New FCC rules protect you from telemarketing robocalls

Consumer Reports News: February 16, 2012 12:38 PM

If you want to receive annoying robocalls from telemarketers you will have to opt in. Federal Communications Commission rules now require that telemarketers get your consent before dialing your number.

In addition, telemarketers will also have to obtain consent even if they had previously "done business with" the consumer on the receiving end of a call. And telemarketers will have to provide a way for consumers to change their mind about receiving such calls and opt out while the call is in process.

The FCC said that the changes do not apply to informational calls, "such as calls by or on behalf of tax-exempt non-profit organizations, calls for political purposes, and calls for other noncommercial purposes," such as school closings.

Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, supports the new FCC regulations.

Parul Desai, policy counsel for Consumers Union, said:

While there have been rules to help consumers avoid unwanted calls, some companies continue to call them. The FCC's action helps close loopholes and gives consumers better tools and protections.

The Federal Trade Commission and the FCC had previously established rules to try and limit telemarketing calls, but the FCC told news outlets that more restrictions were necessary because "too many telemarketers, aided by autodialers and prerecorded messages, have continued to call consumers."

FTC pursues telemarketers making illegal 'robocalls' to consumers on Do Not Call list
National do-not-call list hits nearly 210 million phone numbers

FCC Strengthens Consumer Protections Against Telemarketing Robocalls [FCC]
FCC adopts new rules against 'robocalls' [Associated Press]

Maggie Shader

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