The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released a Report and Order revising its rules regarding autodialed or prerecorded telemarketing calls, also known as “ robocalls”. The FCC has taken this action to protect consumers from unwanted calls pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991.

According to the FCC the new rules protect consumers by:

  • Requiring telemarketers to obtain prior express written consent from them, including by electronic means such as a website form, before placing a robocall to a consumer;
  • Eliminating the “established business relationship” exemption to the requirement that telemarketing robocalls to residential wireline phones occur only with prior express consent from the consumer;
  • Requiring telemarketers to provide an automated, interactive “opt-out” mechanism during each robocall so that consumers can immediately tell the telemarketer to stop calling; and,
  • Strictly limiting the number of abandoned or ‘dead air’ calls that telemarketers can make within each calling campaign.

The new rules do not change the requirements for certain prerecorded messages that are non-telemarketing, informational, calls for political purposes, and calls for other non commercial purposes to include calls for informational purposes such as school closings.

More information and a copy of the Order can be found here.