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July 10, 2003

333,000 Iowans Sign Up for Do Not Call List

Nationwide, 23.8 million Americans registered in the first two weeks.

Over 333,000 Iowans have signed up for the national "Do Not Call" Registry as of Thursday.

DES MOINES.    "Iowans are flocking to take advantage of the program," said Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. "The FTC tells us another 10,000 Iowans signed up in the last day or so. It should make a big difference in reducing unwanted commercial telemarketing calls that can be so irritating."

Consumers may sign up on-line at the FTC web site: The toll-free telephone number to sign up is 1-888-382-1222 (or 1-866-290-4236 for TTY text phone for the hearing impaired.) People signing up by phone must call from the telephone they wish to register.

Nationwide, 84% are signing up on-line. In Iowa, about two-thirds are registering on-line. Miller said the Federal Trade Commission, which manages the Do Not Call database, is emphasizing that consumers who register on-line must provide an email address for the FTC to respond - and must open the FTC email reply and click on the link in order to confirm and complete the registration. The FTC says some consumers have not taken that final step in the registration process.

"It's quick, it's easy, and it's free," Miller said. "But be sure you finish the sign-up process."


The Do Not Call Registry was launched less than two weeks ago, on June 27. The federal law requires commercial telemarketers to search the registry every three months and remove numbers from their call lists. Telemarketers that violate the rules may be fined up to $11,000 per call.

The FTC will begin enforcing the National Do Not Call Registry on October 1. Consumers who register by August 31 should notice a reduction in telemarketing calls after October 1. Consumers generally will be able to expect fewer calls within three months of signing up for the Registry. Complaints may be filed after Oct. 1 at the Registry number and web site: 1-888-382-1222 and

Some telemarketers are exempt from the Do Not Call law, including charities, political organizations, and telephone surveyors. A company that has a business relationship with a consumer is exempt from the rules for up to 18 months after the latest purchase, payment, or delivery.

However, consumers also can ASK a telemarketer not to call again, even if the telemarketer is exempt from the law. For example, if a professional telemarketer calls on behalf of a charity, it must put a consumer on the telemarketer's own do-not-call list, if the consumer requests it.

The industry has estimated that telemarketers attempt over 100 million calls a day - a source of irritation and consternation for many consumers.

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