Do-Not-Call List "Spring Cleaning": Annual Compliance Reminders

Spring is not only the ideal time to organize your life, but it is also a good time to review your do-not-call list compliance procedures.  It is particularly important this year as State Attorneys General are ramping up their efforts to enforce not only the federal do-not-call list, but their state specific do-not-call lists. 

Several states, including Missouri, have been actively investigating companies that receive complaints from consumers, whether these complaints are justified or not.  Because of this, companies must keep in mind the following:

·         You are required to purchase and implement both the federal and applicable state specific do-not-call lists when making calls for the sale of goods or services.

·         Calls made to solicit charitable contributions are exempt from the federal do-not-call list, but some states exempt these calls only if they meet specific criteria. 

·         You must maintain an internal do-not-call list for persons who have previously indicated they do not want to receive future calls.  This applies to all calls, including calls made for charitable solicitations.

·         The specific reason or severity of the tone of the do-not-call request is not important.  All requests must be honored.

·         If a person requests to stop receiving “any” or “all” calls, you should remove the person from all of your calling lists, not just the list for the specific company or charity you are calling on behalf of.

·         Calls made to customers with an established business relationship (“EBR”) are exempt from federal and state do-not-call lists; however, these calls must still be scrubbed against your internal do-not-call list.

Companies must be aware that while the length of an EBR is 18 months under federal law, many states have shorter periods, which you must follow.  For example, Missouri only permits calls to persons on the do-not-call list if they have an EBR, which expires after six months.

As state laws vary depending on the type of calls being made, you should seek legal advice prior to all campaigns to prevent consumer complaints, which may ultimately lead to state action. 

This article is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice.