The FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule helps protect you from abusive and deceptive telephone sales practices. The Rule restricts calling times to the hours between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., and puts other limits on telemarketers, too. For example:
- Telemarketers must tell you it's a sales call, the name of the seller and what they're selling before they make their pitch.
- It's illegal for telemarketers to lie about their goods or services; earnings potential, profitability, risk, or liquidity of an investment; or the nature of a prize in a prize-promotion scheme.
- Before you pay, telemarketers must tell you the total cost of the goods they're selling; any restrictions on getting or using them; and if a sale is final or non-refundable. In a prize promotion, they must tell you the odds of winning, that no purchase or payment is necessary to win, and any restrictions or conditions of receiving the prize.
- It's illegal for a telemarketer to withdraw money from your checking account without your express, verifiable authorization.
- Telemarketers cannot lie to get you to pay, no matter what method of payment you use.
- You do not have to pay for credit repair, recovery room, or credit services until these services have been delivered.
- It's illegal for a telemarketer to call you if you have asked not to be called.