New FCC Rules Require Telemarketers Get Your Written Permission to Call

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    NEWSLETTERS

    On October 16, 2013 a nw law took effect that requires written consent before a telemarketer can call your home. (Published Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013)

    The Federal Communications Commission’s new rule that requires telemarketers get permission to call or text solicitations went into effect Wednesday.

    Originally passed in 1991, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) gives the FCC authority to issue telemarketing rules and regulations.

    Changes to the rule went into effect Oct. 16. The changes require prior express consent for telemarketers to contact a consumer, and eliminated the prior “established business relationship” exemption between a business and a consumer.

    Companies that sold something to a consumer before were free to keep calling based on old regulations.

    An exception is still granted for calls that are placed manually without a pre-recorded message.

    Dallas communication attorney Bob Miller with the Gardere law firm is a former attorney for the FCC.

    “I’m on a do not call list, my wife and I are and we still tend to get calls,” Miller said.

    Miller consults companies about how to comply with the tougher new rules.

    “They’re going to have to conduct themselves to make sure that there are procedures in place, either on their website or in texting,” Miller said.

    Miller said large class action lawsuits against big companies involved in large scale “robo-call” computerized solicitation helped spur the new FCC limitations. Miller does not believe it will end telemarketing.

    “If a lot of people put the kibosh on it and say I don’t want to do it, then maybe the effectiveness will go away and they will reduce their telemarketing or they may do away with it all together. We’ll have to see how the market reacts,” Miller said.

    Violations carry fines of up to $1,500 per call.

    The FCC will enforce the new rules, but the agency was closed Wednesday due to the government shutdown.

    The Federal Trade Commission tracks violations of “Do Not Call” lists, which are also supposed to keep marketers from placing unwanted calls.

    The FTC was also closed because of the shutdown.

    FTC and FCC representatives were not available Wednesday.

    Here’s a complete list of the TCPA changes from New York law firm Klein, Moynihan, Turco LLP.