The Federal Trade Commission has the authority to impose a $40,654 USD fine on telemarketers who violate the laws surrounding the National Do Not Call Registry, but that doesn't mean an end to all telemarketing and robocalls, especially those about political campaigns, charities, debt collection, and telephone surveys. Those communications aren't considered "sales" calls, which are the only type of call that is banned. In fact, not all sales calls are necessarily off-limits. For example, if you recently purchased something from a business, that business can contact you unless you specifically tell them not to. The FTC suggests that people who still receive unwanted calls should simply hang up and file a complaint, as pressing buttons or interacting in any way can lead to more calls.
The changing face of telemarketing:
- After an eight-year court battle, the U.S. government fined Dish Network $280 million USD in 2017 for violating various telemarketing sales laws.
- Before gaining fame as an actor, Johnny Depp's first job was "putting on a fake voice" and selling pens over the telephone.
- In the United States, the telemarketing sector grew from 50 third-party telemarketing service agencies in the mid-1980s to 900 agencies that employed 4.5 million staffers a decade later.