How Effective Is the National Do Not Call Registry?


Quick Answer

Signing up for the National Do Not Call Registry is effective in blocking most unauthorized legal sales calls, reports the Federal Trade Commission. The registry cannot block illegal calls, but consumers can report unauthorized calls to initiate investigation and enforcement procedures.

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Full Answer

When consumers sign up for the free Do Not Call Registry, their number shows up on the list by the following day, and businesses must stop making unwanted sales calls within 31 days, explains the Federal Trade Commission. Although businesses that consumers do business with or have given written permission to may continue to call, they must cease calling if the consumer specifically asks them to stop. The National Do Not Call Registry does not apply to noncommercial calls, such as those from tax-exempt non-profit organizations, politicians, debt collectors and informational services.

If companies ignore the National Do Not Call Registry and continue to call, consumers should not interact with them but rather file a complaint, advises the Federal Trade Commission. The government sues individuals and companies that place illegal marketing calls, fining them up to $16,000 per call as of 2015. Alternatively, consumers can ask their phone company or a private blocking service to block specific numbers, but these businesses typically charge a fee for the service.

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