ROBO CALLS I love talking on the telephone. I have three different cell- phones and three landed-phone lines. For someone who is retired that might seem excessive, but I am an obsessive, compulsive person. We all hate robo calls and beginning Thursday these calls will no longer be lawful unless the telemarketer has received written permission. The provision is known as the Telemarketing Sales Rule, or TSR. Current rules block such calls only if the consumer adds a home or cell phone number to the federal Do Not Call Registry.
“Starting Sept. 1, this bombardment of prerecorded pitches, senseless solicitations, and malicious marketing will be illegal," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement. "If consumers think they're being harassed by robocallers, they need to let us know, and we will go after them." I am excited about this new law because I know it will be violated and I love complaining. (Unauthorized calls can be reported to the commission on-line https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/ or at (877) 382-4357.) Telemarketers who violate the new rule are subject to fines of up to $16,000 a call. With Caller ID, it will be easy to prove who the telemarkter is. Even if they block the ID, I will listen to the call and have the info to report them. What I find so ironic about the new law is that politicians are exempt from the new rule. That, to me, is the real story. But there is at least one politician who feels all robo calls should be prohibited. Illinois State Rep. Jack Franks tried to pass a law banning political robo calls in 2000. He even tried for a provision, that if such calls could not be banned, the pre-recorded announcement would have to identify where the call was coming from. This came about because of a vicious Anti-Semitic robo call campaign that had been targeted against him. Franks could not even get the bill out of committee. Franks said that if he runs for Illinois Governor and wins, he would pass an executive order banning politicians from placing robo calls. He feels politicians should be held to the same legal standards as a business. We have not heard that one before.