Know Your Robocall Rights ; Know Your Robocall Rights

Article excerpt

When you're eating dinner and get a call from an "automatic dial announcing device," it's illegal unless you've given the caller written permission to call you.

Illegal pre-recorded "robocalls" are a growing annoyance to millions of Americans and the target of an enforcement crackdown by the Federal Trade Commission.

Nearly all telemarketing robocalls have been illegal since Sept. 1, 2009, as the only legal sales robocalls are those consumers have specifically approved in writing. Certain other types of robocalls, such as political calls, survey calls and charitable calls remain legal and are not covered by the 2009 ban.

The FTC has brought 85 enforcement cases targeting illegal robocalls and violators have paid $41 million in penalties. Since January 2010, the agency has brought law enforcement actions, shutting down companies responsible for 2.6 billion illegal telemarketing robocalls.

Oklahoma Automatic Dial Announcing Device Act: Robocalls have been illegal here since July 1, 1992, defined and prohibited by Oklahoma statutes (Title 15 Section 755.1) prohibit "automatic dial announcing device calls" through "random number dialing or to dial numbers determined by successively increasing or decreasing integers," but does allow automated calls under specific circumstances, according to the Oklahoma Supreme Court Network.

"Robocalls can be made only when the device disconnects from the called person's line no later than 20 seconds after the called person hangs up. Such calls cannot be made before 9 a.m. or after 9 p.m. or at any hour that collection calls would be prohibited under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act when used for collection purposes.

Calls may be made to people who have made written requests to be called or concerning goods or services that have been previously ordered or purchased. They can be made by creditors or their assignees or when initiated by a live operator who gives the caller the option to disconnect prior to playing a prerecorded or synthesized voice message. See a Jan. 20, 2006, Oklahoma attorney general press release about a Florida telemarketer being ordered to pay a $230,000 fine for ignoring our state's Don't Call List and for using an auto dialer to do so at tulsaworld.com/OKAGNoAutoDialer

Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act: They are also prohibited by the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act ( tulsaworld.com/OKConsProtAct) effective Nov. 1, 1999.

"Automatic dial announcing device" means automatic equipment that stores telephone numbers to be called or has a random or sequential number generator capable of producing numbers to be called, conveys a prerecorded or synthesized voice message to the number called and is used for the purpose of offering goods or services for sale or conveying information regarding such goods or services. …