FCC Adopts Rules to Protect Consumers from Telemarketing 'Robocalls'

do not call registry list
Image: Pixabay

To further protect consumers from unwanted autodialed or prerecorded calls, often referred to as "robocalls," the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved changes to its telemarketing rules. Unwanted telemarketing calls and texts were consistently in the top three consumer complaint categories at the FCC in 2011. Robocalls invade consumers' privacy, and can, in the case of calls to wireless numbers, use up their minutes.

The Order helps put an end to these intrusions by empowering consumers with increased rights under the FCC's telemarketing rules. The new rules reduce regulatory uncertainty with minimal burden on industry and maximize consistency with those of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Specifically, the rules protect consumers by:

  • Requiring telemarketers to obtain prior express written consent from them, including by electronic means such as a website form, before placing a robocall to a consumer;
  • Eliminating the "established business relationship" exemption to the requirement that telemarketing robocalls to residential wireline phones occur only with prior express consent from the consumer;
  • Requiring telemarketers to provide an automated, interactive "opt-out" mechanism during each robocall so that consumers can immediately tell the telemarketer to stop calling; and
  • Strictly limiting the number of abandoned or "dead air" calls that telemarketers can make within each calling campaign.

The rules also ensure that informational calls, such as those related to school closings and flight changes, continue to be available to consumers who wish to receive them.

Get Connected with Consumer Connections

Stay up-to-date about issues that really matter! Get the Consumer Connections newsletter!

We're committed to providing you with information you need to make you a better, more informed consumer. Whether it's a vehicle recall, a product recall, or a new scam, we feature it in Consumer Connections.

So why not give it a try? Go on. All of your friends are doing it. It's completely free and comes just once a week.

So you're finally ready to trade in your current car for a new one! Congratulations on such an important step. If you've never bought a new car before, you may know nothing about the process. To begin with, there are a number of things you should do to get ready to buy the car before you ever step on the dealership lot.

Have you ever noticed that your bank account somehow had 'extra' money in it even though you knew for a fact it wasn't yours? If so, you are not alone. It happens more often than you would think. All it takes is for a bank teller to type in one wrong number at the time a deposit is being made.

Great rates do exist. But even if you are offered a low interest car loan, you can probably save more money by accepting a slightly higher rate and using rebates or other incentives or by getting your own financing and taking the rebates and incentives.

Many people feel like they just can't get ahead when it comes to money. What you may not know is that saving during tax season can start you on the path to financial security. We urge you to take advantage of tax season to prepare for unexpected emergencies or plan for the future. Here are some tips to help get started.