FTC extends comment period for telemarketing sales rule

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The FTC has approved the publication of a Federal Register notice announcing the extension of the public comment period on two proposed amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule.

One proposal would explicitly prohibit using prerecorded messages in telemarketing calls answered by a consumer unless the consumer has given prior written consent to receive such prerecorded message calls.

The other would change the method for measuring the maximum allowable call abandonment rate from 3 percent a day per calling campaign to 3 percent per 30-day period per calling campaign.

The two proposals were announced in a previous Federal Register notice on Oct. 4. The notice stated that comments must be submitted on or before Nov. 6, 2006.

The notice announced in the Federal Register on Friday extends the comment period by 40 days. The public comment period will now expire on Dec 18. The notice said the FTC extended the comment period in response to a request for an extension received on Oct. 30 from the Direct Marketing Association.

In support of its extension request, the DMA argued that the proposed amendments "represent a departure from [the Commission's] prior proposal to allow the types of calls it now proposes to prohibit," and that DMA needs the additional time to "compile information from its members to submit into the record that is essential to the commission's proposals."

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