FTC Releases Detailed Agenda on Upcoming Public Workshop Regarding Telemarketing Sales Rule

Change of Venue Also Announced for Event on June 5-7 in Washington, D.C.

The Federal Trade Commission today released a detailed agenda of discussion topics and presentation times for its upcoming public workshop on proposed amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), including the potential development and implementation of a national do-not-call list. The FTC proposed an amendment establishing a national no-call list in January 2002. The proposed amendments drew more than 42,000 consumer and industry comments - the second-most ever received as part of a Commission rulemaking process. The FTC today also announced that the venue for the workshop, to be held June 5, 6 and 7, 2002, has been changed from FTC Headquarters to the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2600 Woodley Road, N.W., Washington, D.C. The change in venue will permit more people to attend the public workshop.

The public workshop is a part of the formal rulemaking process, and it will follow a roundtable discussion format. Participants for the workshop were chosen from those who submitted comments, asked to participate, and represent particular interests in the rulemaking. The transcript of the workshop discussions will be transcribed for inclusion in the rulemaking record.

As outlined in the newly released agenda, the forum will be located in Marriott Ballroom Salons 1 and 2. Registration on the first day begins at 8:30 am, followed by welcoming remarks by the FTC's Associate Director for Marketing Practices, Eileen Harrington. Following a brief introduction of the forum participants, the opening session will focus on the proposed national do-not-call registry, examining specific issues of interest including, but not limited to: 1) the interplay between the proposed national registry and existing state registries; 2) the scope of coverage of the proposed registry; 3) whether cell phone numbers should be included in the registry; and 4) whether the do-not-call provision should apply to for-profit telemarketers acting on behalf of charities.

The remainder of the opening day will focus on safe harbor, monitoring, and compliance enforcement provisions of the proposed registry, as well as how such a registry would be implemented and how consumers would register to be included on it. An industry perspective on implementation will also be provided, including an examination of funding issues.

Sessions on the second day of the forum will focus on a wide range of subjects, including the use of predictive dialers by telemarketers, the use of Caller ID and blocking devices, proposed changes to various deceptive practices provisions currently in the TSR, the use of preacquired account information, and the up-selling and cross-selling of consumers.

The final day will focus on "express verifiable authorization" when telemarketers accept payment from consumers, specific proposed TSR amendments as detailed in the USA Patriot Act, prison-based telemarketing, and other proposed changes and/or exemptions to the TSR. At the end of each day, forum attendees will have the opportunity to comment on the prior session's proceedings during an "open mike" period, beginning at 4:30 pm.

As the agenda for the public forum is subject to change, those wishing to find the most up-to-date version should consult the FTC's rulemaking Web site at: www.ftc.gov/bcp/rulemaking/tsr/tsr-review.htm and click on "Forum." Additional information about the new venue can be obtained by contacting the Wardman Park Hotel at 202-328-2000 or at: www.wardmanpark.com.

Copies of the agenda for the TSR public forum are available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Contact Information

MEDIA CONTACT:
Mitchell J. Katz
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2161
STAFF CONTACT:
Eileen Harrington
Bureau of Consumer Protection

202-326-3127