Signing up to be included in the National Registry is a choice and is extremely simple in that a request can be completed online by answering a few simple questions or by calling directly. Although it does not impact the amount of "junk mail" an individual might receive through postal services, it does reduce, and in some cases completely eliminate, telephone calls to land lines as well as cell phones. Once registered it takes about 31 days for the calls to cease and to verify if a phone number is no longer on the list, you can access the registry online at www.donotcall.gov or call the toll free number at 1-888-382-1222. Over 90% of individuals on the list notice a reduction in unsolicited calls which continues to drop with time.

NOTE: If you've received a call and would like to report it use callercenter.com

Even after registering, you can also change your mind at any time by calling 1-888-382-1222 from the phone you would like to delete. For instance, by calling from a land line, that number will be deleted from the list within 24 hours. Again, telemarketers are given 31 days to be informed that you have, again, made yourself available to their inquiries. Even as effective as it is, however, there are certain constraints built into the law:

The Registry Does NOT:

  • Allow private companies or 3rd parties to sign up to the Do Not Call list for you. Should an individual view a website or receive a call indicating they can register for you, especially for a fee, this is probably a scam.
  • Charge for this service. This is absolutely free and consumers can apply directly with the federal government's www.donotcall.gov website or by calling using the phone that is to be registered.
  • Share your email account information with telemarketers.
  • Have the means to block text messaging SMS telemarketing strategies.
  • Remove numbers after a certain length of time. Once listed on the National Do Not Call Registry, numbers will only be removed upon request or when disconnected.
  • Block the political solicitations and charities unless a 3rd party is making the call, for the sole purpose of conducting a survey, or for those who have established a business relationship; however, they must quit calling 18 months following the last purchase, delivery, or payment unless you ask the company to stop calling sooner. So even if you sign up to the Do Not Call list you may still get these type of calls.

The Registry Does:

  • Keep telephone numbers in a database which must be reviewed by telemarketers every 31 days in order to know which numbers to delete. This is a secure site, however, so fearing it will be infiltrated for the purpose of scamming is unlikely.
  • Share numbers with law enforcement in order to ensure compliance with state and federal laws.
  • Contact you by email in order to confirm your online registration and, therefore, maintains a listing of email account information.
  • Allow both land line and cell phone registration, but not business-to-business or fax numbers to be registered.
  • Allow registration of up to three phone numbers per request. Each request must be made with the phone that is to be blocked from telemarketers.
  • Automatically removes disconnected numbers. Therefore, if numbers are disconnected and reconnected re-registration is often required.
  • Changing calling plans or changing the name on the billing account can also cause a number to be removed. However, changing an area code will not remove the number. To verify that the number is still on the Registry it will be listed on www.donotcall.gov website or can be verified by calling 1-888-382-1222.

Many other aspects of the program can be found by visiting the National Do Not Call Registry website at www.donotcall.gov. Individual states can also have additional restrictions when it comes to telemarketing calls, but the FCC's requirements impact some state laws so it's always a good idea to visit the FCC website at www.fcc.gov for clarification. You can also acquire additional information from the FTC by email at dncconsumerinquiry2@ftc.gov or by making a request in writing at:

National Do Not Call Registry
Attn: DNC Program Manager
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20580

The National Do Not Call Registry was originally created in order to provide consumers with a choice as to whether or not they wished to receive telemarketing calls. The Federal Trade Commission's decision to generate legislation controlling access to consumer phone numbers was based on a 3-year review of the Telemarketing Sales Rules and was supported by the FTC's experience at enforcing those rules over a 7-year period.

This Registry is managed by the FTC, which is the nation's consumer protection agency. Today the Do Not Call list is not only enforced by the FTC, but the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and state law enforcement officials as well. Although it covers telemarketers, the same law does not apply to charitable organizations, political parties, or marketing researchers who use surveys to guide decision making in the market.

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