TSR Nets $152 Million for Consumers in 5 Years

In its first five years of operation, government officials have won $152 million in consumer redress and $500,000 in civil fines for violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule, the Federal Trade Commission said yesterday.

A total of 121 law enforcement actions charging telemarketing companies with violations have been brought in the five years after the TSR became effective Dec. 31, 1995, the FTC said in marking the rule's fifth year of operation.

About three-quarters of those cases have been concluded. In addition to monetary penalties, law enforcement authorities have won legal injunctions banning companies outright from certain kinds of telemarketing.

The TSR bans misrepresentations in telemarketing sales pitches and requires telemarketers to make certain disclosures. The rule also prohibits calls to consumers who have asked not to be called, limits allowed telemarketing hours and sets price restrictions for certain goods.

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