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Telemarketing and Caller ID

As of January of 2004, telemarketing calls must transmit Caller ID info. This practice is undertaken to be in congruence with the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR). The information was intended to help consumers decide which calls they wanted to answer. The Federal Trade Commission amended the TSR to include the National Do Not Call Registry as well. It is referenced often throughout this site, but as a brief overview, the registry is designed for consumers to subscribe and gain protection from most unwarranted telemarketing calls (excluding government surveys, emergency calls, and political calls).

The Caller ID stipulation means telemarketers have to transmit their number to Caller ID services. It goes further to say that, if possible, they need to furnish their name as well.  It is technologically possible to send a callers’ number anywhere, but transmitting names can not be available everywhere as of yet. Still, they can no longer hide behind a “out of area” designation. The actual FTC requirement looks like this:

To comply with this requirement, a telemarketer may:

  • transmit its own number and, where available, its own name, to consumers’ Caller ID services, or
  • substitute the name of the seller (or charitable organization) on whose behalf it is calling, and the seller’s (or charitable organization’s) customer (or donor) service telephone number, which is answered during regular business hours.

* (47 C.F.R. § 64.1200)

The FTC doesn’t forget the right of the rights of the telemarketers. It acknowledges that sometimes a call will be transmitted to a consumer who is subscribed to a Caller ID service and the information for that company will not appear, even if the telemarketer has arranged to have their information given. The Caller ID can be dropped in between the call center and the consumer’s hard line.  If a telemarketer can show they took all the available steps to share their information in every call can’t be held liable. In these isolated cases, no litigation can be taken. It should be stated that a telemarketer’s use of calling equipment which cannot fulfill the requirements is no excuse for failure to transmit the required information.