DMA Finds TPS List 80% Effective

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Signing up for the Direct Marketing Association's Telephone Preference Service is 80.5 percent effective at stopping telemarketing calls, making a national no-call list unnecessary, the DMA said yesterday.

The DMA submitted a survey of the TPS list's effectiveness to the Federal Communications Commission along with written comments about the FCC's proposed national do-not-call list. Yesterday was the deadline to submit comments to the FCC about its proposal to create a national DNC list as part of a revamp of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act rules.

Creating a national DNC list would "reinvent the wheel" given the DMA's TPS service and the emergence of new caller-ID technology, DMA president/CEO H. Robert Wientzen said in a statement. There is no evidence the FCC's current telemarketing rules don't work, he said.

"Ironically, and irrationally, the costs associated with complying with a government-run do-not-call list ultimately will be borne by consumers who do want to receive information about goods and services by telephone and who do purchase in response to these calls," Wientzen said.

About 7.5 million consumers are registered for the TPS list. Only DMA members are required to use the list, though according to the DMA many non-members use it as well.

As an alternative to creating its own national DNC list, the FCC could compile the 27 state DNC lists together with the TPS list, the DMA said. Consumers in states with no DNC list could register for the TPS.

Other organizations have submitted comments to the FCC on the national DNC list plan. One, the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates, advocated tougher restrictions on telemarketers, including a national DNC list and stricter rules on the use of automated calling systems.

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