Telemarketing calls: businesses rely on them, consumers hate them. As such, the federal government has enacted the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to regulate commercial telemarketing calls or text messages trying to sell you a product or service. Initially, the TCPA aimed to target certain telemarketing calls, specifically “auto-dialed” calls with pre-recorded messages. (In other words, calls not made by a live person.) In 2004, however, the National Do-Not-Call List, a part of the TCPA, was implemented. Here is what you should know about the Do-Not-Call List.
- The Do-Not-Call List rules apply to any telephone solicitation, whether live or pre-recorded; whether manually dialed or auto-dialed.
- Telephone solicitations cannot be made to any residential or mobile telephone subscriber before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. (local time at the called party’s location).
- The Do-Not-Call List is maintained by the federal government. Registration for consumers (residential and mobile subscribers) is free.
- Businesses must purchase the List from the government.
- A consumer’s registry on the Do-Not-Call List must be honored indefinitely or until the registration is cancelled by the consumer.
- The Do-Not-Call List rules do not apply to a consumer with whom the business has an established business relationship. A business may call a subscriber for up to 18 months after the last purchase or delivery, or last payment, unless the business is asked not to call again.
- Businesses engaging in telemarketing must have routine business practices to help avoid improper solicitations to numbers on the Do-Not-Call List. These business practices include having written procedures, training personnel, maintaining lists of prohibited numbers, and accessing the national Do-Not-Call database.
- Businesses engaging in telemarketing must maintain a list of people (with corresponding telephone numbers) who request not to receive telemarketing calls from that particular telemarketing entity. The request must be honored within 30 days of the date of the request, and for five years thereafter.
- Consumers on the Do-Not-Call List may still provide express written permission that states that the consumer agrees to be contacted by a business at a particular phone number.
- The Do-Not-Call List does not prohibit a business from calling someone with whom he or she has a personal relationship.
Contact Wright Beamer with any questions regarding compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.