Effective October 16, 2013 anyone who uses an automatic telephone dialing system or leaves an artificial or prerecorded voice message to market products and services must demonstrate they have “prior express written consent” to call using those technologies. Any authority to call “an established business relationship” provided previously evaporates that day. A new Federal Communication Commission regulation requires that the consumer agree in writing that the seller may make marketing calls to the consumer using such technology and that the consumer’s consent to receive telemarketing calls is not a prerequisite to buy the product or service. Companies should be wary of relying on written consents received before this regulation takes effect because they may not meet the specificity the new regulations require. Companies also cannot rely on the Do Not Call list when dialing using these technologies. The new rule applies whether the called party is on the list or not. This is a serious matter as each call made in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act could result in a penalty of $1,500.
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