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Consumers keep adding their names to the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry

The agency says it’s getting ready for any new technology challenges telemarketers may try and throw at it

Photo (c) gradyreese - Getty Images
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has handed Congress its latest National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry report, which focuses on how consumers and businesses alike have been impacted by unwanted sales pitches and robocalls. 

If you guessed that there are more and more people who want to be added to the list, you’d be right. There was an uptick of more than 4.1 million registrations from the previous fiscal year, bringing the DNC Registry close to 239 million consumer registrations.

Making companies put their money where their mouth is

Many consumers might be surprised to know that businesses and other entities pay to access the registry. The reason is that any U.S. telemarketing company that wants to call a consumer is required to download the phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry every single year to ensure they do not call consumers who have registered their phone numbers. 

The telemarketers are given access to five area codes for free, but they have to pay up to get the other 330 area codes. Some charitable organizations get the list for free.

Consumer complaints about telemarketing calls aren’t going away any time soon, but with the new TRACED Act hopefully putting a lid on runaway robocalls, there’s a little bit of hope. Nonetheless, the FTC figures that there’ll always be some company somewhere that is going to try and find a new way to get consumers on the phone without playing by the rules.

“As new technology provides new challenges, the FTC actively seeks to address and confront them by, among other things, encouraging private industry, other government agencies, academia, and other interested parties to create and develop new strategies to help consumers avoid unwanted telemarketing calls,” the Commission wrote in its Registry update.

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