Sunday, August 30, 2009

FTC bans robocalls

"The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday banned unsolicited, prerecorded, commercial telemarketing calls - better known as robocalls - just because they are annoying."

"American consumers have made it crystal clear that few things annoy them more than the billions of commercial telemarketing robocalls they receive every year," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said. "Starting September 1, this bombardment of prerecorded pitches, senseless solicitations and malicious marketing will be illegal."

"Telemarketing firms that want to continue to use robocalls must first receive written permission from the person receiving the phone call. Under the previous rule, consumers had to "opt out" of robocalls by joining do-not-call lists."

"In the likely event they don't receive permission, telemarketers face fines up to $16,000 per call."

"The ban does contain some major exceptions. For example, prerecorded messages that aren't trying to sell something still will be permitted."

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