ATA Favors FTC Amendment to Telemarketing Sales Rule

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced two amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).  The amendments will clearly bar telemarketing calls that deliver prerecorded messages, unless a consumer previously has agreed to accept such calls from the seller as well as technically modifying the TSR’s method of calculating the maximum permissible level of “call abandonment.”

“We are pleased about the FTC’s decision to measure abandonment rate on a 30-day basis similar to the FCC,” stated ATA CEO Tim Searcy.  “Although previous petitions stalled, subsequent comments and efforts by the ATA, in collaboration with the FTC, created a new opportunity to address the abandonment rate issue.”

An outbound call is “abandoned” if a person answers it and is not connected with a sales representative within two seconds of the person’s completed greeting.  Both the FCC and FTC prohibit abandonment at a rate of 3%; however, until the amendments today, they differed in their standard of measuring the 3%.  Beginning October 1, 2008, both the FCC and FTC’s standard measures the 3% rate over a 30-day period.

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

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