After Sept. 1, 2009, sellers and telemarketers who transmit prerecorded robocalls messages to consumers who have not agreed in writing to accept such messages will face penalties up to $16,000 per call.
Not all Robocalls are Prohibited
Automated calls NOT prohibited after Sept. 1, 2009 include:
- Calls that deliver purely "informational" messages. For example, calls that inform consumers that their airline flight has been canceled, that their order to a store has arrived, or that their child's school opening had been delayed
- Debt collection calls that do not seek to promote the sale of any goods or services
- Calls from politicians, banks, telephone carriers, and most charitable organizations, and certain health care messages
Opt-out Method Required
Since Dec. 1, 2008, telemarketing robocall messages by businesses covered by the TSR must tell consumers how to opt-out of further calls at the start of the message, and provide an automated opt-out mechanism that is voice or keypress-activated. Prerecorded messages left on answering machines must also provide a toll-free number that connects to the automated opt-out mechanism.
How to Turn in Robocall Violators
After Sept. 1, 2009, consumers who receive non-allowed prerecorded telemarketing calls but have not agreed to get them should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, either online via the ftc.gov Web site or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.
- How To File a Telemarketing Complaint
Learn how to file a complaint regarding any potential violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule.