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Using The National Do Not Call Registry


The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) protects consumers from unsolicited telemarketing calls. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued rules and regulations to implement the TCPA, and works with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to enforce them.

The TCPA established the National Do Not Call Registry in June 2003, to further aid its mission of protecting consumers from telephone harassment, illegal scams, and predators. The registry is managed by the FTC and enforced by the FCC in cooperation with state law enforcement officials.

You can protect yourself from unwanted calls by registering your phone number on the national do-not-call registry by going to

The National Do Not Call registry allows consumers to limit the telemarketing calls they receive by putting their phone number(s) on the registry. (A consumer can only place his or her own personal phone number on the registry; up to 3 phone numbers, including cell phone numbers, can be registered at one time.) Once a phone number is registered, telemarketers covered by the registry have up to 31 days from the date of the registration to cease calling the consumer. The phone numbers on the registry are shared only with telemarketers who are required to search it every 31 days to ensure that they do not call consumers who have been added to the registry that month, and with law enforcement officials charged with enforcing the registry.

For a more complete explanation of the privacy policy with respect to the registry, go to:

Once a consumer puts his or her phone number on the registry, most unsolicited marketing and advertising calls will stop, but there are some exceptions:

  • Calls from or on behalf of political organizations.
  • Calls from charities and non-profits.
  • Calls from telephone surveyors.
  • Advertisers who have your express written consent to call you.


If a caller tells you they are allowed to call you, because they have an “established business relationship” with you, they are wrong!

The established business relationship exception to the registry was eliminated as of October 2013; therefore, telemarketers covered by the registry must have a consumer’s express written consent to call them or they are in violation of the registry. Once a phone number is registered, it remains off-limits to telemarketers unless the consumer requests that it be taken off the registry, or the phone number is disconnected or re-assigned.

What happens if a consumer has registered their phone number with the National Do Not Call registry, but they are still receiving calls from telemarketers?

Penalties for violation of the registry can be substantial at $500-$1000 per call (and treble damages in outrageous cases). The consumer should first verify that their phone number is indeed on the registry. If it is, and you think your rights may have been violated under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, then give us a call.

Call Mary Higgins, Esq. at 302-894-4357  we can help you!

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(This article is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal advice. Your case should be reviewed by an attorney to determine the proper legal advice for your situation.)

Mary Higgins Delaware Attorney


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