It’s Permanent: No Unwanted Telemarketing Calls To Your Biz

Congress finally vetted a permanent “Do Not Call” registry after batting the contentious telemarketing issue around both sides of the Capitol since September 2007.

As things stand now, businesses and consumers won’t have to re-register their phone numbers every five years, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has an increased role in the list’s accuracy and enforcement.

The permanent do-not-call mandate, the result of several bills – The Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007 (H.R. 3541); S.2096, a bill to amend the Do-Not-Call Implementation Act; and the Do-Not-Call Registry Fee Extension Act of 2007 (S.781) – was passed the Senate by unanimous consent yesterday and now is set for the White House.

H.R. 3541 amends the Do-Not-Call Implementation Act to prohibit removing numbers from the do-not-call registry unless: (1) the number is invalid, disconnected, or reassigned; or (2) the individual to whom the number is assigned so requests. It also requires the FTC to check numbers on the registry periodically and to “remove invalid, disconnected or reassigned numbers.” In addition, the FTC must report its progress on this to Congress later this year. The House version was passed Dec. 11, 2007.

The fee bill (S.781) authorizes the FTC to continue to collect and spend the money needed to operate and enforce the do-not-call registry. Under the current law, telemarketing firms are required to update their phone-number databases to reflect the updated list of numbers that are added to the do-not-call list, and they must buy this list from the FTC. S781 permanently extends the authority of the FTC to collect fees from those firms for using this list.

Based on information from the FTC, the Congressional Budget Office estimates the FTC would collect a total of $107 million under the bill during the 2008-12 timeframe while spending $105 million during that period to enforce the registry.

At the time TelecomWeb news break was being posted, Senate Commerce Committee Vice Chair Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.) were holding a press conference on Capitol Hill touting the passage of this item.

Originall published in TelecomWeb

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