DNC Decoded: What You Need To Know

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What is the DNC? 

The National Do Not Call, or DNC, Registry is a list of phone numbers from consumers who wish to restrict or eliminate the telemarketing calls they receive. This registry was created in 2003 by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to offer consumers the opportunity to restrict 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.

Do not call registry

How does the DNC work?

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

In-house vs. Outsource

If your business keeps telemarketing in-house and the calls are political, charitable, or survey-oriented in nature, then your agents should be exempt from the Do Not Call Registry (meaning, your agents can legally make telemarketing calls to DNC registered numbers without fear of penalty). Similarly, if you have done business with a contact in the past who is now on the DNC registry, your agents cannot be penalized.

However, if you outsource your telemarketing, the requirements are much more severe. The outsourced telemarketing firm you hire MUST comply with any and all requests to cease calling any number on the DNC Registry.

do not call

How can I get a copy of the DNC Registry?

Because the national Do Not Call Registry is only open to sellers, telemarketers and other service providers, access is limited. To register, your company must go through an automated and secured government website: http://www.telemarketing.donotcall.gov.

Your telemarketing firm will have to set up a business profile and submit pertinent information about their clients and your services before they can successfully register and access the list.
(Chances are they know this; however, it never hurts to ensure you are complying with DNC guidelines.)

How often does my telemarketing call center have to refer to the DNC registry?

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 cannot exceed the 31-day limit.

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

There is a “safe harbor” for mistakes if the number was called inadvertently. This provides protection 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 telemarketing efforts. If you employ third-party telemarketers to make calls, they are technically in violation of the DNC legislation.

in-house telemarketers?

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Find out more about outbound telemarketing call centers by reading our Telemarketing Services Buyer’s Guide.

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