Almost everyone has had an evening interrupted by calls from telemarketers. The Federal Communications Commission manages and enforces the national “Do Not Call” registry which is in place to protect families from unwanted sales calls. The registry is a nationwide list which applies to all types of telemarketers except from some non-profit organizations. If your phone number is on the registry, commercial telemarketers are not supposed to call your number. If they do call a number that is on the “do not call’ list, they can be subject to fines.

Calls Covered by the Do Not Call Registry

It does not cost to register a phone number with the national registry. Once you call and place your phone number(s) on the registry, it stays on the list until you remove it or until the number is no longer connected. You never have to re-register a phone number. The Do Not Call list doesn’t stop every unwanted call, but it does cover many types of calls. The types of calls that the registry does not apply to include:

  • Calls from organizations you already have an established business relationship with
  • Calls you have granted permission for – in writing
  • Calls that are not commercial in nature
  • Calls that are made for tax-exempt, non-profit organizations

How to Register for the No-Call List?

Consumers can register a residential phone number or a wireless phone number on the national registry. They simply call a number or register online. There is no fee for registering a number on the no-call registry. Sellers and telemarketing industries are required to search the registry every 31 days minimally. They have to drop any consumer phone numbers who have been registered on the list. They cannot call any number that is on the do-not-call registry or they are subject to fines.

When can a consumer file a complaint?

Complaints can be filed when a consumer feels a business has violated the do-not-call list. If a not-for-charity telemarketer is calling for commercial purposes and if:

  • The telemarketer called after 9PM or before 8 AM
  • The telemarketer leaves a message without leaving a phone number for their company’s do-not-call list
  • You get a phone call from a company you have already asked to not call you
  • The telemarketer does not identify the company
  • You get a recorded message from a business you do not have a relationship with or you have not granted permission to call you

Any one of these are legitimate reasons to file a complaint on a telemarketer.