Q: What types of pre-recorded messages will be affected by the new Federal Trade Commission ruling?
A: Only pre-recorded, solicitous telemarketing calls. Not prohibited under the new rules are non-telemarketing calls, such as surveys, customer care, appointment reminders and all other purely “informational” messages that are, according to the FTC “‘not part of and not incorporating a plan, program or campaign to sell goods or services or to solicit charitable services.”
Q: Does this mean that after Sept. 1, when the rules take effect, no pre-recorded telemarketing messages can be sent from dealerships?
A: No. It means that telemarketing calls of a solicitous nature can only be sent to those consumers who have volunteered their contact information and their written permission indicating their opt-in decision to receive those messages. Additionally, telemarketing calls must now contain an opt-out option at the beginning of the call.
Q: What does a dealer need to do to be fully compliant?
A: Assure that all automated communications are relevant and informational. Put processes in place on the showroom and service drive to collect preferred communication channels.
Invest in low-cost technology, such as consumer personalized web pages, to allow consumers another method to provide or update their preferences. Assure that voice, text and e-mail communications make it easy for the consumer to opt out.
Adapt a dealership telemarketing policy (available through the National Automobile Dealers Assn. or on the OneCommand website). Train personnel on the right way to communicate via all channels