Consumers Flocking to Do-Not-Call Site

Consumer interest in the Federal Trade Commission’s Do-Not-Call Registry remains high with more than 10 million Americans signing up for the service began on Friday. The vast majority (85 percent) has used the FTC’s online site, donotcall.gov, to list their telephone numbers in the registry.

The new government site allows consumers to list their numbers with the FTC in order to block telemarketers from calling them at home. Calls from charities, political organizations and surveys are not covered by the FTC’s telemarketing blocking.

“Consumer response has been enthusiastic,” said FTC Chairman Timothy J. Muris. “The highest sustained system access we’ve seen occurred Friday evening between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. EDT when an average of 158 telephone numbers were entered into the system per second.”

On Friday, 7 million telephone numbers were logged into the system; Saturday the number slowed to 4.6 million; and Sunday the number was 2 million. FTC officials have said they expect 60 million households to sign up for the new service.

The FTC said late Monday more than three million consumers have sent a registration request to the online site but have not clicked on the response email and confirmed their registration.

Under the new telemarketing blocking policy, telemarketers who call a consumer’s home number on the list could be fined up to $11,000 per call. The government has also added a toll-free number for consumers to complain about any company that does call, after their name is established in the national call blocking registry.

If telemarketers harass consumers after these measures have been taken, then lawsuits could be filed by individual consumers and state attorneys general.

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