The Federal Trade Commission announced this week that phone numbers on the Do Not Call list now exceed 200 million.
The Do Not Call list, which was created in 2003, allows consumers to register to prevent telemarketing calls. Consumers can register both cell phones and home phones by filling out a form online or by calling a toll free number. Once a consumer registers a phone number, they never need to re-register. Once the number has been registered for 31 days, consumers can file a complaint against any telemarketers who call the number. In addition, even if a number is not registered, consumers can file a complaint against any company that calls and plays a recorded message.
One important thing to note about the Do Not Call list is that debt collectors can continue to call consumers, regardless of whether the individual’s number is on the list or not. In addition, charities, political organizations, and surveyors are allowed to call. Businesses with whom a consumer has done business with in the past 18 months may also call unless requested to stop by the consumer.
Since the implementation of the Do Not Call list in 2003, the FTC has brought over 60 complaints against violators of the Do Not Call list. The largest settlement resulted in $5.3 million in penalties against the violator.
The Do Not Call list has been a huge benefit for consumers, many of whom were being bombarded by telemarketing calls prior to 2003. The list has resulted in far fewer exchanges like this.