|February 24, 2012|
Previously published on February 22, 2012
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted new rules regarding "robocalls"—those auto-dialed phone calls featuring a pre-recorded voice.
The rules, adopted pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, prohibit telemarketers from making robocalls to any consumer—even a consumer with whom they have an existing business relationship—unless they first obtain the consumer's written consent.
The rules also require that robocalls have an automated, interactive opt-out mechanism so that consumers can revoke consent by pressing a few keys during the call. Robocallers must add consumers who exercise this option to their do-not-call lists.
Although consent must be "written," it can be obtained by electronic means. Further, the new rules do not changing existing rules for those robocalls that are informational, such as automated calls that update consumers on airline flights, provide school notifications, or warn them about fraudulent activity in their bank accounts. The new rules also do not change existing requirements for calls involving charities or political speech.
The FCC's Report and Order maximizes the consistency of its rules with the Federal Trade Commission's analogous Telemarketing Sales Rule, as contemplated by the Do-Not-Call Implementation Act.