Interactive Marketing Solutions, a subsidiary of the Direct Marketing Association, introduced the Wireless-Ported Numbers File yesterday. The product is designed to help companies comply with federal regulations governing telephone marketing.
New Federal Communications Commission rules took effect earlier this year that let landline phone numbers be ported to cell phones. Individuals can transfer the telephone number assigned to their wired home or office telephone to their wireless cell phone. They also may transfer the number assigned to their wireless telephone to their wired home or office telephone. The new rules can result in the accidental placement of marketing calls to ported cell phones.
The Wireless-Ported Numbers File is a suppression list of numbers that have been recently ported from landline phones to cell phones. It lets telemarketers identify:
· Numbers that appear to belong to wired landlines, but that are actually assigned to wireless telephones. Telemarketers must avoid unsolicited calls to these numbers.
· Numbers that seem to belong to wireless telephones, but are now assigned to wired landlines. If these numbers are not on no-call lists, telemarketers may call them.
The files will be zipped together and distributed via download from the DMA/IMS' Web site as text files, with each record containing a single 10-digit phone number to facilitate its immediate use by telemarketers.
“The list is updated every Monday, and with some exceptions, IMS permits teleservices providers to purchase the Wireless-Ported Numbers File once, and use it to scrub all of their clients' marketing lists before making calls on their behalf,” Frank Rigano, president of IMS, said in a statement.
The Wireless-Ported Numbers File, which identifies about 500,000 ported numbers, should be used as a supplement to IMS' Wireless Block Identifier, and not as a substitute, IMS said.
The Wireless Block Identifier identifies those area codes and exchanges, or blocks, assigned to wireless carriers. The file is available monthly for download and covers nearly 400,000 blocks representing 400 million phone numbers that are assigned or will be assigned to cell phones.
The tool “should be very helpful to the industry because this is one telemarketing law that is very hard to comply with,” said Kenneth G. Kraetzer, vice president at CBSI, Harrison, NY, an insurance and credit card program marketing company. “I haven't heard of any real solutions on this [until now].”
Subscriptions to the new service cost $895 yearly. To apply for the Wireless-Ported Numbers File, go to http://preference.the-dma.org/products/WirelessPortedNumbers.shtml.
For information about IMS' Wireless Block Identifier, go to http://preference.the-dma.org/products/wireless.shtml.