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Do Not Call Lists

The FCC requires a person or entity placing live telephone solicitations to maintain a record of any consumer request not to receive future telephone solicitations from that person or entity. A record of a do-not-call request must be maintained for ten years. This request should also stop calls from affiliated entities if individuals would reasonably expect them to be included, given the identification of the caller and the product being advertised. Tax-exempt non-profit organizations are not required to keep do-not-call lists. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) sponsors the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) which maintains a do-no-call list. DMA members are required to use this list. Registration is free and the request remains on file for 5 years. Finally, as of 2002, many states had statewide no-call lists for residents in that state.

Some states permit consumers to file law suits against violators who continue to call despite the consumer being on a no-call list. Consumers can sometimes seek punitive damages if the caller will-fully and knowingly violated do-not-call requirements. States themselves may initiate a civil suit in federal district court against any person or entity that engages in a pattern or practice of violations of the TCPA or FCC rules. While the FCC may not award monetary or other damages, it can give citations or fines to those violating the TCPA or other FCC rules regarding unsolicited telephone marketing calls. Consumers who file complaints with the FCC retain their private right of action.

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