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TCPA and Do-Not-Call Lists; What and How They Work

Adam J Krohn / Posted: 2013-01-03 12:00 am
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) requires telemarketers to comply with all do-not-call requests a consumer makes directly to the telemarketer during a solicitation call. The TCPA also requires some telemarketers to comply with the National Do-Not-Call Registry which was implemented in 2003. These telemarketers have no more than thirty-one days from the date a consumer registers their telephone number to remove it from their call list and stop calling the consumer.

Company-Specific Do-Not-Call Lists

The TCPA requires that that companies maintain their own do-not-call lists under 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(d)(6). There is an exception for tax-exempt non-profit organizations. The company must maintain records of consumers direct requests that the caller not make any more telephone solicitations to that consumer. 

A company who receives a request from a consumer not to call them must honor the request for five years. If a consumer wishes that the company continue not to make calls after the five year period the consumer needs to make the request again and the company must honor it for another five years. 

However, unless a consumer’s phone number is registered on the National Do-Not-Call Registry consumers must make separate do-not-call request to each telemarketer they do not wish to receive calls from. When a consumer wishes to put their name on company-specific do-not-call lists they need to clearly state that they want to be added to the calling company’s do-not-call list.

National Do-Not-Call Registry

The National Do-Not-Call Registry was created to facilitate compliance with the TCPA. It is codified at 15 U.S.C § 6151-6155. It protects home phones and personal wireless phone numbers only. Once the numbers are placed on the list telemarketers are prohibited from making telephone solicitations to those numbers. Numbers that are registered are not removed until the consumer removes them from the list or disconnects that number. Therefore there is no need for consumers to re-register numbers.

The National Do-Not-Call Registry does not apply to solicitors who have a consumer’s permission to call, have an established business relationship with the consumer under 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(a)(2)(iv), or are a tax-exempt non-profit organization. An established business relation exists when a consumer has made an inquiry, application, purchase, or transaction with regards to products or services offered by the person or company involved. 

In general, a consumer can sever this relationship by requesting that no more calls be made to their home. There is also a time limit on how long this relationship lasts, eighteen months after the last business transaction or three months after the consumer’s last inquiry or application. After these time periods the calls are once again governed by do-not-call rules.

Business numbers can be registered but telemarketers can still lawfully make telephone solicitations to the number. Additionally, registering fax numbers does not make sending faxes to those numbers unlawful. The TCPA rules that apply to restrictions on sending advertisements through a fax machine are found under 42 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(C).

In addition to the National Do-Not-Call Registry many states also have statewide do-not-call lists for resident of that state.

Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems and Artificial Voice Calls

There are specific rules for automatic dialing systems under 42 U.S.C. § 227(b). The rules regarding these types of calls are the same regardless of whether the phone number is on the National Do-Not-Call List. Unless the calls are emergency calls or the calls are made with the express prior consent of the person being called automatic dialing systems or prerecorded voice messages cannot be used to call number that are assigned to:
  • An emergency telephone line;
  • A guest or patient room telephone line of a hospital, health care facility, elderly home, or other such establishment; or
  • A telephone number that is assigned to a service, such as paging, cellular telephone, specialized mobile radio, other radio common carrier, or any service for which the called party would be charged for the call

Calls that use artificial or prerecorded voice messages (regardless of whether they use auto-dialers) may not be made to home phone numbers except for: 
  • Emergency calls for the consumer’s health and safety;
  • When express prior consent was given;
  • Non-commercial calls;
  • Calls by, or on behalf of, a tax-exempt non-profit organization; or
  • When there is an established business relationship

Caller Identification

For consumer who have caller ID, telemarketers must transmit or display its phone number in addition to its name or the name and the phone number of the company that the call is being made for (if available). Additionally, they must also display a number that the consumer can call to ask that the company no longer call them. Even if the consumer has an established business relationship or the number is not registered on the National Do-Not-Call Registry this rule applies.

If you or a loved one has been subjected to these aggressive tactics by a creditor, particularly in violation of the FDCPA or TCPA, please contact us immediately. We have been successfully representing those abused and taken advantage of by debt collectors for years, and have a long list of successful stories to share with you. We offer a FREE CASE REVIEW for you to assess whether we can assist you with your matter. Please do not hesitate to contact us toll free at 1-800-875-3666 if you prefer to talk to a trained professional over the phone instead, or of course, visit our website at
Tags : Recent Articles, Tcpa, Telephone Consumer Protection Act

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