FTC Writes New Rules for Telemarketers
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Thread: FTC Writes New Rules for Telemarketers

  1. #1
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    FTC Writes New Rules for Telemarketers

    haha, i dont know about you guys but this sounds pretty good to me


    By Andy Sullivan

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced new rules on Wednesday that will help consumers to curb telemarketing calls, but told consumers to "be patient" as it seeks approval from Congress.


    The FTC said it will set up a "do not call" list of households that do not wish to receive sales calls, and impose new restrictions on automatic-dialing technologies that hang up on consumers or place them on hold when they answer the phone.


    Telemarketers who ignore the new rules will face fines of $11,000 per violation.


    The operation will be funded by fees imposed on telemarketers, but the FTC will have to wrangle $16 million in start-up funds from Congress, as well as the authority to impose the fees.


    FTC Chairman Timothy Muris said the measure enjoyed "strong" support in Congress and predicted it would win approval by the spring. Several lawmakers offered their support as well.


    If all goes as planned, the list could be up and running by the fall, Muris said.


    "I know many consumers have been waiting eagerly," Muris said. "I want to thank them for their interest and ask them to be patient for a few more months. The fact is, help is on the way," he said.


    Telemarketing groups said they would fight the measure, and sources said telemarketers were collecting funds for a legal challenge.


    Consumers will be able to sign up for the list over the phone or through a Web site, said FTC staff attorney Katie Harrington-McBride, and telemarketers will be required to check the list every three months.


    WON'T STOP ALL CALLS

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    By Andy Sullivan

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced new rules on Wednesday that will help consumers to curb telemarketing calls, but told consumers to "be patient" as it seeks approval from Congress.


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    The FTC said it will set up a "do not call" list of households that do not wish to receive sales calls, and impose new restrictions on automatic-dialing technologies that hang up on consumers or place them on hold when they answer the phone.


    Telemarketers who ignore the new rules will face fines of $11,000 per violation.


    The operation will be funded by fees imposed on telemarketers, but the FTC will have to wrangle $16 million in start-up funds from Congress, as well as the authority to impose the fees.


    FTC Chairman Timothy Muris said the measure enjoyed "strong" support in Congress and predicted it would win approval by the spring. Several lawmakers offered their support as well.


    If all goes as planned, the list could be up and running by the fall, Muris said.


    "I know many consumers have been waiting eagerly," Muris said. "I want to thank them for their interest and ask them to be patient for a few more months. The fact is, help is on the way," he said.


    Telemarketing groups said they would fight the measure, and sources said telemarketers were collecting funds for a legal challenge.


    Consumers will be able to sign up for the list over the phone or through a Web site, said FTC staff attorney Katie Harrington-McBride, and telemarketers will be required to check the list every three months.


    WON'T STOP ALL CALLS



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    The list will not stop all sales calls into the home. Nonprofit and political groups would be free to ignore the do-not-call list, though they will have to honor requests not to be called back.


    Companies would be allowed to call existing customers, or those with whom it had previously established contact, for a limited time.


    Some of the biggest telemarketers, such as banks and telephone companies, fall outside of the FTC's authority. But they will likely have to abide by the FTC rules as they commonly employ independent telemarketing firms to do their calling, Muris said.


    The Federal Communications Commission (news - web sites), which regulates these industries, is considering a do-not-call list of its own.


    The telemarketing industry has thrived over the past decade, thanks in part to plunging long-distance rates and automated dialers that allow sales representatives to reach many more customers.


    Telemarketers now place between 100 million and 650 million calls daily, according to various estimates.


    The Direct Marketing Association said the industry took in $296 billion in sales last year -- a claim disputed by privacy advocate Richard M. Smith, who pointed out that it would average out to $1,000 for each U.S. citizen.


    Consumer complaints have soared along with the increasing call volumes. The FTC took in 64,000 comments when it proposed the rule last year, its most ever.

    COMPATIBILITY WITH STATE LISTS

    Twenty-seven states already have do-not-call lists, and the FTC is working to make them compatible with the national list, Harrington-McBride said.

    Telemarketers will be required to reveal their phone numbers on caller-ID systems, and hang-up calls will be out of bounds as well, Harrington-McBride said.

    Telemarketers who use automatic dialers will be required to abandon no more than 3 percent of their calls, and disclose who they are if a consumer is placed on hold for more than 2 seconds, she said.

    The new rules also include anti-fraud measures to cut down on unauthorized billing. Telemarketers will not be allowed to swap unencrypted credit-card numbers, and would have to get the customer's explicit, affirmative consent before placing any charges.

    Muris said the agency would ask congressional budget authorities to give them a $16 million advance to fund the list's operation until payments from telemarketers start rolling in.

    The FTC has yet to determine how much it will charge telemarketers to access the list, but Muris said it would be less than $10,000.

    A spokesman for Louisiana Republican Rep. Billy Tauzin, whose House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee oversees the FTC, said he supported the proposal. One of the committee's top Democrats offered praise as well.

    "Knowing that you'll be able to put your home or cell phone on a do-not-call list is one of the best holiday gifts the government could announce this year," said Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey.

  2. #2
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    "Do-not-call" lists are a scam. The only right way to do it is
    to have a list of people who have explicitly allowed
    telemarketers to harass them. Everyone else should be left alone
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  3. #3
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    Originally posted here by rcgreen
    "Do-not-call" lists are a scam. The only right way to do it is
    to have a list of people who have explicitly allowed
    telemarketers to harass them. Everyone else should be left alone
    Although I think that is the better path I don't think thats the direction the govn't will go. I'd be more then willing to try it I get enough recorded messages and hang-ups.

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  4. #4
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    Thumbs up

    If all of this is true, I am for it. I am getting telemarketers calling my cell phone now, and it is pissing me off.

    Here is a URL that the gov't is putting together to register the "DO NOT CALL LIST"

    www.ftc.gov/donotcall

  5. #5
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    How could they enforce something like this?
    When you look at caller id, it is either blocked or an error shows up.

    If more than one person of the household has their name on their call list, they could call back for a different person. Unless they did it by phone number.

    Anyhow, what would stop me from saying... "I was put on your do not call list, and yet I am still recieving calls." Is the FTC is going to track down every record for every call/complaint that they recieve? I don't think so... that would be a huge waste in .gov resources. Though they are pretty good at wasting resources.

    I'll believe it when I see it. Rather hear it.
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