telemarketing guidelines

The NDNCR – What You Should Know

What You Should Know About the Do Not Call Registry as a Telemarketer

If you are making sales calls you are probably familiar with the National Do Not Call Registry.  As a telemarketing company you are required to comply with specific provisions of the TCPA regulation, including scrubbing your lead lists against the DNC registry.

Here is what you need to know about the Do Not Call Registry and staying in compliance.

  • The registry was created in 2003 and is monitored by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
  • People can list their home phones and personal phones on the registry.  Business numbers are typically not listed but it is smart to check in case a small business is using the owners cell phone.
  • Calls covered under the DNC are those with the purpose of selling something.  This includes people selling something directly or arranging a sale for someone else.
  • If you are conducting a survey and trying to sell something on the same call, it is covered under the DNC guidelines. If you want to make survey calls without worrying about the guidelines, gather the data you need and make a separate sales call.
  • In order to have use the established business exemption, a consumer needs to have bought something from you within the past eighteen months.  If they have applied for something from your company, but not purchased, you can call for an additional three months.

Exceptions

Political calls, charities, survey calls, and companies that a consumer has an existing relationship with do not need to abide by these provisions.  If a charity is calling to raise money they are not bound to the DNC rules, however, if a third party is calling on behalf of that charity than they have to abide by the rules and stop calling if the consumer requests it.

If you are a for profit company you can also gain exemption from the rules by doing the following:

  • Providing Information.  If your calls are for informational purposes you do not have to follow the DNC guidelines.  For example, an organization calling to inform people about a community event.
  • Business to Business Calls.  B2B sales calls are exempt from the DNC guidelines, making it easier for telemarketers to contact businesses rather than consumers. Just make sure not to call personal cell phones, as they could be registered.
  • Receive Written Permission.  If you want to call or text consumers that may be on the DNC you need to obtain  prior written permission to do so.  This can be a traditional document or electronically signed.  Prior written consent should be obtained whenever possible as you build your calling data base because it gives you the most calling and texting flexibility.

Remember to follow these guidelines in order to stay in compliance and avoid receiving unnecessary fines.  A recommended best practice is to create a procedural manual that lists out your policies and procedures for how to check numbers against the do not call list, what you do when someone asks to be taken off of your list, and how you train employees on regulation updates.  This binder should include a training log that employees have to sign, certifying they have read and understand the compliance.  Even if you are a small organization, this binder could prevent you from getting a fine if you make an accidental mistake.