Political Robocalls Annoying, But Not Illegal

How do the automated call laws work? Here’s an explanation.


Automated political calls are legal to landlines, even if you’re on the national Do Not Call list, says NBC News

That’s because political calls, whether delivered by a live person or a computer, are exempt from the Telemarketing Sales Rule, which is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission.

(Note: some states have their own rules about robocalls that may be stricter than federal regulations.)

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a political call to a landline or a cell phone,” noted Lois Greisman, associate director of the FTC’s division of marketing practices. “We don’t consider those calls to be ‘telemarketing’ because they’re not trying to sell you something.”

That means you can have your telephone number listed on the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry but it won’t stop political calls of any kind. You may not like it, but that’s the law.

Lois Greisman may have misspoke, because the article goes on to note automated calls are illegal to cell phones unless permission was given. Live calls, however, are legal.

We’ve written about this before and have 7 Ideas to Stop Annoying Robocalls.

Stacy Johnson

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