FTC to ban most telemarketing ‘robocalls’ Sept. 1

By | August 28, 2009

robotsMany of those annoying prerecorded telemarketing calls will be history starting Sept. 1.

The Federal Trade Commission said Thursday that it is banning these “robocalls” to consumers, unless the telemarketer has written permission from a customer that he or she wants to receive these calls.

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said American consumers have made it “crystal clear that few things annoy them more than the billions of commercial telemarketing robocalls they receive every year.”

Violaters will face penalties of up to $16,000 per call.

The ban is part of the amendments to the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule unveiled a year ago.

But there are exceptions. Calls that are not trying to sell goods and services to consumers will be exempt, such as those that provide information like flight cancellations and delivery notices and those from debt collectors.

Other calls not covered by the Telemarketing Sales Rule include those from politicians, charities that contact consumers directly, banks, insurers, phone companies, survey calls and certain health care messages such as prescription notifications. These don’t fall under the jurisdiction of the FTC, a commission spokesman said.

Before the ban, consumers had to specifically join a do-not-call list to avoid prerecorded telemarketing calls. But after Sept. 1, consumers shouldn’t get most of these calls anymore. If they do get one, they can file a complaint with the commission online through FTC.gov or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.

via The Associated Press: FTC to ban most telemarketing ‘robocalls’ Sept. 1.

I rarely get these calls, but when I do, it seemed almost impossible to get them to stop calling. I usually say, “Yes, I’m very interested, please hold on a minute…” then put the phone down.

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