• Congress to Require Marketers to Update Do-Not-Call Lists Monthly
  • February 10, 2004
  • Law Firm: Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • Congress has authorized the Federal Trade Commission to adopt rules requiring that telemarketers update their do-not-call lists on a monthly basis. Currently, they are required to check the FTC-maintained list every quarter. According to the language of the bill (H.R. 2673) recently signed by President Bush, the FTC has 60 days in which to promulgate the new rules. The new rules would take effect 30 days after the rules are finalized.

    Effective January 29, 2004, the FTC is requiring telemarketers to transmit their telephone numbers and, where the technology exists, their names to consumers who have Caller ID services. The FTC stated that this "will help consumers choose which sales calls they want to take."

    The rule allows telemarketers to substitute the name of the client on whose behalf they are calling and the client's telephone number, provided that this number is answered during regular business hours. The FTC acknowledged that telemarketers would not be held liable for "isolated instances" when the Caller ID information fails in the transmission.

    Significance: Both Congress and the FTC are actively responding to consumer concerns regarding unsolicited telemarketing calls through increased regulation. Telemarketers must continue to be vigilant and must keep apprised of the latest regulatory developments.