Do Not Call list tops 50 million phones

Enforcement of the Federal Trade Commission's National Do Not Call list starts Oct. 1, and millions of households are ready to hear the sound of silence.

Tech Industry
Enforcement of the Federal Trade Commission's National Do Not Call list starts Oct. 1, and millions of households are ready to hear the sound of silence.

The regulatory group said Wednesday that consumers have added more than 50 million phone numbers to the list, which bans unwanted telemarketer calls, in its first three months. Most people have registered through the Internet. Florida, Idaho, New York, Ohio and Texas are among the states with the largest number of households registered. California leads the pack at about 6.5 million phone numbers.

Nearly 5,000 telemarketers have purchased the database to comply with the law, which requires marketers to compare their phone lists with that of the FTC's list by Oct. 1. If a marketer continues to dial a number on the registry after that date, it must pay an $11,000 fine per violation.

Not all telemarketers are on the hook, however. Charities, political organizations and groups conducting surveys are not covered by the Do Not Call provisions. Also, people who registered after Aug. 31 may not see a reduction in calls right away. Telemarketers are allowed to call these people for three months from the time they registered, the FTC said. Those who registered by Aug. 31 should see a reduction in calls as of Oct. 1.

But people may continue to receive calls from companies with which they've done business for up to 18 months. Or, if a consumer has requested information from a company, that business can call for up to three months.

The Do Not Call site lets people add their phone number to the list online. A crush of consumers rushed the site when it opened, crippling its servers and slowing access to a crawl.

By year's end, the FTC said its expects to see 60 million people signed up for the service.

Close
Drag
Autoplay: ON Autoplay: OFF