The National Do Not Call registry began in 2003 in the United States. The Federal Trade Commission [FTC] operates the program. This registry pertains to residential landline phone numbers only, cell phones and fax numbers are regulated under another set of laws. Business lines are not protected.
Once listed you may still be contacted for 31 days, however after that unsolicited calls must stop, or you have the right to report them to the FTC.
The Do Not Call registry will not end all unsolicited calls. Political organizations may still contact you as well as non-profit organizations. If you have done business with a company in the last eighteen months, said company may contact you, unless specifically asked not to call you.
Creditors and collection agencies may call as well, but are well regulated by many other laws. Companies taking surveys may call as well, there is a common loophole in which someone calls and takes a survey then asks to call back at a later date, and this gives them permission to call again as if you are doing business with them. This type of loophole has caused at least one restraining order to be issued in addition to a handful of other court cases.
As of 2008 numbers are added to the Do Not Call list permanently, prior to this you needed to renew every five years. Numbers can be removed only by request of the person owning the phone line. The other ways a phone number can be removed are if the number is invalid, disconnected or reassigned.
These conditions are checked for and updated several times per month. Over seventy percent of US residents have registered with the Do Not Call list and of those seventy-seven percent saw a large difference in blind telemarketing calls. The remaining percentage stated a small change had been noticed. On average phone calls will drop from thirty per month to around six per month.
Do Not Call registry will allow you to list your number. As well as verify you are on the list and if needed file a complaint. The complaint form is very straight forward, but be sure you note the time as well as the company and phone number they call from as these are key pieces of information in a complaint.
If you have limited or unstable internet you may register by phone as well from any US based phone simply dial 1-888-382-1222. Scammers have been calling saying they are with the National Do Not Call registry, this are illegitimate, the Do Not Call registry/FTC will never call you. Likewise cell phones do not need to be registered, you may if you wish, but there are other laws in place preventing telemarketers from calling mobile numbers.
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