Do Not Call Registry

What to Expect from the Do Not Call Registry In an effort to protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls, the federal government has created the National Do Not Call Registry. To sign up for the registry, you may call the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at (877) 382-4357, or you may register online at Registration is free, and you may register multiple phone lines and cellular phones on the directory. However, the National Do Not Call Registry is only for personal phone numbers. The National Do Not Call Registry does not cover business-to-business calls and faxes.

Your number will stay in the database for 5 years, until you take your name off the list, or until you move. After 5 years, you may renew your registration. The FTC updates the registry quarterly. All telemarketers must download the database and drop registered numbers from their call lists. As of January 1, 2005, telemarketers covered by the National Do Not Call Registry have up to 31 days from the date you register to stop calling you. Also, telemarketers are required to display their phone numbers and names where possible on your caller ID service.

If a company solicits you to register your phone number for you, do NOT agree. The FTC does not allow private companies or other such third parties to register consumers for the National Do Not Call Registry. Websites or phone solicitations that claim they will register a consumer's name or phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry - especially those that charge a fee - are not legitimate.

Exceptions to the Rule Placing your number on the National Do Not Call Registry will end most telemarketing calls but not all. You may still receive calls from or on behalf of political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors, as well as calls from companies with which you have an existing business relationship, or those to whom you've provided express agreement in writing to receive their calls. If you are on the Do Not Call Registry list and wish to give certain companies the right to call you, then you must state so in writing to the company.

If you continue to receive calls from telemarketers who are not exempt from these exceptions, you may file a complaint with the FTC either online or by calling. Fines for telemarketers who violate the rule may reach up to $11,000 for each call.

States' Laws and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
The National Do Not Call Registry does not nullify your state's laws. New York State does have a "do not call" law in effect that the NYS Consumer Protection Board enforces, and telemarketers must comply with this law as well. Also, the FTC's Do Not Call Registry and its procedures concerning violations of the law do not negate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA allows consumers to sue companies that do not honor their request not to call.

For more information contact:

Better Business Bureau
(800) 828-5000

New York State Attorney General
(800) 771-7755

New York State Consumer Protection Board
(800) 697-1220

Federal Trade Commission
(877) 382-4357

This report is general in nature and is not intended as a reliability report on any company, service or product.