B2B Calls are Exempt! Well, Maybe…

Posted: April 9, 2014

exempt_dicsBecause the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) exempts most solicitation calls between a telemarketer and a business, many telemarketers conducting business-to-business (B-to-B) telemarketing campaigns assume they are exempt from most, if not all, of the telemarketing and Do Not Call (DNC) laws. However, this is not necessarily the case. There are two main factors to consider when evaluating the requirements applicable to B-to-B campaigns.

First, all B-to-B calls are exempt from the FTC’s rules other than calls to businesses for the sale of nondurable office or cleaning supplies. For example, if a campaign includes offers for such office products that will eventually perish or deplete (i.e. vacuums, cleaning agents, paper goods, printer ink, computers, etc.), the telemarketer must comply with the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) as well as state-specific telemarketing and DNC laws relevant to such campaigns. So, there’s that.Second, B-to-B calls exempt from the TSR are exempt from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC’s) DNC rules as well; however, some federal rules still apply. And, of course, the more restrictive state laws specific to B-to-B campaigns must not be forgotten. For example, below are some of the requirements applicable to such B-to-B campaigns:

  • Call monitoring disclosure
  • Prior express written consent for calls and texts to business cell phones via an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS)
  • Calling time restrictions
  • Call abandonment provisions (includes automated, key-press opt-out mechanism in call abandonment message)
  • FCC and state-specific disclosures
  • Prohibition for engaging two+ telephone lines of a multi-line business simultaneously via an ATDS
  • 10 States require internal DNC requests be honored for B-to-B campaigns
  • The Colorado supreme Court held the state “do-not-call” list applies to calls to home-based businesses
  • Telemarketer registration requirements for B-to-B calls placed within certain states

Although, most B-to-B calls are exempt from the requirement to suppress against the National DNC Registry and the 13 state DNC lists, there are still several rules that apply as evidenced above. To add to the complexity, it may be difficult or impossible to know when a business phone doubles as a consumer’s personal phone which could cause potential issues.

If you have any specific questions regarding the laws and regulations governing B-to-B telemarketing campaigns, please let us know and we would be happy to discuss those with you. Please feel free to reach out to us at consulting@compliancepoint.com.

CJ Arthur

Author: CJ Arthur

CJ Arthur is an Associate at CompliancePoint with a focus on direct marketing compliance. She works with clients in a variety of industries in developing and refining processes and procedures for complying with the ever-changing state and federal regulations related to direct marketing and consumer privacy law. CJ has earned her certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals as a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) and has a BA in Marketing from the University of Georgia.

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