The Federal Trade Commission today announced that telemarketing organizations will have access to the National Do Not Call Registry on September 2, 2003, one day later than the opening date originally announced. The URL to access telephone numbers in the registry, www.telemarketing.donotcall.gov, will NOT be available until September 2, 2003. From that date forward, organizations that complete application information, pay any applicable fees, and certify under penalty of law that they are accessing the registry solely to prevent telephone calls to telephone numbers on the registry, will be granted access to the consumer telephone numbers included in the registry.
Specific information about accessing telephone numbers and downloading files from the national registry is available at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/08/tmkraccessinfo.htm.. Additional information will be provided on the telemarketer Web site, www.telemarketing.donotcall.gov .
The Federal Trade Commission would like to remind organizations of the details included in the final rules establishing fees for the Telemarketing Sales Rule (http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/07/tsrfeesfrn.htm):
The annual cost for organizations to access phone numbers in the registry will be $25 per area code, with a maximum annual fee of $7,375 to access numbers for the entire country, including U.S. territories. There will be no charge for companies to access the first five area codes of data.
Fees paid via credit card will permit the transfer of data immediately, if the payment is approved. Electronic funds transfer (EFT) will require the organization to wait approximately three days for the funds to clear before data access will be provided.
Sellers and exempt entities can pay the fee directly or through their telemarketers or service providers.
After paying the appropriate fee, organizations are provided with a unique account number that they can provide to any telemarketer or service provider that they employ on their behalf. The account number will allow those entities to access the national registry, at no additional cost, on behalf of the seller-client.
On subsequent visits to the Web site, www.telemarketing.donotcall.gov, either a full updated list of numbers from selected area codes, or a more limited list, consisting only of changes to the registry, will be available for download.
Any entity that accesses the registry is prohibited from participating in any arrangement to share the cost of access, including any arrangement with a telemarketer or service provider to divide the cost of access among various clients to that telemarketer or service provider.
There is a "bright line" test to determine whether corporate divisions, subsidiaries, and affiliates are treated as separate sellers for purposes of paying for access to the national registry. These entities would be considered separate sellers if: 1) they are separately incorporated or, for non-corporate entities such as a partnerships, they are similarly distinct legal entities; and 2) they have different names or market their products under different names.
The FTC will allow organizations that are not required to purchase the list - political fund-raisers, non-profits, and those conducting surveys - to access the registry voluntarily. Numbers in the national registry will be available to these organizations at no cost.
The complete text of the amended TSR is available on the FTC's Web site at the following address: www.ftc.gov/os/2003/01/tsrfrn.pdf. Copies of the Federal Register notice, as well as related information for consumers and businesses, are available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580.