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New DMA Rules for Telemarketing

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    Vishal Jhamb
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    10 Steps to Making a Sale:
    Under the FTC ’ s New Telemarketing Sales Rule
    Including Q&A Section
    For DMA ’s TSR compliance flow chart,please visit DMA Web site at:
    http://www.the-dma.org/guidelines/tsr.pdf

    Who is not covered by the Rule?
    •Most business-to-business calls,
    •Common carriers,airlines,some financial institutions,and insurance companies
    to the extent regulated under state law,
    •Intrastate calls,
    •Non-profits,and third-party marketers calling on their behalf,are not subject to
    the Rule ’s new national Do-Not-Call (DNC)registry.However,non-profits,and
    third-party marketers calling on their behalf,are required to honor in-house
    suppress requests.

    Who is covered by the Rule?
    •Any plan,program,or campaign to sell goods or services through interstate calls,
    •Inbound &outbound telemarketing calls,especially from other countries
    •Sellers that provide or arrange to provide goods/services to consumers in exchange for payment

    and

    •Third-party call centers making calls on behalf of exempt entities such as
    marketers calling on behalf of airlines,insurance companies or financial institutions.

    Preparatory Steps

    Step 1:Make sure consumers are receiving your calls only between
    8 A.M.and 9 P.M.in the consumers ’ time zone..

    Also,be sure to check state laws because some states have more restrictive requirements.

    Step 2:Honor in-house suppress requests. Scrub your lists of telephone numbers of consumers (both prospects and customers)who have asked you not to contact them.This applies to marketers and non-profits and third-parties calling on their behalf.

    Step 3:Honor the national Do-Not-Call (DNC)registry. Scrub your lists of any prospects, phone numbers that are on the FTC ’s Do-
    Not-Call registry.

    Step 4:Check state laws for any additional teleservices requirements such as calling hours (as noted earlier),state DNC registries,state
    registration,etc.
    To review which states currently have DNC laws,visit the Web site at: http://www.the-dma.org/government/donotcalllists.shtml and for more information about teleservices,visit Web site ’s Telemarketing Resource
    Center at:http://www.the-dma.org/government/teleresourcecenter.shtml.

    Step 5:Meet the new caller identification requirements.
    Effective January 29,2004,every outbound call must transmit the phone number of the seller,service bureau or customer service number that will be
    answered during normal business hours.You must also include the name of the seller or service bureau wherever technology is available.And under no
    circumstance are you to block transmission of caller identification.

    Section 310.4(a)(7)p.251.

    Step 6:Learn the new requirements for abandoned calls –
    those calls that are not immediately transferred to live representatives.
    Effective October 1,2003,you must connect all calls to live representatives within 2 seconds of the consumer’s completed greeting.If you do not do so
    then the call is considered abandoned and is a violation of the TSR.Even those calls that are answered by a live representative after 2 seconds of the consumer ’s completed greeting would still be considered an abandoned call and a violation of the Rule.
    Section 310.4 (b)(iv)p.252.

    Calling Consumers

    Step 7:For each telemarketing transaction,you must provide promptly to the consumer:
    •Identity of the seller,
    •That the purpose of the call is to sell goods or services,and
    •The nature of the goods or services that you are selling.
    Section 310.4 (4)(d)p.254.
    If at this point,or at any other time during the call,the consumer asks to be placed on your company ’s DNC list then you should honor the consumer ’s request. You should add the consumer to your company ’s
    DNC list,refrain from calling the consumer during any future marketing campaign,and promptly and politely end the call.

    Step 8:Determine which disclosures,authorizations or taping requirements you
    need under the following circumstances.All of the following
    requirements are effective March 31,2003:

    A.Novel payments:Do you accept novel payments – those payments other than by credit or debit card such as checks or money orders?If so,in order to
    accept a novel payment from a consumer then you must receive the
    customer ’s verifiable authorization by either:
    •Getting the customer ’s written signed permission,
    •Tape recording the customer ’s authorization,or
    •Providing written confirmation of the transaction to the customer prior to
    receiving payment.
    Section 310.3(a)(3)pp.247-248.
    B.Negative option plans:Are you engaged in any type of negative option, continuity or advanced consent marketing plan?If so,then you are required to notify customers:
    -That their accounts will be charged unless they take affirmative action to avoid the charge,
    -The date the charge will be submitted for payment,and
    -The specific steps they can take to avoid the charge.
    Section 310.3 (a)(vii)p.246.
    In addition you must meet the following requirements if you incorporate any
    of these elements into your negative option,continuity or advanced consent
    marketing plans.
    •If you use pre-acquired account information and do not offer a
    free-to-pay conversion program,you must:
    -Identify with specificity the customer account that will be charged,

    and

    -Obtain the consent from the consumer to charge such account.
    Section 310.4(a)6(ii)(A-B)p.251.

    •If you use pre-acquired account information and do offer a free-
    to-pay conversion program,you must:
    -Obtain from the customer the last 4 digits of the account that will be charged,
    -Obtain consent from the consumer to charge such account,and
    -Record the entire transaction.
    Section 310.4(a)(6)(I)(A-C)pp.250-251.

    The FTC discusses in its commentary on the Rule that it is not merely the material terms that are provided to the consumer,but also the context and manner in which the offer is presented that is vital to determining the consumer ’s consent to the transaction.
    Therefore,you should record the entire transaction.It would not
    be sufficient to just tape the closing sale confirmation.(p.115.)
    C.Use of pre-acquired account information but no negative option plan: If you do not engage in a negative option plan but use pre-acquired account
    information:

    -You must identify with specificity the account that will be charged,

    and

    -Obtain consent from the consumer to charge such account.
    Section 310.4(a)(6)(ii)(A-B)p.251.
    D.None of the above:If you do not engage in a negative option plan,free-to- pay program,and/or use pre-acquired account information then for all other
    telemarketing transactions:
    -You must obtain from the consumer informed consent in order to charge the consumer for any goods or services.
    Section 310.4(a)(6)p.250.

    The FTC discusses in its commentary on the Rule that consumers must affirmatively and unambiguously articulate their consent to be charged for a product or service.The best way to achieve this result is for consumers to state that they agree to the purchase and
    to provide part or all of the account they wish the charge to be
    made.However,the FTC leaves it up to you to decide the best
    way to achieve this result.

    Step 9:Learn the new requirements for upsells. Effective March 31,2003,if you solicit for the purchase of goods or services
    following an initial transaction that occurs during a single telephone call then
    under the Rule,you must meet new disclosure requirements.It does not matter if the upsell occurs during an inbound or outbound call,the same rules apply.The FTC treats each upsell as a separate telemarketing transaction,and
    creates 2 separate categories – internal and external upsells..

    Internal upsell occurs when the customer is offered another product or service from or on behalf of the seller from the initial transaction.It does not
    matter if the initial or subsequent transaction is made by the same telemarketer.Under an internal upsell,you must provide any new disclosures not provided during the initial transaction.
    External upsell occurs when the customer is offered a product or service from someone other than the seller from the initial transaction.It does not
    matter if the initial or subsequent transaction is made by the same telemarketer.Under an external upsell,you must provide:
    •Identity of the seller,
    •That the purpose of the call is to sell goods or services,and
    •The nature of the goods or services that you are selling.
    Section 310.4 (4)(d)p.254.

    If novel payments,negative option,preacquired account information,and/or
    free-to-pay conversion plans are used then all previous relevant disclosures must be repeated for each upsell.

    Step 10:After charging the customer ’s account,retain appropriate records for 24
    months. Each telemarketer should retain the following records for 2 years from the date the record was produced:
    -Different brochures, telemarketing scripts,promotional material,
    -Name,address,prize award for each prize recipient,
    -Name,address,product/service information for each customer,
    -Telemarketing employee information,and
    -All verifiable authorizations or records of express informed consent that
    are required by the Rule.
    Records can be maintained in any format.
    Section 310.5 pp.255-256.

    Hope You all find it Useful.
    Vishal Jhamb
    SignCalls

    #15171 Reply
    apr
    Guest

    quite useful!

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