A brief introduction to the Do Not Call Registry, how it works, and how to use it.
If you've ever had a home telephone line, you've probably received unwanted telemarketing calls. You can curb these calls by signing up for the National Do Not Call Registry. When you add your phone number to the registry, telemarketers are obligated to remove you from their calling lists.
This lesson is about the Do Not Call Registry in the United States. Similar programs in other countries may differ from what is discussed here. There are links at the end of this article to similar programs outside the U.S.
You can add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry online or over the phone. To register online, go to donotcall.gov and open the registration form. Enter the phone number you want to add to the list and your email address for confirmation. You'll need to check the verification email to complete your registration.
To register over the phone, call 1-888-382-1222. Follow the phone menu prompts to the registration option, and it will ask you to enter your phone number. Then you'll hear a brief message about how the registry works. There are also options to file a complaint, remove your number from the registry, and get more information.
Telemarketers are required to check the list every 31 days, so they may still call until that time. Some organizations are exempt from the National Do Not Call Registry, like nonprofit organizations and political campaigns. The registry isn't perfect, and you might get some calls by mistake, and some unscrupulous organizations ignore the list. If you believe you're receiving calls in violation of the National Do Not Call Registry or general telemarketing laws, you can file a complaint.
The National Do Not Call Registry discussed in this article is run by the U.S. government. Some other countries have their own similar programs.