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Robocall Law

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Robocall Law

Robocall laws and regulations exist at both the national and state levels.  On June 18, 2015 the FCC voted to approve a new declaratory ruling and order that expands the Telephone Consumer Protection Act's (TCPA) restrictions on robocalling.  However, robocall law is not new.  This website is designed to help call centers understand and comply with robocall law.  Violations of robocall law may result in significant telemarketing fines.

What is robocall law?

Robocall law generally refers to legal restrictions on the use of prerecorded telemarketing messages.  Some autodialing software has the capacity to deliver recorded solicitations.  Many people confuse robodialing with "autodialing."  They do not necessarily mean the same thing.  Autodialers use a computer to place telephone calls without human intervention, but they might not necessarily deliver prerecorded messages.  However, recent statements by the FCC continue to confuse the issue.  For example, in the FCC's recent declaratory ruling and order, the FCC used the term Robocalling to refer to calls made either with an automatic telephone dialing system or with a prerecorded or artificial voice.  In general, however, the term is still best interpreted to refer to prerecorded messages. 


What are the specific robocall laws?

Some states have their own local robocall laws, which vary greatly.  However, federal robocall law applies in every state.  The FTC and FCC interpret and enforce federal robocall law. Federal robocall law is contained in both the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rules (TSR) and in the FCC's Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  These robocall laws contain restriction on the exact manner in which the robodialing software or hardware may be used.  For example: 

  • Unless exempt, a telemarketer may not use a robodialer to send a prerecorded message to a cell phone (consumer or business) or to a consumer's land line without prior express written consent.  "Written consent" may be obtained by email, audio recording, web opt-in, etc., so long as certain procedures are followed per the federal E-Sign Act.
  • A robodialer may not abandon more than 3% of its calls as measured on a 30-day per campaign basis.
  • The prerecorded message must contain an automated opt-out mechanism which allows the recipient to make an entity-specific do-not-call request.  The mechanism must be interactive voice (IVR) or keypress.
  • The prerecorded message must truthfully disclose who is responsible for the call and the telemarketing-related purpose of the call.
  • The prerecorded message must disclose a call-back telephone number which would allow the recipient to call back within normal business hours and make an opt-out request.
  • What about robocalling for charities and nonprofits? Learn more about charitable telemarketing law
  • Learn about avatar telemarketing laws.
  • Ensure you understand business to business telemarketing laws before robocalling businesses.


What about autodialers that do not deliver prerecorded messages?

An autodialer that is used to connect consumers with live sales agents (no prerecorded messages) is subject to somewhat different rules.  For example, autodialed calls to residential land lines (not cell phones) are generally still allowed even without prior consent.  However, under the new FCC rules and FCC regulations, all autodialed telemarketing calls to cell phones require prior express written consent.  This has essentially created an implied cell do not call requirement.  Remember that local state autodialer law varies greatly and may be different than the federal rules.  Follow whichever rule is more restrictive as this is the only was to ensure compliance with both the federal and state rules.  More information about autodialer law is avialable here.

If you have been sued in a TCPA class action lawsuit, contact the best TCPA defense lawyeravailable now. If you haven't been sued yet, consider performing a compliance audit to mitigate the risk. 

Contact us to speak with an experienced autodialer law telemarketing attorney.  Do not use this site to ensure you are compliant with telemarketing rules; this site is not a substitute for legal advice. 

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