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Cost of dialing

November 22, 2010
FTC ups rates again for phone lists

Businesses that conduct telemarketing campaigns across more than five area codes found those campaigns costlier effective Sept. 1, following action by the Federal Trade Commission.


Access to telephone numbers in five area codes continues to be free to registered telemarketers. But under a revised FTC fee structure, the annual fee to obtain numbers in additional area codes increased from $40 to $56 each. 

Telemarketers and sellers are required to search the National Do-Not-Call Registry at least once every 31 days and to drop from their call lists the phone numbers of consumers who have registered.


Businesses that conduct telemarketing must register as a telemarketer with the federal registry. That is accomplished online at Afterwards, a business can gain access to the various phone numbers.


A telephone number that appears on the registry still may be called if (a) the consumer has made a purchase from the dealership in the past 18 months, (b) the consumer has contacted the dealership with an inquiry in the past 90 days, or (c) the consumer has provided written consent—in advance of any call—to permit such calling. The consent form, according to the FCC, must be clear and conspicuous as to its intent.


Under Illinois law, telemarketers are permitted for just 30 days to call a consumer after that consumer contacts a business with an inquiry.


When the federal registry was instituted in 2003, it cost $25 to obtain phone numbers in a sixth area code.