What is the purpose of the Do-Not-Call Registry?

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The phone rings and you run to answer it only to realize that it is someone trying to sell you something or wanting you to give them money. Day after day, the telephone rings for this purpose. Your phone number has been sold on a calling list to companies all around, and they continue to call you. Is there any way to stop this?

The Federal Trade Commission set up the Do-Not-Call-Registry just for this purpose. There is a website you can go to or a phone number in which you can call to put your phone number on the list of those who do not want to be contacted regarding anything other than personal business. However there are some exceptions to this rule.

You must register every phone number that you have in order for them to be included; no phone number is automatically added to the list.

This do not call registry only applies to personal telephone and cell phone numbers, you cannot register a business telephone as this is only to protect consumers and not businesses.

Once your phone number has been added to the list, telemarketers have 31 days to remove your telephone number from their calling list. If they call you past the 31st day mark, then they are in violation of the law.

Telemarketers that you have never come in contact with or provided information to cannot contact you. If you have ever entered your phone number on a website or on anything for a specific company, that company can contact you all they want.

Charities, telephone surveys and political organization are not regulated by this law. They can contact you all they want to ask for money.

However, even if you have purchased something from a business, or receive a call from a charity, telephone survey or political organization, you can request that they remove your number from their calling list. All you have to do is request that they remove your phone number from their list and they have 31 days to do so. Otherwise, they may contact you up to 18 months after your last transaction with them.

There are protections in place that prevent an organization from contacting you if you have requested it. The organization may be subject to a fine up to $11,000.00.

There are other provisions that protect your relationship to the business. If you make an inquiry or submit an application to a company, they can contact you up to three months after that inquiry. After such time has passed, they must honor the do-not-call registry laws.

If you receive a call from an organization that you believe you are protected against, you can file a complaint at donotcall.org. The Federal Trade Commission will then place your complaint in a database that will help them investigate the company. To file a complaint you will need to either have the companies name or their telephone number, otherwise there is no way to properly identify them.

If you want to stop all calls altogether, you must place your telephone number on the list and request that any company or organization that is not covered under the law remove you from their calling list. Of course, it may take time to have your number removed from everyone’s list, but keeping track of who and when you request removal from will help keep them in line and from contact anyone else.


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