Robocalls Banned!

Today the FTC banned pretty much all telemarketing-based robocalls starting Tuesday, September 1st, 2009. At that point, “violators will face penalties up to $16,000 per call,” notes the Los Angeles Times.

What’s not covered: pretty much what you’d expect, like robocalls from political groups, charities, and debt collectors. If the caller isn’t trying to sell you something, it doesn’t fall under FTC jurisdiction. (Things like flight and prescription alerts are also allowed.) We think political callers are trying to sell you something—a big fat pie made of lies, usually—but apparently the FTC doesn’t see it that way.

So beginning next Tuesday, if you receive an auto warranty or other telemarketer robocall, feel free to turn them in to the FTC:

Consumers who receive an unauthorized call starting Tuesday can file complaints with the commission online at or by calling (877) FTC-HELP.

“FTC bans most robocalls” [Los Angeles Times]
(Photo: M. Janicki)