??? Let them run a bake sale.
Posted by lorrwill on 2008-08-22:
I am encouraged that the FTC seems to be listening. But I agree the really bad offenders are going to go on their merry way - unfortunately - just like the junk faxers.
Posted by losmith on 2008-09-08:
This is a good move if a long time coming. I'm so tired of getting robot calls - at work! - telling me that my auto warranty is about to expire. I don't even own a car.

I wish they had stipulated that the opt-out part of the message came within the first 30 or 60 seconds. Typically to opt out you have to sit through the entire recording because naturally they put it at the end.

Your Name:
(displayed with your comment)
Your E-mail:
(required)

Your Experience/Advice:
Check spelling


By clicking submit you agree that you have read and accept the Terms of Service & Privacy Policy.


Note: All comments are reviewed by a moderator before being published. Please be sure to read our guidelines before commenting.