The Federal Trade Commission launched it’s much anticipated “Do Not Call Registry” on June 27th, several days earlier than the announced July 1 debut. The FTC reported that they were receiving as many as 1,000 registrations a minute at their website, www.donotcall.gov. As of Tuesday, July 1, 12.5 million telephone numbers had been logged into the registry, according to the FTC.
The “do not call” registry takes effect on Oct. 1 and telemarketers who call numbers on the list could face fines up to $11,000 per call. While consumers may consider the registry a victory over annoying telemarketing calls, those same telemarketers have already begun to focus on other ways to reach the consumer via e-mail and direct mail marketing.
According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), companies spent over $80 billion on telemarketing in 2002. Marketers will now look to focus those funds toward more traditional sales pitches to reach their targets and avoid possible fines. Consumers should prepare for the onslaught of direct mail and internet advertising they will receive, including the possibility of more spam e-mail.
You can register for this national registry at www.donotcall.gov. Your registration will be valid for a five-year period, after which you would need to renew your registration. Registering for the FTC’s “do not call” registry is only the first step to take toward “opting out” of telemarketing advertising.
The next step to take in order to reduce the amount of “junk mail” you receive at home is to contact the Direct Marketing Association. Contact them by letter and give them your full name, your complete home address, your telephone number and your signature. Inform them that you want to register for their “opt-out” Preference program.
They can be contacted at:
Direct Marketing Association
Mail Preference Service
P.O. Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512
This registration will stop mailings from many national companies for a period of five years. However, it will not stop mailings if the company is not registered with the Direct Marketing Association.
It will take about 90 days to honor your request if you contact them by mail. The DMA circulates their “opt-out” list quarterly to their members, so you may not see a significant change for three to six months.
If you want a faster way to “opt-out” of their list, then consider going online to register for this service. You will need a credit card to pay the $5.00 charge to register online. Contact the DMA online at www.dmaconsumers.org. There is no charge to register by mail however.
By registering with these two services now you should see a dramatic decrease in the amount of telemarketing calls and mail that you receive in the near future.
© 2003, Your Free Credit Report Now
Author: James H. Dimmitt
James is editor of “To Your Credit” a FREE weekly newsletter for consumers. You can subscribe at http://tinyurl.com/bgo9