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August 2003                      Consumer Advisories

The National "Do Not Call" List
How to register -- and cut unwanted commercial telemarketing calls.


The new federal "Do Not Call" registry is a great way to reduce commercial telemarketing calls that many people find so annoying. It's quick, it's easy, and it's free.

  • Register by calling toll-free at 1-888-382-1222 from the phone you wish to register. The TTY (text telephone for hearing impaired) is 1-866-290-4236. Or . . .
  • Register on-line at You will need to provide an e-mail address for confirmation, but only your phone number will be kept in the registry.
  • You can register home phones and cell phones. Registered numbers will be put on the national Do Not Call list for five years, but a number can be taken off the list at any time. The list is managed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
  • The federal law requires commercial telemarketers to search the registry every three months and remove numbers from their call lists. Telemarketers that violate the rules may be fined up to $11,000 per call.
  • The FTC will begin enforcing the National Do Not Call Registry on October 1. Consumers who register by August 31 should notice a reduction in telemarketing calls after October 1. Consumers generally will be able to expect fewer calls within three months of signing up for the Registry. Complaints may be filed after Oct. 1 at the Registry number and web site: 1-888-382-1222 and

Some telemarketers are exempt from the Do Not Call law, including charities, political organizations, and telephone surveyors. If you have a business relationship with a company, it is exempt from the rules for up to 18 months after the latest purchase, payment, or delivery.

However, you also can ASK a telemarketer not to call you again, even if the telemarketer is exempt from the law. For example, if a professional telemarketer calls you on behalf of a charity, they must put you on their own do-not-call list if you request it.

The industry has estimated that telemarketers attempt over 100 million calls a day - a source of irritation and consternation for many consumers. Tens of millions of people have signed up for the U.S. Do Not Call list to reduce unwanted telemarketing calls.

Click here to view the July 10, 2003 news release on Iowans Sign Up for the National "Do Not Call" List.

Click here to view the June 27, 2003 news release U.S. "Do Not Call" Registry Launched .