• Khoan Nguyen

Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) Amendments

Updated: Aug 21, 2019

On August 19, 2008 The FTC announced two amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).

1. One expressly bars telemarketing calls that deliver prerecorded messages, unless a consumer previously has agreed to accept such calls from the seller.

2. The other related technical amendment modifies the TSR's method of calculating the maximum permissible level of "call abandonment."

The New TSR Amendments

Specifically, the TSR amendments adopted by the Commission:

  • Expressly prohibit telemarketing sales calls that deliver prerecorded messages, whether answered in person by a consumer or by an answering machine or voicemail service, unless the seller has previously obtained the recipient's signed, written agreement to receive such calls;Permit sellers to obtain the required permission for prerecorded message sales calls from a consumerin any manner permitted by the Electronic Signatures In Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN Act);

  • Exempt healthcare-related prerecorded message calls that are subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) from the prohibition on telemarketing calls that deliver prerecorded messages;

  • Exempt from the written agreement requirement all charitable solicitation calls placed by for-profit telemarketers (telefunders) that deliver prerecorded messages on behalf of non-profits to members of, or previous donors to, the nonprofit, but require that such calls include a prompt keypress or voice-activated opt-out mechanism;

  • Require that, by December 1, 2008, sellers and telemarketers provide, at the outset of all prerecorded messages, an automated keypress or voice-activated interactive opt-out mechanism so that consumers can opt out as easily as they can from a live telemarketing call;

  • End the FTC's current policy of forbearing from bringing enforcement actions against sellers and telemarketers who place prerecorded calls that meet certain specified conditions that would be inconsistent with the new requirements; but

  • Permit sellers, as under the forbearance policy, to continue for one year after the rule's publication to place calls delivering prerecorded messages to consumers with whom they have an established business relationship, after which no prerecorded message calls can be made to consumers without their express permission.

If you would like some assistance in understanding and implementing the changes required by the Telemarketing Sales Rule please contact Primas Today at 888-477-4627.

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