Included in our services is assistance in registering and purchasing access to area codes with the National Do Not Call Registry!
Entity-Specific DNC Provision National Do Not Call
It is a violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule to call any consumer who has asked not to be called again - the “entity-specific Do Not Call” provision. FTC Regulations
A telemarketer may not call a consumer who previously has asked not to receive any more calls from, or on behalf of, a particular seller or charitable organization.
It also is a Rule violation for a seller who has been asked by a consumer not to call again to cause a telemarketer to call that consumer.
Sellers and telemarketers are responsible for maintaining their individual Do Not Call lists of consumers who have asked not to receive calls placed by, or on behalf of, a particular seller.
Calling a consumer who has asked not to be called potentially exposes a seller and telemarketer to a civil penalty of $16,000 per violation.
Telemarketers who sell goods or services through interstate telephone methods
are required to follow the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule.
Telemarketers who sell goods or services through intrastate telephone methods are required to follow their state do not call compliance regulations.
Understanding complicated terminology is the first step in Do Not Call Compliance.
Some organizations do not have to comply with the National Do Not Call Registry, including:
Scrubbing Your List
Ensuring that your calling lists have been compared to the National and State Do Not Call Registries on a regular basis will keep your company out of trouble!
The routine process of "scrubbing" your telephone lists includes comparing your lists to the most recent National and/or State Do Not Call Registry lists. Any new telephone numbers that have been added to the National and/or State Do Not Call Registry lists within the last 31 days that appear on your lists will be removed. Your lists will only contain those numbers you are allowed to call.
With Do Not Call Compliance.com you can rest assured that your telemarketing efforts are in full compliance.
DO NOT CALL COMPLIANCE FAQ
|What services do you provide?|
Do Not Call Compliance provides telemarketers with a full suite of call compliance services enabling telemarketers to safely solicit goods and services via telephone without risking penalties or violating State Do Not Call and National Do Not Call Rules and regulations.
More about our Telemarketing Do Not Call Scrubbing & List Compliance Services
|How much do your call compliance services cost?|
The cost of services depends on the plan you select. You can choose as many services as needed, based on your company's telemarketing requirements. We offer both State Do Not Call and National Do Not Call service plans. We also offer Wireless service plans.
|Why do I need Do Not Call Compliance.com?|
Can’t I register at the government's website, pay the fees, download the Do Not Call file, match my outbound calling list against the Do Not Call file, delete the matches, and then make my telemarketing calls all on my own?
There are well over two hundred million numbers in the National Do Not Call file. Generally speaking, companies are not prepared to dedicate the time or computer power to deal with such large downloads and then program their system to find and remove the matches. In addition, the FTC, FCC and various state officials have created a maze of rules and regulations that must be followed in order to avoid the costly federal fines of up to $16,000 and state fines of up to $25,000 per violation.
Do Not Call Compliance.com provides you with the highest level of call compliance protection with a fast and easy-to-use system and at an affordable price. Whether your company is Fortune 500 or a single office operation, our extensive suite of services can be customized to meet your specific needs.
|How Does the Telemarketing Sales Rule Protect Consumers’ Privacy?|
The Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) prohibits sellers and telemarketers from engaging in certain abusive practices that infringe on a consumer’s right to be left alone.
The Rule’s privacy protections include prohibitions on:
- calling a person whose number is on the National Do Not Call Registry or a person who has asked not to get telemarketing calls from a particular company or charity.
- misusing a Do Not Call list.
- denying or interfering with a person’s Do Not Call rights.
- calling outside the permissible hours.
- abandoning an outbound telephone call.
- failing to transmit Caller ID information.
- using threats, intimidation, or profane or obscene language.
- causing any telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass.
|How does the National Do Not Call Registry Work?|
The FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry has been accepting registrations from consumers who choose not to receive telemarketing sales calls since 2003. Consumers can place their telephone numbers on the National Registry by making a toll-free telephone call or via the Internet. Only telephone numbers are included in the National Registry. This means that all household members who share a number will stop receiving most telemarketing calls after the number is registered. Consumers may register both their residential “land line” telephone numbers and their wireless telephone numbers. It is a Rule violation to make any covered calls without having scrubbed your call list against the National Do Not Call Registry - that is, deleting all numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry from their lists - at least every 31 days.
Violators will be subject to civil penalties of up to $16,000 per violation, as well as injunctive remedies. The provision does not apply to business-to-business calls or calls to consumers from or on behalf of charities. Still, telefunders calling to solicit charitable contributions must honor a donor’s request not to be called on behalf of a particular charitable organization.
The Do Not Call provisions of the TSR cover any plan, program, or campaign to sell goods or services involving interstate phone calls. This includes calls by telemarketers who solicit consumers, often on behalf of third-party sellers. It also includes sellers who are paid to provide, offer to provide, or arrange to provide goods or services to consumers. However, sellers and telemarketers should also be aware that the FCC regulates telemarketing calls. For more information, see the FCC’s Web site, www.fcc.gov.
|What are the Penalties for Violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule?|
Anyone who violates the Rule is subject to civil penalties of up to $16,000 per violation. In addition, violators may be subject to nationwide injunctions that prohibit certain conduct, and may be required to pay redress to injured consumers.
|Who must pay the fee with the National Do Not Call Registry?|
All sellers covered by the TSR must pay the appropriate fee for an area code of data before they call, or cause a telemarketer to call, any consumer within that area code, even those consumers whose telephone numbers are not on the National Registry. The only exceptions are for sellers who call only consumers with which they have an existing business relationship (if they are NOT using an automated or predictive dialer to place their calls) or consumers with which they have prior express written permission to call, and do not access the National Registry for any other purpose. Charities and political organizations that voluntarily want to access the National Registry to prevent calling consumers whose numbers are on the Registry may access the Registry at no cost. Telemarketers and service providers may access the National Registry, at no cost, through the use of their seller-client’s unique account number.
|How much does it cost to access the National DNC Registry? |
The access rates to the Do Not Call Phone Numbers database are set by the Federal Government and are the same no matter what compliance service you use.
Access to up to five area codes is free and then the annual fee is $60 per area code of data (after five) up to a maximum annual fee of $16,482. In addition, it is a federal violation to place any telemarketing calls into any area code in which you are not registered. These fees are collected by the federal government by completing the registration process on their website. We can help you with properly completing the registration process with the National Do Not Call Registry. (We can help you with signing up).
|What happens to companies that don’t pay for access to the National Registry?|
A company that is a seller or telemarketer could be liable for placing any telemarketing calls (even to numbers NOT on the National Registry) unless the seller has paid the required fee for access to the Registry. Violators may be subject to fines of up to $16,000 per violation. Each call may be considered a separate violation. However, sellers and telemarketers should also be aware that the FCC regulates telemarketing calls. For more information, see the FCC’s Web site, www.fcc.gov.
|What if I call a number that’s not on the National Registry without checking the Registry first?|
It’s against the law to call (or cause a telemarketer to call) any number on the National Registry (unless the seller has an established business relationship with the consumer whose number is being called and the seller is not using an automated or predictive dialer to place the calls, or the consumer has given prior express written permission to be called). It is also against the law for a seller to call (or cause a telemarketer to call) any person whose number is within a given area code unless the seller first has paid the annual fee for access to the portion of the National Registry that includes numbers within that area code.
In addition, it’s against the law for a telemarketer, calling on behalf of a seller, to call any person whose number is within a given area code unless the seller has first paid the annual fee for access to the portion of the National Registry that includes numbers within that area code. Telemarketers must make sure that their seller-clients have paid for access to the National Registry before placing any telemarketing calls on their behalf. However, sellers and telemarketers should also be aware that the FCC regulates telemarketing calls. For more information, see the FCC’s Web site, www.fcc.gov.
|What’s my liability if my company inadvertently calls a number on the National Registry?|
The TSR has a “safe harbor” for inadvertent mistakes. If a seller or telemarketer can show that, as part of its routine business practice, it meets all the requirements of the safe harbor, it will not be subject to civil penalties or sanctions for mistakenly calling a consumer who has asked for no more calls, or for calling a person on the National Registry. However, sellers and telemarketers should also be aware that the FCC regulates telemarketing calls.
|What happens if a consumer is called after he or she has asked not to be called? |
If a seller or telemarketer calls a consumer who has:
the seller and telemarketer may be liable for a Rule violation. If an investigation reveals that neither the seller nor the telemarketer had written Do Not Call procedures in place, both will be liable for the Rule violation. If the seller had written Do Not Call procedures, but the telemarketer ignored them, the telemarketer will be liable for the Rule violation; the seller also might be liable, unless it could demonstrate that it monitored and enforced Do Not Call compliance and otherwise implemented its written procedures. Ultimately, a seller is responsible for keeping a current entity-specific Do Not Call list, either through a telemarketing service it hires or its own efforts.
- placed his number on the National Registry
- not given prior express written permission to be called
- either no established business relationship with the seller, or has asked to get no more calls from or on behalf of that seller . . .
|What is Do Not Call Safe Harbor? |
If a seller or telemarketer can establish that as part of its routine business practice, it meets the following requirements, it will not be subject to civil penalties or sanctions for erroneously calling a consumer who has asked not to be called, or for calling a number on the National Registry:
- the seller or telemarketer has established and implemented written procedures to honor consumers’ requests that they not be called.
- the seller or telemarketer has trained its personnel, and any entity assisting in its compliance, in these procedures.
- the seller, telemarketer, or someone else acting on behalf of the seller or charitable organization has maintained and recorded an entity-specific Do Not Call list.
- the seller or telemarketer uses, and maintains records documenting, a process to prevent calls to any telephone number on an entity-specific Do Not Call list or the National Do Not Call Registry. This, provided that the latter process involves using a version of the National Registry from the FTC no more than 31 days before the date any call is made.
- the seller, telemarketer, or someone else acting on behalf of the seller or charitable organization monitors and enforces compliance with the entity’s written Do Not Call procedures.
- the call is a result of error.
|How do the registries operated by the FTC, the FCC, and the various states fit together?|
On June 26, 2003, the FCC announced that it was joining the FTC in creating and enforcing one National Registry. Together, the FTC and the FCC have jurisdiction over nearly all sales calls placed to U.S. consumers. Twelve states currently administer their own Do Not Call lists. Most of these states will add the numbers on their registries to the National Do Not Call Registry. However, the TSR does NOT preempt state law, so sellers, telemarketers, and others who engage in telemarketing will have to check with the various states to determine what is required for compliance at the state level.
|What is the Established Business Relationship Exemption?|
Sellers and telemarketers may call a consumer with whom a seller has an established business relationship, provided the consumer has not asked to be on the seller’s entity-specific Do Not Call list. The Rule states that there are two kinds of established business relationships.
One is based on the consumer’s purchase, rental, or lease of the seller’s goods or services, or a financial transaction between the consumer and seller, within 18 months preceding a telemarketing call. The 18-month period runs from the date of the last payment, transaction, or shipment between the consumer and the seller.
The other is based on a consumer’s inquiry or application regarding a seller’s goods or services, and exists for three months starting from the date the consumer makes the inquiry or application. This enables sellers to return calls to interested prospects even if their telephone numbers are on the National Registry.
|To whom does the established business relationship apply?|
An established business relationship is between a seller and a customer; it is not necessarily between one of the seller’s subsidiaries or affiliates and that customer.
The test for whether a subsidiary or affiliate can claim an established business relationship with a sister company’s customer is: would the customer expect to receive a call from such an entity, or would the customer feel such a call is inconsistent with having placed his or her number on the National Do Not Call Registry?
Factors to be considered in this analysis include the nature and type of goods or services offered and the identity of the affiliate. Are the affiliate’s goods or services similar to the seller’s? Is the affiliate’s name identical or similar to the seller’s? The greater the similarity between the nature and type of goods sold by the seller and any subsidiary or affiliate and the greater the similarity in identity between the seller and any subsidiary and affiliate, the more likely it is that the call would fall within the established business relationship exemption.
|What is the Entity-Specific Do Not Call Provision?|
It is a Rule violation to call any consumer who has asked not to be called again (the “entity-specific Do Not Call” provision). A telemarketer may not call a consumer who previously has asked not to receive any more calls from or on behalf of a particular seller or charitable organization. It also is a Rule violation for a seller who has been asked by a consumer not to call again to cause a telemarketer to call that consumer. Sellers and telemarketers are responsible for maintaining their individual Do Not Call lists of consumers who have asked not to receive calls placed by, or on behalf of, a particular seller. Calling a consumer who has asked not to be called potentially exposes a seller and telemarketer to a civil penalty of $11,000 per violation.
|The Written Permission to Call Exemption|
The Rule allows sellers and telemarketers to call any consumer who gives his or her express agreement to receive calls, even if the consumer’s number is in the National Do Not Call Registry. The consumer must give express agreement in writing to receive calls placed by - or on behalf of - the seller, including the number to which calls may be made, and the consumer’s signature.
The signature may be a valid electronic signature, if the agreement is reached online. If a seller seeks a consumer’s permission to call, the request must be clear and conspicuous, and the consumer’s assent must be affirmative. If the request is made in writing, it cannot be hidden; printed in small, pale, or non-contrasting type; hidden on the back or bottom of the document; or buried in unrelated information where a person would not expect to find such a request. A consumer must provide consent affirmatively, such as by checking a box. For example, a consumer responding to an email request for permission to call would not be deemed to have provided such permission if the “Please call me” button was pre-checked as a default.
In the FTC’s enforcement experience, sweepstakes entry forms often have been used in a deceptive manner to obtain “authorization” from a consumer to incur a charge or some other detriment. Authorization or permission obtained through subterfuge is ineffective. The FTC scrutinizes any use of such sweepstakes entry forms as a way to get a consumer’s permission to place telemarketing calls to her number.
|Suppose I accidentally call a DNC number?|
When a telemarketer violates the Do Not Call policies, huge fines may be imposed on the company. We recommend that you contact your attorney immediately. If the telemarketer was registered and conformed to Telemarketing Do Not Call policies, a "safe harbor" clause may be applicable, as defined by the FTC.
|Do you offer compliance reporting?|
Telemarketing Do Not Call chronicles all of your compliance activities including list scrubbing, agent training, DNC policy creation, internal DNC list maintenance and storage of campaign records. Compliance reporting helps you meet the COPC-2000 standard and provides the necessary documentation to defend against potential DNC-related compliance violations.
|How do your list scrubbing services work?|
By using an automated Web-based management system, you will be able to upload and download telephone calling lists each month that are ready for your telemarketers to use. In addition, this service automatically removes Do Not Call numbers from your current list and allows you to check your numbers individually. See our list of services for more detail.
|What is the TSR Provision Regarding Transmitting Caller ID Information?|
It is a violation of the Rule to fail to transmit or cause to be transmitted the telephone number, and, when available by the telemarketer’s telephone company, the name of the telemarketer to any consumer’s caller identification service. This provision took effect January 29, 2004.
To comply with this requirement, a telemarketer may transmit its own number and, where available, its own name, to consumers’ caller identification services. The Rule also allows a substitution of the name of the seller (or charitable organization) on whose behalf the telemarketer is calling, and the seller’s (or charitable organization’s) customer (or donor) service telephone number, which is answered during regular business hours. The Rule permits a service bureau calling on behalf of many client-sellers to transmit a client-seller’s customer service number (or the donor service number of a charitable organization client) as well as the names of these entities, if the service bureau’s telephone company has the capacity to transmit this information.
There may be situations when a consumer who subscribes to a Caller ID service does not receive a telemarketer’s transmission of Caller ID information despite the fact that the telemarketer has arranged with its carrier to transmit this information in every call. This can happen if the Caller ID information is dropped somewhere between the telemarketer’s call center and the consumer’s telephone. Telemarketers who can show that they took all available steps to ensure transmission of Caller ID information in every call will not be liable for isolated inadvertent instances when the Caller ID information fails to make it to the consumer’s receiver. Nevertheless, a telemarketer’s use of calling equipment that is not capable of transmitting Caller ID information is no excuse for failure to transmit the required information.
|What are the National Calling Time Restrictions?|
Unless a telemarketer has a person’s prior consent to do otherwise, it is violation of the Rule to make outbound telemarketing calls to the person’s home outside the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
|What is the TSR's Call Abandonment Provision? |
The Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) expressly prohibits telemarketers from abandoning any outbound telephone call, but has an alternative that allows some flexibility while enabling you to avoid liability under this provision. The call abandonment provision and safe harbor take effect October 1, 2003. Abandoned calls often result from the telemarketers’ use of predictive dialers to call consumers. Predictive dialers promote telemarketers’ efficiency by simultaneously calling multiple consumers for every available sales representative. This maximizes the amount of time telemarketing sales representatives spend talking to consumers and minimizes representatives’ “downtime.” But it also means some calls are abandoned: consumers are either hung up on or kept waiting for long periods until a representative is available.
Under the Rule’s definition, an outbound telephone call is “abandoned” if a person answers it and the telemarketer does not connect the call to a sales representative within two seconds of the person’s completed greeting. The use of prerecorded message telemarketing, where a sales pitch begins with or is made entirely by a prerecorded message, violates the TSR because the telemarketer is not connecting the call to a sales representative within two seconds of the person’s completed greeting.
The abandoned call safe harbor provides that a telemarketer will not face enforcement action for violating the call abandonment prohibition if the telemarketer:
To take advantage of the safe harbor, a telemarketer must first ensure that a live representative takes the call in at least 97 percent of the calls answered by consumers. Calls answered by machine, calls that are not answered at all, and calls to nonworking numbers do not count in this calculation.
- uses technology that ensures abandonment of no more than three percent of all calls answered by a live person, measured per day per calling campaign.
- allows the telephone to ring for 15 seconds or four rings before disconnecting an unanswered call.
- plays a recorded message stating the name and telephone number of the seller on whose behalf the call was placed whenever a live sales representative is unavailable within two seconds of a live person answering the call.
- maintains records documenting adherence to the three requirements above.
A telemarketer also must eliminate “early hangups” by allowing an unanswered call to ring either four times or for 15 seconds before disconnecting the call. This element of the safe harbor ensures that consumers have reasonable time to answer a call and are not subjected to “dead air” after one, two, or three rings.
In addition, in the small permissible percentage of calls in which a live representative may not be available within two seconds of the consumer’s completed greeting, the telemarketer must play a recorded message. The message must state the name and telephone number of the seller responsible for the call, enabling the consumer to know who was calling and, should the consumer wish, to return the call. The Rule expressly states that sellers and telemarketers still must comply with relevant state and federal laws, including, but not limited to, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 U.S.C. § 227) and FCC regulations at 47 C.F.R. Part 64.1200. The FCC regulations prohibit such recorded messages from containing a sales pitch, but, like the TSR provision discussed here, require that the message state “only the name and telephone number of the business, entity, or individual on whose behalf the call was placed and that the call was for ‘telemarketing purposes.’” The recorded message must not contain a sales pitch. The number on the recorded message must be one to which a consumer can call to place an entity specific Do Not Call request.
Finally, a telemarketer wishing to avail itself of the safe harbor for abandoned calls must keep records that document its compliance with the first three safe harbor components in accordance with the recordkeeping provision of the Rule (Section 310.5). The records must establish that the abandonment rate has not exceeded three percent and that the ring time and recorded message requirements have been fulfilled.
|What about Charities & Telefunders?|
Telefunders must maintain individual Do Not Call lists for charities on whose behalf they make telemarketing calls. Calling someone who has asked not to be called on behalf of a charitable organization potentially exposes the telefunder who places the call to a civil penalty of $11,000 per violation.
Start your Do Not Call Compliance program now or call 800-930-7252 to learn how you can put our experience and expertise to work for you!
Telemarketing do not call list compliance with Do Not Call Compliance. Register your company and comply with state and federal do not call regulations. Telephone number scrubbing.