One of the most important elements of the Federal Trade Commission’s rules and regulations surrounding call center compliance is the National Do Not Call Registry. Here, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about the National DNC Registry and how to use it to keep your call center in compliance at all times.
The National Do Not Call Registry is a database of phone numbers maintained by the FTC that companies who make outbound phone calls or send text messages regarding sales or marketing cannot call or text. There are over 200 million phone numbers on the National DNC Registry and this number is constantly changing, so it’s important to check it routinely and make sure your internal DNC list reflects the latest version of the National DNC Registry.
The National DNC Registry is accessed online. If you are the type of company mentioned above, who makes outbound calls or texts in order to sell goods or services, then you have to purchase a subscription to the National DNC Registry. This is known as a SAN, or Subscription Account Number, and it is paid for annually. With a SAN, you have access to numbers on the National DNC Registry that have five area codes that you select—after those five, you have to pay a fee per additional area code. Fortunately, you only need to subscribe to the area codes you will be calling. Your SAN gives you the ability to download the National DNC list that aligns with your chosen area codes and use it to scrub numbers from your internal calling list.
The one instance in which you do not need to adhere to the National DNC Registry is if you are directly following up with a customer in response to an inquiry. The general rule here is that you have three months from the first contact to initiate a follow up, though that may be different in some states.
In addition to the National DNC Registry, you also need to be aware if you are calling numbers in one of the 11 states that has its own DNC list. These states are Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming. States may have different requirements or programs to access their individual DNC lists, so this is something to figure out on a case-by-case basis.
Finally, every company that makes outbound sales calls and texts must maintain an internal DNC list as well. If a customer requests to be placed on an internal DNC list that request must be honored immediately and the customer must remain on your internal DNC list until they choose to opt back in to receive calls or texts (if ever). Some states have rules surrounding how long you must honor one of these requests, so make sure you are familiar with those rules for the states you are calling.
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