The Telemarketing Sales Rule: For-Profit Telemarketers Must Be Truthful

According to a recent Federal Trade Commission blog posting (“Telemarketing Sales Rule requires clarity on charity”):

To make sure that telemarketers are truthful about why they are calling, so consumers can make an informed decision about whether to engage with a telemarketer and contribute to a charity, the 2001USA Patriot Act expanded the Federal Trade Commission’s Telemarketing Sales Rule to cover calls made to solicit charitable contributions.

At the direction of Congress, the FTC modified the Telemarketing Sales Rule to:

1) Apply to interstate calls made by for-profit telemarketers to solicit charitable contributions;

2) Require for-profit telemarketers to promptly disclose the name of the group making the request and that the purpose of the call is to ask for a donation; and

3) Prohibit for-profit telemarketers from making false or misleading statements to induce a person to contribute.

For-Profit Charitable Callers Must Follow the Telemarketing Sales Rule

Another FTC blog posting (“For-profit charitable callers must follow the rules”) advised that “The Do Not Call Registry” is designed to stop unwanted sales calls; however, one exception to the Do Not Call Registry allows for-profit fundraisers to call individuals on behalf of charities even if one’s telephone number is listed on the Do Not Call Registry.  When these charitable fundraisers call someone, however, they must still follow the Telemarketing Sales Rule.

Notable provisions of the Telemarketing Sales Rule Which For-Profit Fundraisers Must Follow:

Telemarketers must promptly tell consumers the charity on whose behalf they’re calling and truthfully disclose if the purpose of the call is to ask for a donation.

Telemarketers cannot make misleading statements to persuade people to donate, including misrepresentations about the charitable purpose, how much money goes to the charity, whether donations are tax deductible, how the money will be used, or the telemarketer’s connection to the charity.

Telemarketers cannot use robocalls or prerecorded messages to reach consumers unless the person is a current member of the charity or has donated to the charity in the past. And even if the consumer has donated to that charity before, robocalls from a telemarketer must promptly offer a way to opt out of future calls.

If the consumer tells the telemarketer they don’t want to be called by that charity again, the telemarketer must maintain a Do Not Call list for that charity and stop calling that person on behalf of that charity.

Telemarketers cannot call before 8 A.M. or after 9 P.M.

Telemarketers must keep certain records, like scripts and promotional materials, for two years.

Have You Received Unsolicited or Unwanted Telemarketing Calls, Autodial Calls, Robocalls or Text Messages?

If you have received unwanted, unsolicited or harassing telemarketing callsautodial calls, robocalls or text messages and would like to speak privately with an attorney to learn more about your potential legal rights, please complete the form to the right or contact Michael Yarnoff, Esq., (215) 792-6676, Ext. 804, [email protected]; John Kehoe, Esq., (215) 792-6676, Ext. 801, [email protected]; or send an e-mail to [email protected].

Kehoe Law Firm, P.C.