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    Thursday, May 25, 2017-10:20:37P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

The Consumer Caution Corner: Unwanted telemarketing calls and the National Do-Not-Call List

UNDER the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the FCC has rules in effect that address unsolicited telephone marketing calls — including those using automated and prerecorded messages. Under current FCC rules:

• Anyone making a telephone solicitation call to your home must provide his or her name, the name of the person or entity on whose behalf the call is being made, and a telephone number or address at which that person or entity can be contacted.

• Telephone solicitation calls to your home are prohibited before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.

• Telemarketers must comply immediately with any do-not-call request you make during a solicitation call.

What is the National Do-Not-Call List and how does it work?

In 2003, in an effort to increase consumer protection, the FCC helped establish the national Do-Not-Call list with the Federal Trade Commission. The national Do-Not-Call list protects home voice or personal wireless phone numbers only. Once you have placed your home phone number or numbers, including any personal wireless phone numbers, on the national Do-Not-Call list, callers are prohibited from making telephone solicitations to those number(s). Your number(s) will remain on the list until you remove them or discontinue service — there is no need to re-register numbers.

You can register your home phone number or wireless numbers on the national Do-Not-Call list by phone or by Internet at no cost. To add a phone number to the national Do-Not-Call list via the Internet, go to www.donotcall.gov/.

Telemarketers have up to 31 days from the date that you register your telephone number to remove it from their call lists and stop calling you.

What is a telephone solicitation?

A telephone solicitation is a telephone call that acts as an advertisement. However, some phone solicitations are permissible under FCC rules, including: calls or messages placed with your express prior permission, by or on behalf of a tax-exempt non-profit organization, or from a person or organization. However, having an established business relationship no longer meets the rules for permissible unsolicited calls to your landline phone. Companies and telemarketers must have your express permission to call.

If you receive a telephone solicitation that you think violates any of the FCC rules, you can file a complaint with the FCC. The FCC can issue warning citations and impose fines against companies violating or suspected of violating the do-not-call rules, but does not award individual damages.

Filing a complaint

You have multiple options for filing a complaint with the FCC:

• File a complaint online at https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov

• By phone: 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322); TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) ; ASL: 1-844-432-2275

• By mail (please include your name, address, contact information and as much detail about your complaint as possible):

Federal Communications Commission Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division

445 12th Street, S.W.

Washington, DC 20554

For more information, email consumer_counsel@cnmioag.org.