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FCC Strengthens Consumer Protections Against Telemarketing Robocalls

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Released: February 15, 2012

NEWS
Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:

February 15, 2012
Janice Wise, 202-418-8165
E-mail: janice.wise@fcc.gov

FCC ADOPTS RULES TO STRENGTHEN CONSUMER PROTECTIONS AGAINST

UNWANTED TELEMARKETING “ROBOCALLS” TO WIRELINE AND WIRELESS PHONES

Washington, D.C. – To further protect consumers from unwanted autodialed or prerecorded calls, often
referred to as “robocalls,” the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today approved changes to its
telemarketing rules. Unwanted telemarketing calls and texts were consistently in the top three consumer
complaint categories at the FCC in 2011. Robocalls invade consumers’ privacy, and can, in the case of
calls to wireless numbers, use up their minutes.
The Order adopted today helps put an end to these intrusions by empowering consumers with increased
rights under the FCC’s telemarketing rules. The new rules reduce regulatory uncertainty with minimal
burden on industry and maximize consistency with those of the Federal Trade Commission. Specifically,
the 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 rules also ensure that informational calls, such as those related to school closings and flight changes,
continue to be available to consumers who wish to receive them.
Action by the Commission February 15, 2012, by Report and Order (FCC 12-21). Chairman
Genachowski, Commissioners McDowell and Clyburn. Separate statements issued by Chairman
Genachowski, Commissioners McDowell and Clyburn.
For further information, contact Karen Johnson at 202-418-7706 or karen.johnson@fcc.gov. Press
contact: Janice Wise (202-418-8165; janice.wise@fcc.gov).
-FCC-
For news and information about the FCC, please visit: www.fcc.gov

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