1. How do I sign up for the national "do not call" registry?
The only identifying information that will be kept in the registry will be the phone number you register. Signing up will take only a few minutes. You can expect fewer calls within three months of the date you sign up for the registry.
2. What is it going to cost to sign up for the national "do not call" registry?
3. When will I be able to sign up?
The FTC's implementation schedule for the national "do not call" registry will be updated at the FTC website.
4. How will the national "do not call" registry work?
After the law takes effect, if you register and yet still receive telemarketing calls, you'll be able to file a complaint with the FTC online or by calling a toll-free number. A telemarketer who calls a number on the registry could be fined up to $11,000 for each call.
Your number will stay on the registry for five years or until you take your number off the registry or change phone numbers. After five years, you will be able to renew your registration.
5. If I register my number on the national "do not call" registry, will it stop all telemarketing calls?
The FCC has initiated a rulemaking proceeding that would extend the "do not call" registry to many of the businesses that are exempt from FTC coverage. That FCC proceeding is ongoing.
6. Because so many kinds of companies are exempt from the TSR, won't this new national "do not call" registry have a lot of holes?
7. What about telemarketers calling from overseas? Are they covered? Won't you have difficulty enforcing your national "do not call" registry outside the U.S?
8. Won't this new national "do not call" registry cover less than the state "do not call" laws?
9. Doesn't the Direct Marketing Association already run a free "do not call" program?
10. I get lots of calls soliciting money for political organizations or for charities - will the national "do not call" registry stop those types of calls?
11. What about callers that claim to be taking a survey?
12. I'm happy that I can get rid of calls I don't want, but there are some telemarketing calls I don't mind receiving. Is there a way to allow only certain companies to call?
Also, even if you put your number on the national "do not call" registry, the Rule allows companies with which you have an established business relationship to call you for up to18 months after your last purchase or delivery from it, or your last payment to it, unless you ask the company not to call again. (In that case, the Rule requires the company to honor your request, and if they subsequently call you again, they may be subject to a fine of $11,000.) Also, if you make an inquiry to a company or submit an application to it, for three months afterwards the company can call you. If you make a specific request to that company not to call you, however, then the company may not call you, even if you have an established business relationship with that company.
If you do not want to put your number on the national registry, you can still prohibit individual telemarketers, one by one, from calling by asking them to put you on their company's "do not call" list.
13. I'm already on my state "do not call" list. What should I do?
14. Does the FTC's decision mean that state "do not call" laws are no longer in effect?
15. A friend of mine won a lawsuit against a telemarketer that wouldn't stop calling and collected $500. Does this new FTC decision prevent suits like that in the future?
16. Doesn't the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have some "do not call" regulations also? How does this new FTC "do not call" program fit in with that?
17. Do I register just once? Or will I need to renew my registration after a while?
18. Can businesses sign up for the "do not call" registry?
19. I have two telephone lines. Are they both covered?
20. Can I register my cell phone number?
21. I've noticed that when telemarketers call, my caller ID says "number not available" or something like that. Are you doing anything about that?
22. I've noticed that when telemarketers call, there's often a long pause before anyone comes on the line. This annoys me. Can't you do anything about that?
23. What other protections are there against unwanted telemarketing calls?
24. So the TSR does more than regulate unwanted telemarketing calls. Are there any changes to the fraud and deception provisions of the Rule?
Another change addresses problems that arise when a telemarketer uses a new or unfamiliar payment mechanism - for example, billing charges for goods or services to your checking account, your phone bill, your existing mortgage account, or some other account besides a credit card or debit card. When you pay for goods or services in a telemarketing transaction using any of these unconventional billing methods, the telemarketer must obtain your express verifiable authorization to the terms of the transaction. The Rule spells out in detail exactly what a telemarketer must do to make sure you understand what account will be charged, and how much.
About the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Published: Monday, May 5, 2003
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