The area codes in the National Do Not Call Registry cover the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, North Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and toll-free numbers (500, 800, 866, 877, 880, 881, 882, and 888).
A company with which a consumer has an established business relationship may call for up to 18 months after the consumer’s last purchase or last delivery, or last payment, unless the consumer asks the company not to call again. In that case, the company must honor the request not to call. If the company calls again, it may be subject to a fine of up to $40,654. If a consumer makes an inquiry or submits an application to a company, the company can call for three months. Once again, if the consumer makes a specific request to that company not to call, the company may not call, even if it has an established business relationship with the consumer. A consumer whose number is not on the national registry can still prohibit individual telemarketers from calling by asking to be put on the company’s own do not call list.
The National Do Not Call Registry is a list of phone numbers from consumers who have indicated their preference to limit the telemarketing calls they receive. The registry is managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency. It is enforced by the FTC, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and state officials.
The registry was created in 2003 to offer consumers a choice regarding telemarketing calls. The FTC’s decision to create the National Do Not Call Registry was the culmination of a comprehensive, three-year review of the Telemarketing Sales Rule, as well as the FTC’s extensive experience enforcing the Rule in the previous seven years. The FTC also held numerous workshops, meetings and briefings to solicit feedback from interested parties, and considered more than 64,000 public comments, most of which favored creating the registry.
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.