Call Center News 2/16/12

FCC approves new limits on automated telemarketing calls


The Federal Communications Commission approved new rules Wednesday to further limit automatically dialed or prerecorded calls know as “robocalls” and automated text messages.

The FCC’s rules go beyond Federal Trade Commission rules that have been in force since 2008.

“Too many telemarketers, aided by autodialers and prerecorded messages, have continued to call consumers who don’t want to hear from them,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in a statement read at the meeting. These new overlapping rules seek to close loopholes in the existing regulations.

Under the new requirements, telemarketers will have to get permission in writing before placing an automated call to a consumer. Previously, companies that had an established business relationship with a particular consumer could call them without permission. For example, another FCC official not authorized to speak publicly explained, a bank could robocall one of its checking account customers to try to sell them insurance. The new rules prohibit that without written permission.

Information calls, such as school closing information and flight cancellations, are an exception. They can be made to land-line phones without written permission. Text messages and calls to cell phones are subject to stricter rules.

“Any type of phone call or text to a wireless device needs written consent,” the FCC official added.


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