FCC Gives You Power to End Robocalls
The good news is that the government just took a decisive step in regulating "robocalling." Under rules issued Wednesday by the Federal Communications Commission, telemarketers will be required to get express written consent from consumers before they're allowed to make robocalls. Telemarketers will also be forbidden from claiming that consent is implied due to a prior business relationship with the consumer -- for instance, if you've done business with an Internet provider.
Here are answers to some questions you might have about the rules.
|The FCC just passed new rules making it harder for telemarketers to leave you a pre-recorded message.|
If I give consent, can I change my mind?
While we can't imagine many people will choose to opt in to getting robocalls from telemarketers, if you do decide you'd like to hear what a company has to say and later change your mind, you'll be able to take your number off the list. "Should consumers change their minds and decide that they no longer want to receive even those calls, they will soon be able to easily opt out at any point during a call through the automated functionality we now require," explained commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn in a statement.
When will the rules go into effect?
Before the rules can become official, the Office of Management and Budget must publish approval in the Federal Register. Once that happens, the clock starts ticking: Telemarketers will have exactly 12 months to implement the rule requiring express written consent from consumers, and the "prior business relationship" exemption will be phased out during the same period. But another deadline will come more quickly for robocallers: Within 90 days of the rules becoming official, telemarketers will have to implement the interactive mechanism that allows consumers to opt out of getting robocalls.