More restrictions were placed this week on businesses that use automated dialing techniques. It's not an end to telemarketing, but it does require clearer consent.
The Federal Communications Commission has given consumers more power to fight back against annoying telemarketers.
New rules took effect on Wednesday that make it harder for telemarketers to bug you without clear permission. The rules apply to robocalls made to land lines and autodialed calls and texts to cellphones. Automated calls from nonprofits, schools and political campaigns are exempt.
Basically, the rules say:
- Verbal consent doesn’t count. The new rules require businesses to get your “prior express written consent,” which can be made through an Internet form, an email or a text message, The Hill says. Calls that are manually placed by a real person are exempt from the written consent rule.
- Consumers should now be able to opt out at any point in a call, even if they’ve already given consent, InternetRetailer.com says. The site, which caters to e-commerce companies, tells them, “Make sure that each call or text message contains information telling the consumer how to opt out.”
- An exemption that allowed businesses you’ve had prior dealings with to skip getting consent for robocalls has been removed.
Still getting annoying calls? Our “7 Tips to Stop Annoying Robocalls” might help with that.