FTC Unlikely to Scrub No-Call List

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PALM BEACH, FL -- The Federal Trade Commission has indicated that it probably won't clean up the millions of telephone numbers on the national no-call list that don't belong, Direct Marketing Association vice president of governmental affairs Jerry Cerasale said yesterday.


The FTC is aware that the no-call list is not clean, he said. It contains fax, business, toll-free and wireless numbers, none of which were supposed to be on the list but which consumers registered anyway.


The FTC is considering marking cell phone numbers on the list, Cerasale said. However, when asked whether it will ever clean the list fully, the FTC's response has been, "In your dreams," he said.


Telemarketing experts estimate that up to half the 60 million numbers on the no-call list are invalid, either because they are exempt from the no-call law or because their owners have changed numbers since registering.


Cerasale gave an update on telemarketing regulatory affairs at the annual DMA Teleservices Conference here at The Breakers hotel. He dealt with numerous telemarketing issues such as the Supreme Court challenge to the no-call list filed by the American Teleservices Association.


Cerasale said that though he supports the ATA's constitutional arguments against the list, the ATA's challenge is unlikely to be accepted by the Supreme Court for review. The Supreme Court grants a review to only 3 percent of the cases it receives.


"I think they will be in the 97 percent," he said. "The do-not-call list is here to stay."


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