If you are a business or organization that sells or plans to sell products or services to your contact list via phone, you need to make sure the numbers you’ve collected aren’t listed on the National Do-Not-Call Registry.
The National Do-Not-Call Registry was created to allow consumers to opt-out of receiving unwanted sales calls. Calling numbers that are registered on the Do-Not-Call (DNC) list is illegal and can result in fines as high as $43,280 per call. That is why it is so important that you check your leads against the Do-Not-Call Registry.
As a business or telemarketer, it is your responsibility to download the registry and remove the numbers listed on it from your calling lists. This check should be done every 31 days as the registry is updated. If you have an extensive calling list, this process can be tedious, time-consuming, and expensive if you’re not familiar with the best way to do it. Fortunately, there are Do-Not-Call list check tools available to aid the process.
Register for a subscription account number (SAN) to gain access to the Do-Not-Call Registry
An SAN is assigned to an organization that has agreed to abide by the regulations set forth by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and has registered for an annual subscription to the Do-Not-Call Registry (many DNC list check tools will require a SAN before you can submit your DNC check).
To register for an SAN, go to https://telemarketing.donotcall.gov/. Register as a new user, complete the organization information screen, and assign an Authorized Representative. Record your SAN, organization ID, and passwords. You will need your SAN, ID, and SAN expiration date for most DNC lookup services. Activate your account from your email. Login to assign a representative and choose the area codes to subscribe to.
Choose area codes to subscribe to
The area codes you choose to subscribe to indicate the numbers you are legally allowed to call. It is against the law to call a number outside of the area codes you subscribe to. If you only want to subscribe to five or less area codes, there is no charge. Each area code subscription over 5 is $65 for the year. For all area codes in the United States, the annual subscription fee is $17,765 (there’s a much less expensive option below – keep reading).
Whatever subscription you choose, you must renew your subscription every year and pay the annual subscription fee. Use the NPA City Query to identify the area code of a specific city or the cities and towns listed in a specific area code.
Check your calling list against the National Do-Not-Call Registry
Once your subscription processes and you receive your SAN, you can then download the phone numbers from the Do-Not-Call Registry that are within the scope of your area code subscription.
If you ordered five or fewer area codes, or just have a small number of numbers to check, you can check up to 10 at a time using an Interactive Phone Number Search and avoid downloading a potentially large list of numbers.
This process allows you to search an area code and up to 10 numbers in that area code at a time with a maximum total of 100 numbers in a single web session.
If you have a large calling list and a wide range of area codes in your subscription, you would have to download the list of all of the numbers on the Do-Not-Call Registry under those area codes.
After completing an initial Full List Download, you can then use the Change List Download which shows all numbers that have been added to or removed from the Registry since your last successful download. The Change List Download should be downloaded and checked at least once every 31 days.
At this point, a manual check of your calling list against the Registry would be a tedious and time-consuming process. Fortunately, there are API tools that can get you the information you need—the numbers that appear on both lists—without you having to compare each list yourself, number by number. You only pay cents per query, and there’s no subscription fee!
In addition to saving you dollars, time, and energy that could be spent on more important business operations, using an API removes the tendency for manual errors.
Who Does the Do-Not-Call Registry Apply To?
The Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) requires that you download the Do-Not-Call Registry and the FTC holds you liable to fines for calling numbers on the list if:
- you are calling to sell goods or services via interstate phone call
- you are calling on behalf of a third-party seller
- you are a third-party telemarketer calling on behalf of a charity to solicit contributions and the consumer requests that he or she no longer be contacted
- you are calling to conduct a survey but also include a sales pitch
- you are calling a consumer with whom you already have a business relationship, but he or she has requested that they receive no more calls from your company
You are not responsible for calls made to numbers on the Do-Not-Call Registry if:
- you are a political organization making political solicitations
- you are a charity calling on your own behalf
- you are a telephone surveyor
- you are calling a consumer with whom you already have a business relationship and he or she has agreed to be contacted by you; you may call for up to 18 months
Remember: If you are calling numbers from your call list to sell a product or service, you must register with the FTC and download the National Do-Not-Call Registry.
If you call a number that is listed on the Registry, you may face fines. If a number is not on the Registry, but the consumer has asked to be put on your do not call list, you must comply or face fines.
The National Do-Not-Call Registry was created to protect consumers from receiving unwanted sales calls. The good news for you is that this list can help you operate more efficiently by screening customers who do not want to be contacted. That saves you time and allows you to focus on customers who are open to a solicitation.
There are millions of registered numbers on the Registry, and it changes constantly as numbers are added and removed. To avoid paying thousands of dollars in fines for each illegal call, use Searchbug’s Do-Not-Call List API. Or, to check a list of numbers before you add it to a dialer, you can use the Searchbug Batch Phone Validator Service.
They are both quick and easy. The batch tool lets you upload any size list of numbers without any programming or IT support. If you have a web developer, he or she can implement our phone validator API in a few hours.
Either service will save you time and money since you need to check your numbers before you make sales calls anyway. It is important to make sure the customers are protected and that you avoid exorbitant fines and legal repercussions so that your business can run smoothly and profitably.