Enough is Enough: FTC Proposes Change to Telemarketing Sales Rule for Better Consumer Protection

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)proposed changes to the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) with the goal of better protecting consumers against fraudulent charges and services. This clearly caught the eye of Vocalcom, aworld-leading, award-winning provider of telemarketing software, and so we wanted to take a closer look at exactly what these proposed changes entail. Below are the recent amendments:

  • Unsigned checks, “payment orders” that have been “remotely created,” “cash-to-cash” money transfers, and “cash reload” mechanisms will all be considered TSR violations, as these payment methods make it easy to debit bank accounts without permission or to accumulate money quickly and anonymously.
  • The recouping of losses suffered in any prior non-telemarketing transaction will be permitted (Currently, TSR prohibits recouping losses that occurred in a prior telemarketing scheme).
  • There will be a clear prohibition on sharing the costs of nontransferable Do Not Call Registry fees between sellers.
  • Telemarketers will be required to include a description of the goods or services being purchased to align with verifiable authorization recordings.
  • Business-to-business (B2B) exemption under the TSR extends only to calls to induce a sale to or contribution from a business entity, and not to calls to induce sales to or contributions from individuals employed by a business entity.

In short, the FTC has tacked on a bit more work for telemarketing firms, but at the end of the day, it seems it will be worth it (seeing how it will help prevent against fraudulent telemarketing schemes like that of the Rubin brothers, who together robbed customers of $16 million).The telemarketing software business is an impressive one and, when executed honestly, can increase customer satisfaction, increase productive contacts, improve efficiency and augment sales, among other results. Needless to say, these changes are critical for businesses involved in telemarketing software because at the end of the day, it’s all about securing your brand’s reputation, the value of your services and instilling a sense of trust in your customers.

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