The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced an amendment to its Telemarketing Sales Rule that will ban robocalls beginning on September 1, 2009. Robocalls, which have plagued consumers in recent months, are prerecorded telephone calls used for marketing purposes and have been used to sell everything from auto warranties to credit repair services. Consumers claimed to have received multiple calls a day despite being on the National Do Not Call Registry.
Companies will no longer be able to utilize these robocalls without obtaining written permission from consumers. Telemarketers who continue to place these calls after September 1st may receive penalties of up to $16,000 per call.
The new rule applies only to calls that attempt to solicit consumers to sign up for a service or purchase a product. It does not apply to informational messages, debt collection, healthcare messages, or calls from politicians, banks, telephone carriers, and charitable organizations.
For more information on this new amendment, please visit the FTC’s website at www.ftc.gov and read the press release at http://ftc.gov/opa/2009/08/robocalls.shtm. Consumers can register for the Do Not Call Registry at https://www.donotcall.gov/.