Businesses that try to push products on consumers with automated and unsolicited calls will face fines of up to $16,000 per call, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
“American consumers have made it crystal clear that few things annoy them more than the billions of commercial telemarketing robocalls they receive every year,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a news release.
Calls from politicians, public service announcements and “informational” calls will be exempt from the new rule. A call alerting a traveler that his or her flight has been delayed would still be allowed, for example.
Banks, telephone carriers and most charitable organizations are also excluded from the ban, the FTC says.
The FTC asks people to report questionable robocalls by visiting its complaint Web site or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.
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