US Regulation

Until 2003 silent calls in the US had reached tremendous proportions. A household received seven or eight outbound calls a day. Only two of them involved an agent on the line when the phone was answered, the rest of them turned out to be silent calls.

In 2001, California adopted regulations which have restricted abandoned calls to a maximum of 3%.

In October 2003, the FTC set very strict rules for how predictive dialers should be used. These new regulations stated that a telemarketer should

• abandon no more than 3% of all calls completed to a person;

• allow the telephone to ring  4 times or 15 seconds before terminating a call as unanswered;

• play a recorded message stating the name and telephone number of the seller, if an agent is not available within two seconds after the called party’s com¬pleted greeting;

• maintain records demonstrating compliance with these requirements.

Besides, outbound calls must comply with State and Federal permitted time calling windows, including time zone changes. It is only allowed to use a predictive dialer if it automatically starts and stops dialing a time zone at the user-defined time.

Many businesses have blocked their information from appearing on caller ID devices. This was another reason for consumer frustration. The FTC and FCC now specify that all telemarketers must transmit their telephone number and name to caller ID services.

On June 27, 2003, the FTC opened the National Do Not Call Registry – a list of telephone numbers from consumers who have expressed their preference not to receive telemarketing calls.

The list was created to offer consumers a choice regarding telemarketing calls. More than 50 million US households (representing about 1/3 of all households) joined the new DNC list in just a few months.

The Do-Not-Call Registry does not cover:

• calls from organizations with which a consumer has an existing business relationship;

• calls for which a consumer has given prior written permission;

• calls which are not commercial or do not include unsolicited advertisements (for example, calls on behalf of political organizations, charities, telephone surveyors).

On February 15, 2008, U.S President George W. Bush signed the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007. The major changes enacted through this law are as follows:

• In order to keep their telephone numbers on the Do Not Call Registry, consumers need to register only once, while originally it was required to renew their phone numbers every five years.

• The FTC must purge the registry of disconnected and reassigned numbers several times a month. The Do-Not-Call Improvement Act does not allow removing numbers from the do-not-call registry unless the number is invalid, disconnected, or reassigned, or the individual to whom the number is assigned requests so.

Telemarketers may no longer use any type of predictive dialer program. The system must be compliant with the Government’s rules and regulations.


Learn more about: 

Functioning, features, types and benefits of predictive dialers.

Predictive Dialer Tutorial

Cost of predictive dialing systems, factors to consider in deciding which predictive dialer to purchase.

Predictive Dialing Questions and Answers

Factors affecting predictive dialers' performance.

Predictive Dialers - Overview

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