On March 7, 2024, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced amendments to its Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”) to apply certain of its provisions to business-to-business telemarketing calls, and to broaden its recordkeeping requirements.  The FTC also announced a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) that would further extend the TSR to cover inbound telemarketing calls involving technical support services. 

The TSR prohibits deceptive or abusive telemarketing practices, including making certain material misrepresentations to induce a consumer to purchase a product or service.  It also imposes certain disclosure and record-retention requirements on sellers and telemarketers.  Previously, these requirements and restrictions did not apply to business-to-business calls with a narrow exception for calls that involved “selling office and cleaning supplies.”

Under the amended rule, certain provisions of the TSR will now apply to business-to-business telemarketing calls.  Specifically, the amended rule provides that sellers and telemarketers making business-to-business telemarketing calls will be prohibited from making “(1) several types of material misrepresentations in the sale of goods or services; and (2) false or misleading statements to induce a person to pay for goods or services or to induce a charitable contribution.” 

Additionally, the amended rule expands recordkeeping requirements under the TSR, including by requiring that telemarketers or sellers retain certain information relating to call detail records, the seller’s relationship with the company, and compliance with Do Not Call Registry restrictions.

Although most aspects of the amended rule will become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register (which has not yet occurred), the new requirement to retain call detail records will become effective 180 days after publication.

The NPRM proposes to apply the TSR’s provisions to inbound calls placed by consumers to telemarketers that involve technical support services.  In doing so, it proposes to add technical support services “to the categories of calls excluded from the TSR’s exemptions for inbound calls ‘in response to an advertisement through any medium’ and inbound calls in response to ‘a direct mail solicitation,’ including email.”  According to the NPRM, the proposed rule would address tech support scams that use advertisements to induce victims to call for assistance with digital products or services, then “dupe [them] into purchasing subscription tech support services or software that they do not need.”

Comments on the NPRM will be due 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register.

Print:
Email this postTweet this postLike this postShare this post on LinkedIn
Photo of Yaron Dori Yaron Dori

Yaron Dori has over 25 years of experience advising technology, telecommunications, media, life sciences, and other types of companies on their most pressing business challenges. He is a former chair of the firm’s technology, communications and media practices and currently serves on the…

Yaron Dori has over 25 years of experience advising technology, telecommunications, media, life sciences, and other types of companies on their most pressing business challenges. He is a former chair of the firm’s technology, communications and media practices and currently serves on the firm’s eight-person Management Committee.

Yaron’s practice advises clients on strategic planning, policy development, transactions, investigations and enforcement, and regulatory compliance.

Early in his career, Yaron advised telecommunications companies and investors on regulatory policy and frameworks that led to the development of broadband networks. When those networks became bidirectional and enabled companies to collect consumer data, he advised those companies on their data privacy and consumer protection obligations. Today, as new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) are being used to enhance the applications and services offered by such companies, he advises them on associated legal and regulatory obligations and risks. It is this varied background – which tracks the evolution of the technology industry – that enables Yaron to provide clients with a holistic, 360-degree view of technology policy, regulation, compliance, and enforcement.

Yaron represents clients before federal regulatory agencies—including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Department of Commerce (DOC)—and the U.S. Congress in connection with a range of issues under the Communications Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and similar statutes. He also represents clients on state regulatory and enforcement matters, including those that pertain to telecommunications, data privacy, and consumer protection regulation. His deep experience in each of these areas enables him to advise clients on a wide range of technology regulations and key business issues in which these areas intersect.

With respect to technology and telecommunications matters, Yaron advises clients on a broad range of business, policy and consumer-facing issues, including:

  • Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things;
  • Broadband deployment and regulation;
  • IP-enabled applications, services and content;
  • Section 230 and digital safety considerations;
  • Equipment and device authorization procedures;
  • The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA);
  • Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) requirements;
  • The Cable Privacy Act
  • Net Neutrality; and
  • Local competition, universal service, and intercarrier compensation.

Yaron also has extensive experience in structuring transactions and securing regulatory approvals at both the federal and state levels for mergers, asset acquisitions and similar transactions involving large and small FCC and state communication licensees.

With respect to privacy and consumer protection matters, Yaron advises clients on a range of business, strategic, policy and compliance issues, including those that pertain to:

  • The FTC Act and related agency guidance and regulations;
  • State privacy laws, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and California Privacy Rights Act, the Colorado Privacy Act, the Connecticut Data Privacy Act, the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act, and the Utah Consumer Privacy Act;
  • The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA);
  • Location-based services that use WiFi, beacons or similar technologies;
  • Digital advertising practices, including native advertising and endorsements and testimonials; and
  • The application of federal and state telemarketing, commercial fax, and other consumer protection laws, such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), to voice, text, and video transmissions.

Yaron also has experience advising companies on congressional, FCC, FTC and state attorney general investigations into various consumer protection and communications matters, including those pertaining to social media influencers, digital disclosures, product discontinuance, and advertising claims.

Photo of Andrew Longhi Andrew Longhi

Andrew Longhi is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office and a member of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity and Technology and Communications Regulation Practice Groups.

Andrew advises clients on a broad range of privacy and cybersecurity issues, including compliance obligations, commercial…

Andrew Longhi is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office and a member of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity and Technology and Communications Regulation Practice Groups.

Andrew advises clients on a broad range of privacy and cybersecurity issues, including compliance obligations, commercial transactions involving personal information and cybersecurity risk, and responses to regulatory inquiries.

Andrew is Admitted to the Bar under DC App. R. 46-A (Emergency Examination Waiver); Practice Supervised by DC Bar members.

John Bowers

John Bowers is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office. He is a member of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group and the Technology and Communications Regulation Practice Group.

John advises clients on a wide range of privacy and communications issues…

John Bowers is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office. He is a member of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group and the Technology and Communications Regulation Practice Group.

John advises clients on a wide range of privacy and communications issues, including compliance with telecommunications regulations and U.S. state and federal privacy laws.