What is the Do Not Call List?
On June 27, 2003 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission opened the National Do Not Call
Registry in order to comply with the Do Not Call Implementation Act. The Do Not
Call Registry is a list of phone numbers from consumers who have indicated their
preference to limit the telemarketing calls they receive. The goal of the act is
to give consumers a choice about whether they want to receive most telemarketing
calls. It is now illegal for most for-profit businesses to call a phone number listed
on the Do Not Call Registry.
Who Must Comply With The Do Not Call Law?
According the FTC, "The National Do Not Call Registry applies to any plan, program,
or campaign to sell goods or services through interstate phone calls. This includes
telemarketers who solicit consumers, often on behalf of third party sellers. It
also includes sellers who provide, offer to provide, or arrange to provide goods
or services to consumers in exchange for payment."
In other words, if you are not calling on behalf of a political organization,
charity, or surveyor, you must comply with the Do Not Call Registry.
What If My Company Already Has an Established Relationship With a Customer?
1. If there is an established relationship, your company can call for up to 18 months
after the consumer's last purchase, payment, or delivery, even if the customer is
on the Do Not Call List.
2. Your company may call for up to three months after the customer makes an inquiry
to your company.
3. If the customer submits written permission, your company may call the customer,
even if the customer is on the Do Not Call List.
4. If a customer asks that your company not call, then your company may not call,
regardless of whether or not the previous three rules apply.
How Can My Company Comply With the Do Not Call Law?
The simple answer is to follow the four rules listed in What If My
Company Already Has an Established Relationship With a Customer?.
To do this, you'll need access to the Do Not Call List. You can get access
to the list by visiting https://telemarketing.donotcall.gov/.
Once registered, your company can download Do Not Call Lists. Currently, up
to five area code lists can be obtained for free.
Once you have the area code lists that your company needs, you'll need to manage
them. The best approach to Do Not Call List management is to use a software package
designed to do this. Our package, Do-Not-Call List Registry
Check allows your company to quickly and easily import Government Do Not
Call Lists as well as your company's own lists. You can then search for phone numbers
inividualy, or feed the program contact lists, which either have the Do Not Call
contacts removed or labeled as "Do Not Call." There are other Do Not Call software
packages besides ours, though we are confident that our package is the easiest to
use and has the most useful features. We invite our potential customers to try our
competitor's products. We're confident that you'll choose Do-Not-Call
List Registry Check.
How Often Must My Company Update Its Do Not Call Lists?
The FTC's Do Not Call Lists must be updated every 30 days.
What Kind of Fines Can My Company Expect if it Breaks The Do Not Call Law?
If your company falls under the umbrella of companies that must comply with the
Do Not Call Lists, it can be fined for any call made to customers (whether
they are on the list or not) if your company is not registered with the Do Not Call
Registry. If your company is registered, it can be fined for any call made to customers
that are on the Do Not Call List. Fines can be up to $11,000 per violation.
What If My Company Accidently Calls Someone On The Do Not Call List?
There exists a "Safe Harbor" clause for inadvertant mistakes, in which your company
will not be fined. To qualify, you must show that:
1. your company has written procedures to comply with the do not call requirements
2. your company trains its personnel in those procedures
3. your company monitors and enforces compliance with these procedures
4. your company company-specific list of telephone numbers that it may not call
5. your company accesses the national registry no more than 31 days (starting January
1, 2005) before calling any consumer, and maintains records documenting this process
6. any call made in violation of the do not call rules was the result of an error.
A Do Not Call software package, like Do-Not-Call List Registry
Check, with updated Do Not Call Lists, can play a major role in helping
keep your company protected by the "Safe Harbor Clause."