Action Line: No-call list allows for certain exceptions
BY PHIL MULKINS World Action Line Editor
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
10/30/12 at 6:21 AM
Dear Action Line: What exactly does the Do Not Call List cover? I receive political phone calls about lying candidates seeking money and calls about car maintenance. Is there any supervision of the list, as in Legislature or Congress? - M.L.S., Bartlesville.
The Oklahoma Attorney General's Telemarketer Restriction Act Consumer Registry is maintained by the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office and it reports on registry operations to the Oklahoma Legislature. The National Do Not Call Registry is operated by the Federal Trade Commission and it issued its biennial report to Congress Oct. 16.
The FTC report at tulsaworld.com/FTCDoNotCallReport focuses on use of the Do Not Call Registry by consumers and businesses over the past two years, as well as the impact new technologies have had on the registry. It says the registry now has 209 million active registrations. More than 8 million new phone numbers were registered in fiscal 2011 and 35,000 sellers, telemarketers and exempt organizations (charities, etc.) subscribed to access the registry, paying fees totaling $13.7 million.
The reason you are still receiving solicitation calls from politicians is these are permitted as "exceptions" to the act. The Oklahoma Telemarketer Restriction Act of 2002 prohibits telemarketers contacting Oklahomans on the list - with 5 exceptions. These include solicitations for charitable or religious groups, political candidates and causes, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organizations (under the IRS code), to arrange face-to-face meetings between sales people and consumers and solicitations from telemarketers with whom consumers have established business relationships.
The Telemarketing Sales Rule ( tulsaworld.com/FTCTSR) and the Federal Communications Commission rules ( tulsaworld.com/FCCTelemarketRules) contain exemptions permitting sellers or telemarketers to call people with registered numbers if calls are to people with whom they have "established business relationships."
Established business relationships are those based on consumer purchases, rentals or leases of sellers' goods or services or financial transactions between consumers and sellers, within the 18 months preceding the telemarketing calls; or consumers' inquiries or applications for products or services offered by sellers in the past 3 months.
Many businesses rely on this exemption to aim telemarketing campaigns at recent or long-time customers or consumers expressing interest in becoming customers. Some consumers perceive telemarketing calls falling within this exemption as inconsistent with the registry as they are unaware of the exception or that they have relationships with sellers falling within the definition of "established business relationships."
Such perceptions are likely when relationships between consumers and sellers arise from brief, one-time transactions or when sellers identified in telemarketing and sellers with whom consumers have relationships are part of the same legal entity but are perceived by consumers to be different as they use different names or market different products.
Original Print Headline: Do Not Call Registry allows for exceptions
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