As of September 1, 2009, telemarketers cannot make prerecorded commercial calls to customers without obtaining written permission in advance. Debt collectors, however, do not fall under the new FTC rule, because their calls are apparently “informational messages.”
Phone calls from debt collectors are still subject to the FDCPA, of course.
Other purely informational messages include flight notifications, appliance delivery notifications, and school closings. (Somehow, these messages seem in a different category than debt collection calls.)
If you receive a robocall and have not “opted in” by written notification, you can visit www.ftc.gov or call 1-877-FTC-HELP to file a complaint. Violators are subject to penalties of up to $16,000.