Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The National Do Not Call Registry

If you do not want annoying telemarketers bothering you at home, you have the option to register on the national Do Not Call Registry. Registration on the list is now permanent thanks to the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007, which was approved in February.

According to the Registry's Web site, "Most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days." You must reregister if your phone number changes and must register every phone number you have. The registry only applies to the phone number, not the person.

Also, if your phone is disconnected for any reason, you should reregister on the list if you do not want to receive telemarketing calls.

Political organizations and nonprofits are not covered by the Do Not Call Registry, unless the calls are made by a third-party telemarketing service. Nor does it apply to companies you already do business with, such as credit card companies, or phone survey takers.

If you wish not to receive calls from exempt parties, simply tell them so and they must honor the request. "If they subsequently call you again, they may be subject to a fine of up to $11,000," according to the Do Not Call Registry Web site.

The Do Not Call Registry is administered by the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.

You can register you number for the National Do Not Call Registry by applying online at https://www.donotcall.gov/ or calling toll-free 1-888-382-1222. Cell phones can be put on the list.

Third parties are not allowed to place a phone number on the Do Not Call Registry.

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