Pre-recorded telemarketing calls have been practically banned per the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) new restrictions. They have been quite popular in recent years and have been widely thought of as an inexpensive and more efficient way for marketers to reach their target market as much and as often as they desire. Pre-recorded sales messaging systems, or voice broadcasting systems as they are often times referred, have allowed solicitors to reach thousands of prospects cheaply and efficiently thus generating a numerous amount of sales leads in a relatively small period of time and at a low cost. Unfortunately, however, the party looks to be coming to an end.
The FTC’s new do not call compliance laws and restrictions levied against pre-recorded solicitation messages went into effect on September 1, 2009, and ban these “robocalls” to consumers, unless the telemarketer has obtained written consent from every customer on it’s call list that he or she wants to receive these types of calls.¬† Telemarketers face fines of up to $16,000 per violation.
Unless a seller has obtained signed expressed written consent from the consumer that explicitly gives the seller the right to call the consumer using pre-recorded telemarketing calls, then the seller cannot use pre-recorded telemarketing calls to solicit to the consumer. This is also irrespective of whether or not the seller has an established business relationship with the consumer or not. Otherwise, the only other scenario in which pre-recorded messages can be legally transmitted to a consumer under the do not call compliance laws is in the case of purely informational messages; for example, an airline calling a consumer to inform them that their flight was cancelled or a consumer‚Äôs pharmacy using a pre-recorded message to call the consumer to letting them know that their prescription is ready for pick up.
It will be interesting to see what short and long-term effect this new FTC ruling will have on call centers and voice broadcasting companies both here and abroad.