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Telemarketing Sales Rule: 101

On Behalf of | Oct 4, 2021 | Marketing Law

Those who run telemarketing businesses or use these businesses to help generate leads likely know that there are many different regulations that guide what is and is not acceptable. A failure to abide by these guidelines can result in hefty, sometimes astronomical, financial penalties. As a result, it is important for business leaders to have a basic understanding of the regulations that impact this industry.

This post will focus on the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).

The TSR: Defined.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued the TSR in 1995 to address public concerns about telemarketing fraud and consumer privacy protection. It basically applies to any telemarketing campaign. The TSR has a number of provisions, including:

  • Disclosure. The TSR requires the business making contact provide material information during the call. This can include the cost and quality of the product or service as well as any material limitations.
  • Authorization. The caller must get express authorization before accepting and placing a payment from the client.
  • Follow the Do Not Call (DNC) list. It is a violation to contact those who are listed in the DNC.

It is important to note that there are some exceptions to this rule. These exceptions can include contacts made by non-profit organizations and certain financial institutions.

The TSR: Exceptions.

This rule, like many within this marketplace, is often changing. The FTC has thus far amended the TSR in 2003, 2008, 2010 and 2015. As such, future updates are likely. This makes it even more important to conduct regular internal audits to make sure business practices are up to date with applicable regulations.