During 2006, the National Do Not Call Registry managed large volumes of consumer registrations without incident, according to the Federal Trade Commission report to Congress.
As of the end of the fiscal year, more than 132 million telephone numbers had been registered. The report was submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce and the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, as required by the Do Not Call Implementation Act.
“In FY 2006 the registry received almost 25 million new registrations,” the report said. “During the most active period in FY 2006, the registry received more than 10 million consumer registration requests in a single month and more than 3 million in a single week. During FY 2006, there were nine weeks with over 1 million registrations … by the end of FY 2006, over 132 million numbers had been registered.”
The FTC said a total of 6,824 entities paid fees totaling $21,698,970 for access to the National Registry last year. Since inception, a total of 15,218 unique entities have paid fees for access to the registry. The total amount of fees paid by all entities since the inception of the registry through the end of FY 2006 is $59,027,775.
In FY 2006, 58,816 entities accessed five or fewer area codes at no charge, and 845 entities claiming “exempt organization” status obtained free access. Since inception, a total of 162,296 entities accessed five or fewer area codes at no charge, and 2,956 entities claiming “exempt organization” status obtained free access.
The report said that although compliance with the National Do Not Call Registry has been high, the FTC actively investigates and prosecutes violators. Violating the National Do Not Call Registry subjects telemarketers to civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation.
As of Sep. 30, 2006, the FTC had filed 28 cases alleging violations of the National Do Not Call Registry and had reached settlements in 21 of these cases, obtaining injunctive relief in every case. In 11 of the cases, the court ordered civil penalties totaling more than $7.6 million. In the remaining cases, the court ordered redress or disgorgement for other violations, totaling more than $8.2 million. During FY 2006, based upon a review of complaints in its database and other investigative activities, the FTC initiated 13 cases alleging violations of the registry.
The report also discussed the registry’s complaint data. During FY 2006, the FTC received 1,148,955 complaints, which constituted approximately 0.87 percent of the total number of registered telephone numbers at that time.
“This is indicative of both a high degree of compliance by telemarketers and a meaningful reduction in unwanted calls for consumers who have registered their telephone numbers,” the report said.
The report also pointed out that during the summer of 2008, the registrations of those consumers who registered their telephone numbers in 2003 and have not subsequently re-registered would expire.
“In the spring of 2008, the FTC will conduct a consumer education campaign providing information to consumers on how to re-register their telephone number,” the report said.