By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s happened to all of us, you’re just about to sit down for dinner and the telephone rings. On the other end of the line is a telemarketer. Today the government unveiled new rules to restrict some of those pesky calls. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan joins us with details.
Currently 209 million phone numbers are on The National Do-Not Call Registry, but some of those annoying calls still get through. So new rules have been designed to limit everything from automated text messages to automatically dialed or pre-recorded calls known as robocalls, and the includes even calls to your cell phone.
The new FCC rules require that telemarketers receive a customers’ written permission to make automated calls, even companies that have existing relationships with it’s customers, such as banks. Telemarketers will also have to give you the choice of opting out of future calls during a robocall. If you opt out, the company can not legally call your number again. There are a few exceptions though. For example informational calls such those related to school closings and airline flight cancellations will be allowed. Finally, dead air calls would also be limited. Dead air calls are those calls where you hear silence while waiting for an telemarketing operator to speak.
These new rules will apply to automated or robocalls only. The new rules do not apply to calls made where a real live telemarketer has dialed your phone number. As I’ve mentioned in the past, your best line of defense against telemarketers is to be sure you’re on The National Do Not Call List. To sign up visit: https://www.donotcall.gov/