The Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) has been in effect since December 1995, with periodic revisions. The TSR enforces law to fight fraudulent activity by phone and gives consumers privacy protections.
The FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule bans misrepresentations and mandates that telemarketers provide disclosures. Additionally, consumers are given the power to stop unwanted calls. The most notable change in the amended rule was the establishment of the Do Not Call Registry, making it illegal to call consumers on the national list.
How can you comply with the TSR?
The TSR regulates telemarketing. With a few exemptions, any entities or organizations that take part in telemarketing must comply with the TSR, including those who make or receive calls with any technology channel. It also applies to anyone in the world calling consumers in the United States. Some exemptions are banks, credit unions, federal savings and loans, and non-profit organizations.
TSR Compliance Checklist
- NCommunicate and disclose offers of goods or services clearly. Do not make false statements for payment collection
- NKeep call logs up-to-date with the Do Not Call Registry.
- NProhibit calls made before 8:00 AM or after 9:00 PM, local to the consumer’s time zone.
- NObtain verifiable authorization when accepting payment.
- NRequire Caller ID information.
- NInclude keypress or voice-activated opt-out mechanisms.
- NRestrict prerecorded messages.
- NProhibit abandoned outbound calls, subject to safe harbor.
Provide prompt disclosure with every outbound call.
Maintain detailed records of advertising materials, sales records, prize recipients, employee records, and verifiable authorizations. Retain them for at least 24 months.
Potential employee risks should be targeted. Training should educate team members and call centers of responsibilities and TSR compliance.
The TSR overlaps significantly with the TCPA. Non-compliance can result in liability under both the TCPA and the TSR for the same actions.
Federal Trade Commission, Complying with the Telemarketing Sales Rule
This information is not intended to serve as legal advice. Nor is it intended to act as compliance advice specific to the processes of any specific company. Application of compliance laws is a company-specific endeavor. We recommend that you contact compliance counsel to discuss the application of information found herein to your operations.