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DNC Decoded: What You Need To Know

What is the DNC?

The DNC, or the Do Not Call Registry, is a list of phone numbers from consumers who have indicated that they wish to restrict or eliminate the telemarketing calls they receive. This registry was created in 2003 to offer consumers more of a choice regarding telemarketing phone calls.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) considered more than 64,000 public opinions on the topic of telemarketing before coming to the decision that the DNC Registry was both wanted and needed by American citizens.

For more in-depth information on the Do Not Call Provisions and the Do Not Call Registry, please visit this website.


How does the DNC work?

Contrary to popular belief, the DNC does not prevent all telemarketers from calling the numbers on the registry; instead it limits the type of calls telemarketers are allowed to make without incurring a monetary penalty.

If your organization is political, charitable, survey-oriented, or if you are calling a person with whom you have had a business relationship in the past, your business can most likely have in-house telemarketers call any number on the DNC Registry without fear.

However, even if you are one of these organizations, if you outsource your telemarketing you must comply with any and all requests to cease calling any number on the DNC Registry.


How can I get a copy of the DNC Registry?

Because it is only open to sellers, telemarketers and other service providers, the national Do Not Call Registry is accessible through a fully automated and secured government website: http://www.telemarketing.donotcall.gov. Your telemarketing firm will have to set up a business profile and submit other pertinent information about their clients and your services before they are able to successfully register and access the list.

(Chances are they know this; however, it never hurts to make sure they comply with DNC guidelines, so ask a representative before deciding.)


How often does my telemarketing call center have to refer to the DNC registry once they have access to it?

To stay within the boundaries of the law, telemarketers must synchronize their lists with the most recent version of the DNC Registry every 31 days. They can update their list as often as they want, but they must make sure that their list is current every 31 days at the most.


What is the penalty for calling a number on the DNC Registry?

If the number was called inadvertently, there is a “safe harbor” for mistakes that will shelter the individual or the organization from penalty if the following can be shown:

  • The business has written procedures that comply with the do not call legislation
  • The business trains its employees in the do not call procedures
  • The business tracks and enforces do not call compliance
  • The business maintains a current, company-specific list of numbers it may not call
  • The business accesses the national registry no more than 31 days before calling any consumer (and documents this process)
  • Any call made to a number on the registry was made in error

However, if a business has not accessed the list, has not updated its own list in the last 31 days, or ignores the boundaries of the do not call legislation, each illegal call can incur up to $11,000 in fines and penalties.


What can I do to maximize my organization’s ability to call numbers on the DNC Registry?

If your organization is political, charitable, or survey-oriented, you may wish to employ in-house telemarketers to make calls for you instead of outsourcing your business. (If you employ third-party telemarketers to make calls, they are technically in violation of the DNC legislation.)

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