The do-not-call list may not seem like too much from the outside, but companies that practice telemarketing are starting to learn that it is a serious matter, as there are stern consequences when its regulations have been violated.
The do-not-call list is a registry to which you can sign up so that the majority of telemarketers are no longer permitted to phone you. There are some exceptions, such as campaigning politicians, public surveys, and companies with which you already to business; these businesses maintain the right to contact you to provide you with information, offer you products or services, etc.
Companies not exempt from the do-not-call lists regulations must be vigilant in making certain that their call lists are “scrubbed", which means that all of the numbers that are on the do-not-call registry have been removed. The company is allowed a maximum of thirty days to scrub their list of any given person who has signed on to the do-not-call registry.
The penalties for failing to scrub a calling list are extremely strict. There are usually very high fines ranging from several thousand to millions of dollars, depending on how many people were phoned and how badly the do-not-call registry's regulations were violated.
Furthermore, an additional stipulation commonly imposed by judges is a requirement that not only are outbound telemarketing calls prohibited to consumers registered on the do-not-call list, but they will also not be permitted to make any outbound telemarketing calls at all until the complete fine has been paid. Often, the fine is high enough to put a telemarketing company out of business. . . . quite the incentive not to violate the list.
The FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection is responsible for the do-not-call list and is ready to pull out all of the stops to enforce their regulations. Therefore, if you want to stop telemarketers then the registry is one of the best first-steps that you can take.
If you're not sure whether it's a telemarketer calling you (perhaps you weren't home at the time and the number was on your Caller ID), then sites such as CallerComplaints.com can be helpful in identifying those pesky callers.
Braden is a consumer advocate stud who hates telemarketers and annoying phone calls. He also loves to write and has written this bit for your enjoyment.