Friday, June 27, 2003

FTC opens drive against telemarketing

WASHINGTON, June 27 (UPI) -- The Federal Trade Commission opened a long-awaited nationwide registry Friday for those who want to block unwanted telemarketing calls.
Companies or marketers have until Oct. 1 to remove any registered phone numbers from their calling lists. Once the enforcement begins, telemarketers who disregard the registry could face fines as high as $11,000 for each call.
Under rules announced by FTC Chairman Timothy J. Muris Thursday, residents can list their numbers on the do-not-call registry free, the Washington Post reported.
Consumers can join the list via the Internet ( or by calling 888-382-1222 after July 7.
Commercial telemarketing is covered by the rule except for polling, surveys and calls from political or charitable organizations. The rules also allow calls from firms with existing business relationships with consumers.