FTC AMENDS TELEMARKETING SALES RULE PROVISIONS ON PRERECORDED TELEMARKETING CALLS
The Federal Trade Commission has decided to adopt, with several modifications suggested by public comments, two proposed amendments to its Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) published for public comment on October 4, 2006.
The first amendment will regulate prerecorded telemarketing calls in two stages by (i) requiring an automated interactive keypress or voice-activated opt-out mechanism beginning December 1, 2008 and (ii) prohibiting prerecorded telemarketing calls without a consumer’s express written agreement to receive such calls beginning September 1, 2009. In addition, as of December 1, 2008, the Commission no longer will recognize a safe harbor for prerecorded message calls to consumers with whom the seller or telemarketer has an established business relationship (EBR). However, the Commission has announced a temporary safe harbor allowing sellers and telemarketers to continue placing prerecorded message calls to consumers with whom they have an EBR in compliance with the new automated interactive keypress or voice-activated opt-out mechanism requirement until September 1, 2009. As of September 1, 2009, calls that deliver prerecorded messages may be placed only to consumers who have given prior express written agreement to receive such calls.
The second amendment changes the method for measuring the maximum call abandonment rate prescribed by the TSR’s call abandonment safe harbor. The new method will permit sellers and telemarketers to calculate call abandonment rates for a calling campaign over a 30-day period, or any part thereof. This amendment will take effect on October 1, 2008.