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Do Not Call Registrations Permanent: FCC

July 15, 2008

Telemarketers must honor Do Not Call (DNC) registrations indefinitely says the Federal Communications Commission (FCC (News - Alert)).
 
The agency has amended its rules requiring this as mandated by Congress in the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act (DNC Act) of 2007. The law prohibits the removal of numbers from the DNC registry unless consumers cancel their registrations or these numbers have been disconnected and reassigned or is otherwise invalid. 
 
The act eliminated the requirement for consumers to re-register their phone numbers every five years. Not only does the change make it easier for them but the FCC says it will enhance consumer privacy protections and make it easier to administer the registry.
 
The FCC acknowledged that the indefinite registration regulation could pose an increased administrative burden on small businesses. The American Teleservices Association and others contended that the rule change would lead to a larger DNC registry and consequently larger data file sizes that would adversely impact small businesses due to their limited computing resources.
 
After looking into the issue the FCC concluded that because the amended rules do not require additional recordkeeping or business practices changes, the impacts will be small. For example, small businesses can obtain the data on an area-code-by-area-code basis and need only purchase those area codes in which they intend to telemarket.
 
The commission found that the rule change's “benefits to the public and to consumer privacy interests outweighed the potential negative effect on small businesses of eliminating the 5-year registration period.”
 
In a move that would address small business and other telemarketing-using enterprise and organization concerns the FCC also announced that it is working with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC (News - Alert)) to make the DNC registry more accurate. The FCC and FTC would be looking at options such as more frequent database scrubbing.
 
The FCC encourages local exchange carriers to report information on disconnected and reassigned numbers to the FTC subcontractor as timely as possible so that such numbers might be purged more than once per month. The FCC and the FTC are both responsible for DNC and other federal telemarketing legislation because the two agencies cover separate areas.
 
Brendan B (News - Alert). Read is a Senior Contributing Editor Customer Interaction Solutions

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