FTC Requires Opt-Out for Prerecorded Calls


Today (Dec. 1) the FTC announced that all prerecorded telemarketing messages must have an easy way for consumers to opt-out of future calls. Currently prerecorded calls are legal only in certain limited circumstances--like if the caller represents a charity or has an "established business relationship" with the individual.

Now these prerecorded calls must provide consumers with a way to opt-out, and the FTC has outlined specific guidelines telemarketers must adhere to.

Here is an excerpt from the FTC's News Release:

"Under Do Not Call amendments adopted in August, effective today, any permitted prerecorded message must provide the called consumer with an interactive means to opt out of receiving future calls from the seller or fundraiser using the prerecorded message. Moreover, the consumer must be able to opt out at any time while the message is playing by pressing a particular number or speaking a particular word. Once the consumer has opted out, his or her phone number must be automatically added to the in-house Do Not Call list of the calling seller or fundraiser. Then the call immediately must be disconnected so that the consumer's line is cleared."

However, as always, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Political calls, market survey calls, calls made in-house by banks or telephone companies, and healthcare messages covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), are all exempt from this requirement.

The FTC also revealed that in September 2009 prerecorded calls will be regulated even further, as these messages will only be permissible in "calls to consumers who have expressly agreed to receive them."

From today forward, if you receive prerecorded calls violating these terms make sure to file a complaint with the FTC!

6 Comments RSS

jackalope | December 3, 2008 9:45 AM | Reply

I just received a robo call calling my attention to "expiring credit card services." I am on "Do Not Call List." Caller did not comply with new FCC requirements about offering an op-out procedure. Caller did not comply with old FCC requirements about identifying firm, etc. There was absolutely no record of the call left on my caller ID: no number, no info., nothing. Does this indicate that the carrier is cooperating with the telemarketer?

jim e | December 9, 2008 9:19 PM | Reply

why bother the FCC, fed gov, local law or teleco?
they won't do diddly-squat......
US Pharmacy has been harrassing us for years.......

Jon Daley | December 20, 2008 2:50 PM | Reply

Yeah, I've filed numerous complaints with my state and federal do not call folks. They sometimes do actually follow up on it, but they never actually get anything done. Just another government waste of money.

My solution is to run my own VOIP server, and then I can blacklist numbers, screen calls marked private, etc. so my phone doesn't even ring until they jump through some hoops.

Charge Controller | January 3, 2009 9:09 AM | Reply

I really appreciate this site. I have been at a loss about what to do with these calls I get about my vehicle warranty about to expire. The phone company doesn't care because they're making money off my minutes. I get upwards of 4 calls a week.

Kathy | January 20, 2009 6:48 PM | Reply


I ratted out Residential Lending Corp. in 2007, got an official thank you letter from Jeffrey Tegnor of the FCC and then heard nothing more.

One day I was looking up Residential to see if anyone else had complained online about it, and I stumbled upon a site of FCC citations where Residential did indeed get one just 2 weeks after I filed the complaint. A citation is very serious.

The FCC won't call or write or send you a copy of the citation because they don't have time or resources to reply back to hundreds or even thousands who bothered to file a complaint. You have to find it yourself.

I got up the courage and sued Residential and won $3,000--no kidding! But collecting is a headache if you don't know what you're doing. And I didn't but now I do.

My next target, Nationwide, just got a letter of my intent to sue for $8,500 unless they settle with me before court for $5,000. They're the ones "sharing" Auto Warranty's number. Way way illegal.

Learn how to sue them and give it a try.


mike | January 24, 2009 8:45 AM | Reply

does anyone know an address of this auto

warranty here in usa I go one letter

from these scammers best thing to do

is get an attorney to write an letter on his letter head to these people

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