Tidbit Tuesday: The Do Not Call Registry

What do you know about the Do Not Call Registry?

-- Established June 2003 to block unwanted telemarketing calls
-- 143 million phone numbers have been registered
-- The FTC has received 2.8 million complaints
-- The FTC has completed 29 cases for telemarketing violations
-- The registration lasts for five years only. Renewal is required
-- The registry grants these exemptions:
  • calls for political campaigns,
  • charities and surveys;
  • calls from businesses that have an existing relationship with a customer
-- The registry is restricted to personal phone numbers;
companies cannot place their phone numbers on the registry
-- To register or file a complaint, visit www.donotcall.gov or call (888) 382-1222

The first round of registrants who signed up in 2003 will need to apply again if they want to remain on the registry. The first round of registration expires in the summer of 2008.

Some say the registry is increasingly being targeted by lead generators who aren’t abiding by the rules. The FTC usually ends up going after the big fish and the small fries tend to sneak by.

A web site called Kill the Calls, a clearinghouse for Do Not Call Registry complaints, believes the problem is growing. In one two month span, they’ve received 700 complaints from visitors to the site.

According to the Do Not Call Registry rules, calls for political campaigns, charities and surveys are exempted. Also, calls from businesses that have an existing relationship with a customer are allowed. And business phone numbers cannot be blocked.

I like this one:
Cell phones can be registered on the list, but they are already protected from telemarketing calls, which are illegal when made to cell phones.

Something to be aware of:
Some telemarketers initially call with a survey but then try to sell a product or service, which is in violation of the FTC rules.

So remember to renew when you need to, and do your part and report violators!