General

FTC Announces Do Not Call List Crackdown

If you ask for phone numbers on forms that strangers complete (at trade shows, for example) be up front that you might call them – on the form.

Otherwise, you could be fined like these companies were, because, “You’re really trying to fool consumers into giving up their phone number so you can turn around and call them,” according to FTC chairwoman Deborah Platt Majoras.

Of particular note if you use lead generation companies and lead generation websites:

“Ameriquest, the FTC said, got phone numbers of people on the registry from so-called lead generators – companies that get contact numbers from people by using Web sites that promise information on financial and other products. Ameriquest then used the phone numbers from the lead generators to improperly call people on the Do Not Call registry, the agency said. The FTC said Ameriquest would pay $1 million in civil penalties. More here.

Might be a good idea to check that the numbers you buy are not people on the Do Not Call list. And if you are calling lists, ask the person who answers the phone if they are on the DNC list before you pitch them – in case. If so, say goodbye. All’s well that ends well.

About the author

Kim Klaver

8 Comments

  • Great advise. I had not thought about putting a disclaimer on my forms.

    Too bad that politicians are exempt from the Do Not Call regulations.

  • What kind of knucklehead would put their phone number on a form because they were looking for an opportunity and then be surprised when they received a call?

    And how exactly do we go about cross checking the do not call list? If you mean, ask the lead company if they have cross checked, their answer is likely to be no, but the people gave their phone number. Or they might lie and say yes. I doubt there are many lead companies that can afford to get the lists.

  • Kim, you said, “And if you are calling lists, ask the person who answers the phone if they are on the DNC list before you pitch them – in case. If so, say goodbye. All’s well that ends well.”

    If I fill out a form asking for information then the person calls me and hangs up because I say yes, I’m on the DNC list, I’m going to be upset that the people I originally requested info from did not get back to me.

    ~Roxanne~

  • I agree with Edie. Why would someone share their number if they didn’t expect to get a call? Duh. We collect numbers on a form at trade fairs – guess we’ll have to add a disclaimer.

  • I don’t ask if they are on the Do Not Call list because then I sound like a tele-marketer. Currently the leads I get have filled out a survey and checked the box to agree to be contacted.

    However, if they tell me they are on the DNC list, I say “I am too – I am calling because you requested info about…..”

  • Edie and Lorraine:

    If you have a form at a fair or an exhibit somewhere for say, a product raffle, and you ask for someone’s phone number, THAT is when you want to add words to this effect:

    Someone may call you about this product, OK?

    Obviously, if your form says:

    Would you like us to call you about the business opportunity (or product)?

    And they provide the phone #, you are fine.

    The complaints arise when people are asked to fill out forms for raffles, sweepstakes, or product drawings, and such, and THEN they’re called by someone trying to sell them stuff. See the difference?

  • I totally see the difference. I have always had my forms to say that they are requesting information about buying, selling, or making money. It was always clear they were expressing their interest even if filling out for a raffle, we still included those questions.

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