Do Not Call
The Do Not Call Registry: How It Works
Q: How can I stop unwanted telemarketers from calling me at home?
A: Signing up for the Do Not Call Registry will help cut down significantly on the telemarketing calls you receive at home. Most telemarketers must take your home phone number off of their call lists if you've signed up for the Registry.
Q: How do I sign up for the Do Not Call Registry?
You can sign up for the Registry for free by telephone or through the Internet. To register by phone, you must call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number you wish to register. To register online, go to www.DONOTCALL.gov
. You must have an active email address to register through the Internet so you can receive an email that is part of the registration process.
Q: How soon after I register will telemarketers have to stop calling me?
A: Companies have 30 days from the time you sign up to take your number off their call lists.
Q: Will signing up for the Do Not Call Registry stop all telemarketing calls?
A: Placing your number on the Registry will stop most, but not all, telemarketing calls. Some businesses and organizations are exempt from the national Registry and still can call you. Those exemptions cover companies with which you have an existing business relationship, as well as tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, political organizations and polling firms. While state law exempts newspaper publishers from complying with the Do Not Call Registry, federal law does not. Therefore, newspapers must also comply with the Registry.
Q: Will registering really reduce the number of telemarketing calls I get?
A: Yes. Many telemarketing calls are placed by professional telemarketing companies. Even if the company whose goods or services are being sold is exempt, the telemarketing company itself may be covered by the Registry.
Q: What does "existing business relationship" mean?
A: That means you currently do business with them. The exemption also includes companies with which you have had a business relationship during the past 18 months or to which you made an inquiry within the past three months.
Q: If I am on the Registry but get a call from a business that I used to do business with, what can I do?
A: Even though they are exempt from the Registry, all businesses must stop calling you if you ask them directly. You can tell those companies to place you on their internal Do Not Call list; the companies must respect your wishes and stop calling you.
Q: What if I want to allow certain companies to continue to call me after I have signed up for the Do Not Call Registry?
A: If you give a company your written permission to call you, they may do so even if you have placed your number on the Registry. The Registry gives you the choice to accept all telemarketing calls, practically no telemarketing calls or telemarketing calls from selected businesses. It's your call.
Q: What phone numbers can I list in the Do Not Call Registry?
A: You can register your own home and cell phone numbers in the Do Not Call Registry. You may register up to three telephone numbers per visit to the Registry Web site or one phone number per call to the Registry hotline. Please note that the Registry is only for personal phone numbers and does not cover business-to-business calls.
Q: How long will my phone number(s) stay registered?
A: Your phone number will remain on the Registry permanently. Keep in mind that if you move and change phone numbers, you will need to register your new number.
Q: What if I move or my phone is disconnected?
A: If you move, you will need to register your new phone number. Your old phone number will automatically be removed when it is disconnected. If your phone number is disconnected and then reconnected, you will need to register it again. When you re-register, telemarketers will again have 30 days to take you off of their call lists.
Q: If I choose to register my phone number, what personal information will be kept in the national Registry, and how will it be used?
A: The only personal identifying information that will be shared with telemarketers is the phone number you register. Your email address and other personal information will be stored separately and securely. The Registry can be used by telemarketers only for the purpose of respecting your wishes not to be called.
Q: What if I get a call from someone who offers to put my name on the Do Not Call Registry?
A: Don't fall for the pitch. Phone solicitations and Web sites that claim they will register your name or phone number on a national list - especially those that offer to do so for a fee - are a scam. The Do Not Call Registry is a free service provided by the government.
Q: If I've signed up for the Do Not Call Registry, how can I get telemarketers who shouldn't be calling me to stop?
If your number has been on the Registry for at least three months and you receive a call from a telemarketer that you believe is covered by the Registry, you can file a complaint
with the NC Attorney General’s Office. Please include the following information:
Your name, address and daytime telephone number.
Your telephone number that the telemarketer called.
The day and approximate time the call was made.
The name or number (ideally both) of the company that called you. This information is required to pursue a complaint. The name of the employee who called would also be helpful.
Q: What is the relationship between the national Do Not Call Registry and the North Carolina state Do Not Call law?
A: North Carolina enacted a Do Not Call law that dovetails with the national Registry. Consumers need only to register once with the national Registry, and this will enable them to benefit automatically from the North Carolina law as well. North Carolina will not maintain its own state specific list since the national list can serve that role. Having a single list is simpler for consumers, more efficient for businesses and saves the state money in tough fiscal times.
Q: If there is only one list, why does North Carolina need its own law?
A: The new state law means that North Carolinians who register will be protected even if rulings in court or changes in federal regulations dismantle the national Registry. The measure also provides that individual consumers and Attorney General Stein's Consumer Protection Division will have the authority to enforce the law against telemarketers through action in state courts.
Q: What other laws protect me from telemarketers?
A: The new federal rules also provide protections against abusive and deceptive telemarketing calls. For instance:
Calls must be made between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Telemarketers must immediately identify themselves.
Telemarketers must disclose all terms about their offer and cannot lie to you.
Telemarketers will be required to connect you to a sales representative two seconds after you answer the phone to eliminate annoying "dead air" calls
Telemarketers must transmit their phone numbers and, if possible, their names through your caller ID service instead of disguising themselves so that you will know who is calling.
Telemarketers must get your approval before charging your credit card.
Our office can help you deal with these violations. Give us as much detail about your complaint, a description of the efforts you've taken to resolve the complaint, the names and telephone numbers of the employees with whom you've spoken, copies of bills with disputed charges circled if appropriate, and the solution you are requesting.
Q: Who manages and enforces the Do Not Call Registry?
A: The Do Not Call Registry will be operated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and enforced by the FTC, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the North Carolina Attorney General's office. If a company fails to comply with the Registry, they may be subject to a fine of up to $11,000 for each violation.
Q: Can I enforce my rights myself?
A: Yes. Individuals can also bring their own enforcement actions under either state law or the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act. If you have received more than one telephone call by or on behalf of the same entity that is in violation of the Do Not Call law, you may go to state court to stop the entity from continuing to call you and to recover up to $500 for the first violation, $1,000 for the second, and $5,000 for the third and subsequent violations.