Do Not Call laws govern when a company may telemarket to someone on the Federal and State DNC lists, as well to individuals on a company's own internal, entity specific opt out database. The national DNC regulations are somewhat different from State and international DNC rules. A number of foreign countries, such as Canada, have their own foreign Do Not Call regulations and DNC list. Also, while technically there is no "wireless DNC list," there are significant restrictions on the calling of cell phones and those rules are separate from the DNC lists themselves. Finally, the FCC is in the process of creating a public safety answering point DNC list. Several important DNC exemptions allow companies to continue calling numbers on the national DNC, such as written consent and established business relationships. U.S. Federal DNC laws require companies to have a written DNC policy and provide a copy to any consumer who asks for it. Violation of any DNC regulation can result in significant DNC telemarketing investigations, telemarketing fines and lawsuits. Research the DNC regulations carefully on your own, then consult with experienced Do Not Call Law attorney to ensure you comply.
Possible national Do-Not-Call law exemptions for telemarketers include: (1) Consent - they gave you prior express written consent to call; (2) Established Business Relationship/EBR - they previously purchased something from you within last 18 months or they contacted you to inquire about your products/services within the last 3 months; (3) Informational - your call is not telemarketing because you do not make any sales presentation on the phone and your call is not part of a broader plan intended to ultimately result in a sale; (4) certain calls by tax exempt, non-profit entities (learn about nonprofit and charitable telemarketing laws); and (5) business to business calls (learn about b2b telemarketing compliance). State-specific Do Not Call law exemptions vary greatly so you should read the local Do Not Call laws carefully. Always confirm exemptions with an experienced Do-Not-Call lawyer before claiming a Do Not Call law exemption.
Aside from the national and state Do Not Call law lists, you must also keep an internal DNC opt-out list. You are required to honor all opt-out requests regardless of how you receive them. You will receive much of your opt-out data over the phone when call recipients ask not to be called again, but you must also honor opt-outs received in writing, from a separate inbound call, email or otherwise. You must store all your opt-out data and regularly scrub your calling lists against this list (“internal DNC” or “entity-specific DNC”). Violations of internal Do-Not-Call requests are a leading cause of consumer complaints, government enforcement, and telemarketing fines. You need to honor internal DNC requests and maintain opt-outs indefinitely. Make sure your phone agents are trained about how to handle opt-out requests. Have an internal Do Not Call law policy which contains instructions for handling an opt-out. Frequently perform a telemarketing audit of yourself and your agents for Do Not Call law compliance.
Do Not Call Regulations