Do Not Call Violation
|Number of Active NDNCR registrations
||Maximum Fine per Violation
||Amount Recovered in Civil Penalties
||Amount Recovered in Other Penalties
Figures from the FTC's National Do Not Call Registry Data Book - 2014
Since the implementation of the National Do Not Call Registry (NDNCR), many companies conducting outbound calls have received citations and many do not call violators have had to pay steep fines for non-compliance with its regulations. Also during this time, many more consumers have put their land line and wireless phone numbers on the NDNCR. According to the FTC's National Do Not Call Registry Data Book - 2014, "the Registry has continued to grow since its inception in the summer of 2003. At the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 (October 1, 2013 - September 30, 2014), there were more than 217 million active registrations. The citations and fines, plus the growing number of NDNCR registrations, emphasize the need for telemarketers and sellers to ensure that their outbound calling efforts are in full compliance with the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).
It all started on December 18, 2003, when the FCC took its first action against a telemarketer for a do not call violation. The case involved CPM Funding, Inc. (d.b.a. California Pacific Mortgage) who was cited for making telemarketing calls to consumers whose numbers were registered with the National Do Not Call Registry. The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau had previously notified them of consumer complaints and provided the firm with the opportunity to submit any information that could demonstrate the lawfulness of the calls and thereby exonerate them of any do not call list violation. CPM Funding did not dispute making the calls and did not claim any exemptions or demonstrate that they complied with the commission’s standards governing the use of the National Do Not Call Registry. The FCC issued a citation for the do not call violation and informed the firm that any further do not call list violations could result in monetary forfeitures to the commission not to exceed $11,000 for each violation. (The current fine can be up to $16,000 for each violation.)
The FCC and FTC have since issued hundreds of citations and millions of dollars in fines to do not call violators. Had many of these telemarketers, however, been able to successfully claim “Safe Harbor”, they could have avoided these costly fines. The TSR’s Safe Harbor provision provides guidelines for legitimate sellers and telemarketers to avoid do not call list violations and civil penalties or sanctions for erroneously calling a number on the National Registry.
To claim Safe Harbor in the event of a violation, a telemarketing company must show:
- it has established and implemented written procedures to honor consumers’ requests not to be called
- it has trained its personnel in these procedures
- it has maintained and recorded an entity-specific Do Not Call list
- it is using (and maintaining records documenting) a process to prevent calls to any number on an entity-specific Do Not Call list or the National Do Not Call Registry
- it is enforcing compliance with its written Do Not Call procedures
- that the call was the result of an error.
The mission of Do Not Call Compliance is to provide sellers and telemarketers with the highest level of call compliance protection, including the ability to claim Safe Harbor in the event of a call violation, at an affordable price with a fast, easy-to-use system.
To start your compliance program today, click here!