New Rules Taking Effect March 30

· A maximum abandonment rate of 3 percent.

· Telemarketers must let telephones ring 15 seconds or four rings before hanging up.

· A ban on buying and selling unencrypted customer account numbers for use in telemarketing.

· Telemarketers using pre-acquired account information along with “negative option,” or free-to-pay, offers must make a recording of the entire call and ask consumers for the last four digits of their credit or debit card numbers, even if they are offering an upsell and have just obtained the whole number during the primary transaction.

· When a billing method other than credit or debit cards is used, such as a direct draw from a checking account, telemarketers must either obtain written billing consent in the form of a signature, send written confirmation to consumers and let them dispute the charges or make a recording of the transaction including the billing terms and the date the bill will be submitted.

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