FAQ Telemarketing

While telemarketing is still highly effective, businesses and people can be wary or hesitant to use it because they don’t know how to comply with the laws or what the laws even are. If this is the case for you, then this is the perfect resource to answer your questions and give you clarification. Our FAQ answers the 16 most asked questions and yours is likely one of them, so let’s get started!

Q: What Is the Telemarketing Sales Rule?

According to the FTC, the Telemarketing Sales Rule requires telemarketers to:

  • Make specific disclosures 
  • Prohibits misrepresentations 
  • Calls to a consumer who asked not to be called again
  • Set payment restrictions for the sales of certain goods and services

For more information on telemarketing in general, refer to the guide to telemarketing, so you get a better understanding of how to do it properly and effectively. 

Q: Who Should Comply With the Telemarketing Sales Rule?

Everyone should comply with the Telemarketing Sales Rule, however, there are some exceptions like:

  • Banks, Federal Credit Unions, Federal Savings and Loans 
  • Common Carriers (long-distance telephone companies and airlines)
  • Non-profit Organizations (entities that are not organized to carry on business for themselves or their members to profit) 

If your company does not identify with one of these exemptions, then you must comply with the TSR. 

Q: Does the Telemarketing Sales Rule Apply to Businesses?

Businesses are not protected in the way that consumers are with the Telemarketing Sales Rules, the DNC list does not apply for calling businesses. “Robocalling” is generally permitted when telemarketing to businesses as well. It is the business’s responsibility to stay informed about the rules and regulations to avoid any lawsuit. 

Q: Does the TSR Apply to Charities & Telefunders?

Funding calls for nonprofits and charities are NOT considered as “telemarketing” entities. Thus,  these calls do not fall under the TSR. 

Q: How Many Times Can a Telemarketer Call?

The TCPA has no minimum call limit for calls made to any number if the phone number isn’t registered for the DNC or if the company is exempt from the DNC list. However, if the consumer requests that they stop receiving calls from the company, then the company must comply. As you know, cold calling is here to stay, but there are some limitations to ensure people’s privacy.

Q: Is It Illegal For Telemarketers to Call Cell Phones?

No, if the number is not on the DNC list or if the company is exempt from complying with the DNC list, then they are able to call those cell phone numbers. While this is the case for cell phones there are also other outbound telemarketing laws that must be taken into consideration, like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 and the Telemarketing Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act. Reading up on these will help you have a better understanding of what you can and can not do in telemarketing. 

Q: When Can Telemarketers Call?

Telemarketers can call between Monday through Saturday from 8:00 AM—9:00 PM. However, telemarketers cannot call on public holidays and must consider the time zones of the person they are calling. 

Q: What Should Telemarketers Disclose on the Call?

Telemarketers are required to disclose the seller or charitable organization that they are calling on behalf of. Additionally, telemarketers must  disclose material information about the good or service as well as the terms of the sale. 

Q: What Is the Call Abandonment Safe Harbor?

The Call Abandonment Safe Harbor is a Telemarketing Sales Rules that states companies that participate in telemarketing, must have less than 3% abandoned outbound calls. Abandoned calls are outbound calls where the consumer is not connected with an agent after two seconds of the consumer answering the phone. 

Q: What Are the Penalties for Violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule?

Anyone who violates the Telemarketing Sales Rules can face civil penalties of up to $40,000 per violation. Telemarketers who violate the TSR may also be required to pay restitution to injured consumers and are at risk of nationwide conjunctions. 

Q: What Is the National Do Not Call Registry? 

The National Do Not Call Registry is an easy and accessible way for consumers to reduce the number of telemarketing calls they receive. By adding their number to the National Do Not Call Lists, they will receive less telemarketing calls.

Q: Why Was the National Do Not Call Registry Created?

The National Do Not Call Registry was created to facilitate compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, which limits the use of pre-recorded voice messages, automatic dialing, SMS, and faxes. 

Q: How Are the DNC Registry and the Telemarketing Sales Rule Related?

The DNC Registry’s purpose is to restrict unwanted calls, whereas, the Telemarketing Sales Rule gives guidelines on what is allowed and how to conduct telemarketing calls.

Q: What Telemarketing Regulations Apply to Canada? 

The telemarketing rules that apply in Canada:

  • Register for the DNCL and update the list every month
  • Make annual fee to keep the DNCL subscription 
  • Do not call consumers who have asked not to be called again (keep internal DNC list)
  • The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC’s) Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules:
    • Restrict which consumers phone numbers telemarketers can contact for solicitation purposes
    • Restrict calling hours
    • Prescribed Information that must be disclosed 
    • Restrict the use of Automatic Dialing-Annoucing Devices (ADAD’s)
    • Impose Record Keeping Obligations.

There are Canadian telemarketing rules to ensure proper business ethics. 

Q: What if My Company Accidentally Calls Someone on the Do Not Call List?

If your company calls someone on the Do Not Call list regardless of whether it was intentional or not, the company could face fines up to $41,484 per call. 

Q: How Can I Comply with the Telemarketing Sales Rule Easily?

Here are a few rules to follow in order to ensure your company complies with the Telemarketing Sales Rule.

  • The FTC (USA) and CRTC Do Not Call lists must be updated every 30 days. 
  • If there is an established relationship your company can call for up to 18 months after the consumer’s last purchase, payment, or delivery, even if the customer is on the DNC List.
  • Your company may call for up to three months after the customer makes an inquiry to your company.
  • If the customer submits written permission, your company may call the customer, even if the customer is on the DNC list. 
  • If a customer asks that your company not call, then your company may not call, regardless of whether or not the previous three rules apply. 

As you can tell, DNC compliance is a major theme in the telemarketing industry and paying a small fee to scrub the list now is far better than paying a huge penalty fee later! Learn how to ethically and legally telemarketer within the telemarketing sales rule through DNC scrubbing and compliance

Work Cited 

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. 2021. Telemarketing. [online] Available at: <https://www.osler.com/en/resources/business-in-canada/browse-topics/communicating/telemarketing> [Accessed 26 May 2021].

Telephonelists.biz. 2021. Telemarketing Sales Rule: DNC Scrubbing & Compliance. [online] Available at: <https://www.telephonelists.biz/blog/telemarketing-sales-rule-dnc-scrubbing-compliance/> [Accessed 24 May 2021].

Telephonelists.biz. 2021. Canadian Telemarketing Guidelines | Telephonelists.Biz. [online] Available at: <https://www.telephonelists.biz/blog/canadian-telemarketing-guidelines-must-know-info-for-telemarketers/> [Accessed 28 May 2021].

Brandon, L., 2021. Brief Guide to Outbound Telemarketing Laws – Blog TelephoneLists. [online] Telephonelists.biz. Available at: <https://www.telephonelists.biz/blog/outbound-telemarketing-laws-brief-guide/> [Accessed 25 May 2021].

Federal Trade Commission. 2021. Telemarketing Sales Rule. [online] Available at: <https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/rules/rulemaking-regulatory-reform-proceedings/telemarketing-sales-rule> [Accessed 24 May 2021].