FTC Adds Onerous Recordkeeping Requirements for Telemarketers

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has amended the Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”). The simplest change is the expansion of the TSR to explicitly cover all business-to-business (“B2B”) telemarketing and artificial intelligence-enabled calls, which takes effect on May 16, 2024. Oddly, the only B2B calls previously covered by the TSR were those selling office and cleaning supplies.

There are more onerous recordkeeping requirements that will require detailed records to be saved for five years. These requirements will become effective on October 15, 2024. Currently, the TSR’s recordkeeping provisions generally require telemarketers and sellers to retain records for two years. That time period has been extended to five years, but the requirements now apply to a much broader set of records, including:

  • all advertisements and telemarketing scripts;
  • lists of prize recipients, customers, and employees directly involved in sales or solicitations;
  • all authorizations showing express consent or agreement;
  • copies of all unique prerecorded messages made via soundboard technology; 
  • call detail records of telemarketing campaigns, including whether the call was to a business or individual; 
  • records sufficient to show a seller has an established business relationship with a consumer; 
  • records sufficient to show a consumer is a previous donor to a particular charity;
  • records of all service providers that telemarketers used to deliver outbound calls; 
  • records of the company’s entity-specific do-not-call registry; 
  • records of the FTC’s do-not-call registry that were purchased and used by the company;
  • the identity of the telemarketer who placed or received each call;
  • the caller identification details used for the calls;
  • disposition of the call, such as the duration and whether it was answered or dropped; and
  • whether the call is a robocall or a standard outbound call.

Key takeaway: Telemarketers covered by the TSR must be prepared for these additional recordkeeping requirements, which take effect on October 15, 2024.

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