Friday, August 26, 2011
FTC Increases Fees for Telemarketers Accessing Do Not Call Registry
This posting was written by Jeffrey May, Editor of CCH Trade Regulation Reporter.
The fees charged to telemarketers and other entities accessing the National Do Not Call Registry will increase October 1, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced today. The maximum fee for obtaining access will increase from $15,058 to $15,503. The fee for accessing an additional area code above the first five will increase by one dollar to $56. There is no charge for accessing the first five area codes of data.
First Increase Since 2009
This is the first fee increase since October 2009. Because the consumer price index (CPI) increased by less than one percent for the 12-month period since the last adjustment, no fee change was required last year. The increase is authorized by the Do-Not-Call Registry Fee Extension Act of 2007.
In addition to allowing the FTC to continue to maintain and operate the do-not-call program, the 2007 law eliminated the automatic removal of telephone numbers from the do-not-call registry. As a result, consumers are not required to re-register their numbers. When the FTC established the registry in 2003, consumers were permitted to list their phone numbers for a five-year period.
While most businesses that engage in telemarketing must comply with the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule and pay the fees, there are three types of entities that are outside of the jurisdiction of the FTC and need not comply with the FTC rule. The three types of entities that are not subject to the FTC’s jurisdiction and not covered by the rule are:
• banks, federal credit unions, and federal savings and loans.
• common carriers — such as long-distance telephone companies and airlines — when they are engaging in common carrier activity.
• non-profit organizations — those entities that are not organized to carry on business for their own, or their members’, profit.
It is important to note, however, that any other individual or company that contracts with one of these three types of entities to provide telemarketing services must comply with the FTC rule.
The amendments to the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (16 CFR Part 310), increasing the fees, will be published in the August 29 Federal Register. A notice regarding the amendments appears on the FTC website here.