How the National Do Not Call Registry Works
The Do Not Call provisions do not cover calls from political organizations, charities, telephone surveyors, or companies with which a consumer has an existing business relationship. Some sellers are exempt from the FTC’s Rules but are required to access the National Registry under the FCC’s Rules. Other sellers (charities and political organizations) are exempt from accessing the National Registry under both agencies’ rules. These exempt sellers still may access the National Registry voluntarily and do not have to pay a fee for that access. They must, however, submit appropriate certification information to gain access to the National Registry. See .
The prohibition on calls to numbers on the Registry 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.
If a call includes a telephone survey and a sales pitch, is it covered? Yes. Callers purporting to take a survey, but also offering to sell goods or services, must comply with the Do Not Call provisions. But if the call is for the sole purpose of conducting a survey, it is exempt. However, sellers and telemarketers should also be aware that the FCC regulates telemarketing calls. See .
Accessing the Registry
Who can access the National Registry? Access to the National Registry is limited to sellers, telemarketers, and other service providers. Sellers are companies that provide, offer to provide, or arrange for others to provide goods or services to a customer in return for some type of payment as part of a telemarketing transaction. Telemarketers are companies that make telephone calls to consumers on behalf of sellers. Service providers are companies that offer services to sellers engaged in telemarketing transactions, such as providing lists of telephone numbers to call, or removing telephone numbers from the sellers’ lists.
Can I use numbers on the National Registry for any purpose other than preventing telemarketing calls? No. The National Registry may not be used for any purpose other than preventing telemarketing calls to the telephone numbers on the Registry. Any entity that accesses the National Registry will be required to certify, under penalty of law, that it is accessing the Registry solely to comply with the TSR or to prevent calls to numbers on the Registry.
How can I access the National Registry? The FTC has a fully automated and secure website – telemarketing.donotcall.gov – to provide members of the telemarketing industry with access to the National Registry’s database of telephone numbers, sorted by area code. The first time you access the National Registry, you must provide identifying information about yourself and your company. If you are a telemarketer or service provider accessing the National Registry on behalf of your seller-clients, you will be required to identify your seller-clients and provide their unique account numbers. The only consumer information available from the National Registry is telephone numbers. After you (or the company telemarketing on your behalf) have accessed the National Registry the first time, you’ll have the option of downloading only changes in the data that have occurred since the last time you accessed the Registry.
What information must I provide to access the National Registry? The first time you access the system, you will be asked to provide certain limited identifying information, such as your company name and address, contact person, and the contact person’s telephone number and email address. If you are accessing the National Registry on behalf of a seller-client, you also will have to identify that seller-client.