FTC Logs 15,000 No-Call Complaints

The Federal Trade Commission has received 15,000 complaints of no-call list violations from consumers, the agency said yesterday.

No enforcement actions against specific companies were announced, though the FTC said the consumer complaints would be logged in a database available to 800 law enforcement agencies.

The FTC began taking complaints on the no-call list last weekend and requires telemarketers who already have downloaded the list to begin complying immediately. Those who were delayed from obtaining the list because of court proceedings had until today to begin compliance.

The no-call list has grown to 53.7 million telephone numbers, the FTC said. Nearly 21,000 organizations have downloaded parts of the registry, including 550 telemarketers that have downloaded all available area codes.

In addition, the FTC said yesterday it would not remove a verification mechanism on the donotcall.gov Web site that a Connecticut newspaper used to reveal telemarketing industry executives who are on the list.

The mechanism lets anyone input a phone number on the Web site to check whether the number is registered, even if the number doesn't belong to them. The FTC, which is operating the no-call list, first reported that it would remove the mechanism, but now says it will remain.

FTC spokeswoman Cathy MacFarlane said the online verification would stay because consumers often register multiple numbers and need a way to check their registrations. She said the systems had safeguards but declined to disclose what those were.

“It's illegal to misuse it,” MacFarlane said. “If people misuse it, there will be enforcement actions.”

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