Do you make outbound telephone calls offering goods or services for sale? Then yes, Do Not Call applies to you. There are state and federal obligations that you must follow - but there are exemptions as well that may work to your advantage.
Not at all - the only "exemption" here has to do with the national DNC registry, and whether your company calls into 5 or fewer area codes. If so, then you don't have to pay anything to get the national DNC registry information you need - BUT you're still covered by the rules at both the state and federal levels.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) was the first piece of legislation to regulate the telemarketing industry. Under Federal Communication Commission (FCC) jurisdiction, these laws were enacted for the purpose of striking a balance between protecting the rights of consumers and to allow legitimate business to use telemarketing effectively.
The TCPA requires telemarketers to formalize existing or create new policies to comply with regulations covering: Proper Identification Calling Hours Restrictions and company specific Do-Not-Call (DNC) lists. The DNC component of the TCPA was the catalyst for many state governments to create statewide DNC lists and impose significant fines for violations. The law was revised in 2003 to coordinate itself with the Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR). The revisions also made the national DNC list cover FCC regulated businesses
The Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) enacted in 1995. Under Federal Trade Commission (FTC) jurisdiction, this law was enacted for the purpose of combating telephone fraud.
In an effort to keep pace with developing technologies, the law was expanded in 2003 to include oversight of a national Do-Not-Call (DNC) list, Predictive Dialing, Caller ID, Billing Information, Payment Disclosure, Up-sells, and associated Record Keeping.
For federal regulations you can go to the national do not call website at www.donotcall.gov.
The Statutes section right here on DNC.com has an extensive collection of telemarketing statutes from all 50 states.
To go to the source for state regulation information, it is most helpful to begin with a state's Attorney General website. A state's Public Utilities Commission or Public Service Commission websites are the next logical choices. State telemarketing laws are part of the state code and are generally found on the state legislature's website.
Federal — the National DNC registry becomes effective 10/1/03
DMA — The Direct Marketing Association has maintained a DNC list since 1985
Internal — Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) each company engaged in telemarketing must maintain a list of numbers for persons who explicitly ask a company not to call them. This list is commonly referred to as an internal DNC list or in-house DNC list.
Internal DNC list requests must be fulfilled within 30 days and must remain a do not call number within the company for five years. (Note that the FCC specifically indicates a five-year retention period for internal DNC requests, while FTC is silent on this issue - in the absence of specific guidance from the FTC, it is a recommended practice to follow the FCC rule.) It's an abusive act to deny or interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with a person's right to be placed on any internal DNC list of persons who do not wish to receive outbound telephone calls.
It depends on whether you are making an interstate call or intrastate call. For interstate calls the federal rules apply. For intrastate calls the state's rules apply as long as the state law is determined to be stronger than federal law. If the state has no law or its law is weaker then the federal law prevails in that state.
The national registry, and most states, allow you to make calls in response to consumer inquiries (the general FTC/FCC rule is that you have 3 months within which to make such calls.) Before making any such calls, be sure to check state by state laws for additional information.
"SAN" stands for Subscription Account Number, and if you are a seller that makes (or hires others to make) outbound telephonic sales calls anywhere in the United States, you need to get a SAN right away. After you register with the national DNC registry as a seller, you will obtain a SAN when you pay for area code information as appropriate based upon the geographic scope of your selling campaigns.
If you are a for-profit seller that directly (or indirectly through vendors) makes outbound calls to sell goods or services to residential telephone numbers, and you do not fall under any applicable exemption (i.e., you are only calling people with whom you have an Established Business Relationship, or you have express written consent to call a person whose number appears on the national registry), then you have to buy the Federal DNC list, do not pass go, no way around it.
If you are a telemarketer making calls on behalf of seller clients, you can step into the shoes of your seller clients and make use of their SANs to make calls on their behalf. (Remember that only sellers are obligated to pay to get a SAN.) Otherwise, there are no circumstances under which you may make use of someone else's SAN.
You can always get your SAN information if you remember the Organization ID and Password that you received when you first registered with the national DNC registry as a seller. You can also contact the national registry help desk at rm2-FTChelp@lmbps.com.
The first thing you need to do is figure out the geographic scope of your telemarketing campaigns - you are only responsible to pay for national registry information based upon the number of area codes within which you make such calls. If you only call into one area code, you only have to access one area code's worth of information from the national registry.
Refers to teleservices agencies and call list brokerage firms respectively. Special provisions are made for these business types to accommodate their need to scrub lists on behalf of multiple clients, each represented by a Project with its own private DNC and EBR database, policy, National (FTC) Subscription, etc.
Direct Marketing Assocation. Maintains and publishes several databases such as the Wireless Blocks (Prefixes) and the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). A subsidiary of the DMA also happens to maintain the DNC databases for several states.
A document that details the organization's procedures with respect to the Do-Not-Call regulations, especially the organization's internal DNC database. All telemarketers are required by law to maintain and follow such a document and make it available to the public upon request.
Existing Business Relationship. The exact definitions of EBR vary between jursdictions but are typically defined as some varying length of time since the last contact of the telemarketer with a person, where the contact can be of different types: Explicit Permission, Inquiry originating from the person, or Purchase. The last date of a Purchase is typically defined as the date of the last shipment or payment on a given purchase. EBRs are typically exempt from many DNC regulations.
Refers to organizations with numerous branch offices, franchises, representatives, etc. Special provisions are made for this business type to accommodate their need to manage a single set of internal DNC and EBR databases, policy and National (FTC) Subscription that can nevertheless be securely and privately used by each location.
North American Numbering Plan is the telephone numbering scheme that serves the United States, Canada, and several other countries and territories in the region. The NANP divides the participating countries into area codes, each of which is a three-digit number. Within each area code, a telephone number is always 7 digits.
Subscription to one or more area codes (or the entire United States) of the National DNC Registry maintained by the FTC. This yearly subscription is required by law for non-exempt telemarketers and must cover all area codes into which telephone calls will be placed. Each telemarketing organization must have its own subscription.
Subscription Account Number is a unique number identifying an organization's subscription to specific area codes in the National Registry. The SAN is assigned when payment is accepted by the FTC. At the end of the annual subscription period, the SAN expires. A SAN can be provided to an Agency or Broker who can add it to the National Registry account associated with their Organization Id so that they can obtain the client-specific DNC database on their behalf. Hence, more than one SAN can be associated with a given Organization Id and a SAN can be accessible through more than one Organization Id.
Scrubbing is the process of checking a list of phone numbers against one or more databases and producing an output in which the phone numbers in the list that match the database(s) are removed or separated out or somehow flagged.
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