2007-10-26 / Community

Do Not Call Registry Gets Reprieve

By Miriam Rosenberg

The Do Not Call Registry, which has prevented people across the country from receiving annoying telemarketer calls, will continue past its designated term without deletion of numbers, as work continues to make the registry permanent.

The Federal Trade Commission began the list in June 2003. Original rules called for people to re-register after five years, meaning re-registration would have begun for millions of people in June 2008, or their numbers would be removed from the list.

A representative for the FTC told a congressional subcommittee on Tuesday the agency would now hold off on removing any numbers.

"The commission will not drop any numbers off the registry pending final action by Congress or the agency itself on making the registry permanent," Lydia Parnes, the director of the FTC's bureau of consumer protection, told the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee.

The action comes "in response to consumer concerns," the FTC's chairwoman Deborah Platt Marjoras said in a statement.

While removing numbers was meant to keep the registry up-to-date, the Associated Press reports that the FTC has been able to do that by taking off disconnected or reassigned numbers.

Telemarketers can be fined $11,000 for each time they call a number on the list. Surveys, companies a consumer has a previous relationship with, and calls of a charitable or political nature are exempted from the list.

As reported in The Wave, Senator Charles Schumer has announced legislation to amend the original law and make the list permanent. Under his proposal, numbers would not be deleted after a set period of time.

Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer is also advising local residents to be certain to check their numbers on the registry.

To check your number's status, go to www.donotcall.gov. To register a new number, call 1-888-382-1222.

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