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3-On Your Side: New Telemarketing Rules

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:

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One Comment

  1. C A Spencer says:

    I am a telemarketer unfortunatley. I don’t like these calls my self. If some one tells me that they are on the do not call list, I tell them I will put them on ours, companies, also. I do put them on it.l I don’t lie to people. I know how it feels. On the other hand the telemarketers are doing a job, it might be the only job they can find now, try to be patient with them understand why they are doing it.

  2. Chuck says:

    “Telemarketers will also have to give you the choice of opting out of future calls during a robocall.”

    It is a violation of our civil rights that we have to opt out because what happens is a telemarketer calls and when I try to get their name to report them, they hang up. If we have rights then we would have to opt in to get telemarketer calls but the fact is that our representatives are on the side of telemarketers and companies that give contributions in the form of bribes to let this happen.

    I have so many calls where the telemarketer has called my cell phone, disguised his number and calls me several times a day. The phone company says that the caller doesn’t have to display his real number.

    If the viewers want their rights, they should start sueing the telemarketers for harassment because our representatives in congress aren’t protecting the consumers.

  3. George says:

    All they will do is move overseas out of US jurisdiction

  4. Chuckt says:

    I already called my state senator and their office said that it is legal for telemarketers to call you and they don’t have jurisdiction to go after telemarketers. The state attorney general stopped taking or responding to my complaints and the FCC people did the same. The do not call list is a phonebook for telemarketers.

    The funny thing is that the state wants to collect sales tax on items bought over the internet so if my state doesn’t have jurisdiction to fight telemarketer calls then I’d rather pay my sales tax to another state bcause if they don’t have jurisdiction then you can’t have it both ways.

    1. jimdonovancbs3 says:

      Chuck – Federal law regulates telemarketers, not state law. The FCC can and has gone after telemarketers who violate terms of the Do Not Call law. However consumers can sue telemarketers in small claims court who violate the provisions of the law. I’ve done several stories about that and have interviewed several people who have done that. In regards to your state senators office saying that it is legal for telemarkers to call you. That is wrong. Prior to this change in regulation the only exemptions from the law were for calls from charitable organizations, political campaigning and companies with which you have a current business relationship.

  5. grumpy says:

    Election time is upon us. How about eliminating those as well?

Comments are closed.

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