• Do Not Call List Made Permanent
  • May 8, 2008
  • Law Firm: Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • Telephone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry will not have to be renewed, under the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007, which became effective in February 2008. More than 157 million phone numbers are now listed on the Registry.
     
    The Federal Trade Commission will continue to purge the list of phone numbers that have been disconnected and reassigned to other customers. Consumers can also take their phone numbers off the list themselves by calling 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-290-4236) from the phone number they wish to delete.

    The new law sets the yearly fees paid by telemarketers to access the Registry in fiscal year 2009 at $54 for each area code of data accessed or $14,850 for access to every area code in the Registry, whichever is less. Access to the first five area codes of data is free, and certain organizations will continue to be able to access all data at no charge. For each fiscal year beginning after fiscal year 2009, the fees will be increased at the rate of change of the consumer price index, unless the change is less than 1 percent, in which case the fees will not be adjusted.

    The agency also issued a release clarifying telemarketing rules for cell phones:

    Cell phone numbers are not being released to telemarketers, contrary to a number of e-mails being sent around the Internet. To be free of most telemarketing calls, it is not even necessary to register cell phone numbers on the DNC list. Federal Communications Commission rules ban telemarketers from calling cell phone numbers with automated dialers, which are standard in the industry. The national associations representing telemarketers have stated that their members do not intend to start calling consumers’ cell phones.

    The FTC reminded consumers that there is no deadline to register a home or cell phone number and that registration is free. It does not permit private companies to register consumers, and it cautions that Web sites or phone solicitors that claim they can or will register or confirm a consumer’s name or phone number on a national list — especially those who charge a fee — are a scam.