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What is the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007? Has it Been Passed Yet?

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Question: What is the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007? Has it Been Passed Yet?
Before you pick up your business phone and start cold-calling potential customers, you need to know that the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007 protects the rights of those registered in the National Do-Not-Call Registry, and holds businesses to strict telemarketing standards.
Answer: Yes, the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007 was passed into law in February 2008. The law has a positive impact on the more than 157 million phone numbers already listed in the National Do Not Call Registry.

Two key points covered by the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007 are:

  • Do-Not-Call registrations are now automatically permanent and no longer have to be renewed.

  • It established and increased the fees telemarketers must pay to access the Do-Not-Call registry.

What Women Small Business Owners Should Know About the Act

If you are planning to conduct phone solicitations or fundraising, you need to comply with the regulations governing telemarketing business conduct. You may not call phone numbers listed in the National Do Not Call Registry and unless you are a tax-exempt organization, you will have to pay to access information in the registry.

The following fee structure was established in the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007:

  • Beginning Fiscal Year 2008, telemarketers must pay to access the database. Certain tax-exemption organizations may continue to access the database for free, but otherwise must comply with the same laws restricting solicitations that apply to for-profit businesses.

  • For-profit organizations may access the first five (5) area codes of database information for free.

  • Telemarketers must pay an annual fee of $54 for each area code after the initial five (5) free codes are accessed, or $14,850 for access to every area code in the registry, whichever is less.

  • Beginning in Fiscal Year 2009, the access charge rates will increase based on the current consumer price index, unless the change is less than 1%.

Penalties for Failure of Telemarketers to Comply with the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007

For calling numbers on the do-not-call list or misrepresenting your caller ID information (also known as ”Caller ID Spoofing,” you can be fined up to $11,000 for an incident, have injunctions against your company, or end up paying a premium in restitution or civil penalities.

In 2007, even before the new law was passed, the FTC slapped more than $7.7 million in fines on just five major companies.

According to Jacqui Cheng, assistant editor of ARS Technica, “Together, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice have taken action against 34 parties, collecting a total of over $16 million in civil penalties and $8 million in consumer restitution.”

Take Do Not Call laws seriously, or you too, could end up paying for a lot more for breaking the law than you might get in potential new business for calling numbers on the do-not-call list!

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