BBB advises consumers to be aware of prerecorded commercial telemarketing calls - prohibited starting Sept. 1
Saint Paul, Minnesota - August 31, 2009 - The Federal Trade Commission has announced that prerecorded commercial telemarketing calls to consumers - known as robocalls - will be prohibited beginning Tuesday, September 1, 2009, unless the telemarke...
Saint Paul, Minnesota - August 31, 2009 - The Federal Trade Commission has announced that prerecorded commercial telemarketing calls to consumers - known as robocalls - will be prohibited beginning Tuesday, September 1, 2009, unless the telemarketer has obtained permission in writing from consumers who want to receive such calls.
The new requirement is part of amendments to the agency's Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) that were announced a year ago. After September 1, sellers and telemarketers who transmit prerecorded messages to consumers who have not agreed in writing to accept such messages will face penalties of up to $16,000.00 per call.
The rule amendments going into effect do not prohibit calls that deliver purely informational recorded messages - for example, those that notify recipients that their flight has been delayed. Such calls, as long as they do not attempt to interest customers in the sale of any goods or services, are not covered by the Telemarketing Sales Rule. 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.
Calls not covered previously by the TSR - including those from politicians, banks, telephone carriers and most charitable organizations - are not covered by the new prohibition. The new prohibition also does not apply to certain healthcare messages. The new rule does, however, prohibit telemarketing robocalls to consumers whether or not they previously have done business with the seller.
After September 1, consumers who receive prerecorded telemarketing calls but have not agreed to get them should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, either on the donotcall.gov Web site or by calling 1-888-382-1222.
The mission of the Better Business Bureau is to promote through self-regulation, the highest standards of business ethics and conduct; and to instill public confidence in responsible businesses through programs of education and action that inform, protect and assist the public. Contact the BBB at www.thefirstbbb.org or 651-699-1111, toll-free at 1-800-646-6222.