During the five weeks since it opened on June 27, consumers have registered more than 30 million telephone numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry: nearly 24 million, or 80 percent of those registrations have been made over the Internet and six million, or 20 percent have been made via the telephone. California leads with the greatest number of state registrations, 3.4 million, followed by Florida with 2.2 million, and Texas with two million. The attached chart lists the total registrations for each state as of August 4, 2003.
“Millions of consumers registered their telephone numbers successfully within the first few days of the opening of the Registry,” said Timothy J. Muris, Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, “and hundreds of thousands of numbers still are being entered every day. We want to do everything we can to make certain that consumer expectations about the Registry are met.”
The Do Not Call Internet registration is a two-step process that requires consumers to enter the phone number they want to register and then confirm their registration by clicking on a link in an e-mail.
“People must click on the link in the email from Register@donotcall.gov to confirm their registration,” Muris said. “Without clicking on the e-mail confirmation, the registration doesn’t get logged into the database. We know that some people haven’t completed the process, and we’re suggesting that they go back to the site, verify their registration, and print out their confirmation. That way, when enforcement begins on October 1, they can be sure that the number of telemarketing calls they get will be cut dramatically.”
The FTC advises that all consumers who registered at donotcall.gov, and who do not remember clicking on a link in an e-mail they received from the site, to return to the National Registry and verify whether their number is registered. Consumers may verify their numbers either on the Internet at donotcall.gov, or by using the toll-free number: 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-290-4236). When using the telephone, consumers must be calling from the number they want to verify.
Additionally, the FTC reminds consumers that the Registry will become available to telemarketers as of September 1 and compliance with the list is required as of October 1. At that point, consumers who registered their telephone numbers prior to August 31, 2003 should experience a reduction in unwanted telemarketing calls.
Consumers whose numbers are on the National Do Not Call Registry may continue to receive calls after October 1 from businesses with which they have an established business relationship, which lasts for 18 months from a consumer’s last purchase from or payment to a company, or 3 months from a consumer’s inquiry or application to a company. A consumer can request to be placed on the entity-specific do-not-call list of any business, even one with which it has an established business relationship, and this request must be honored. Charitable solicitations, political calls and survey calls are not covered by the National Do Not Call Registry provision, but for-profit telefunders making charitable solicitation calls are required to honor consumer’s entity-specific do-not-call requests.
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