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FTC's do-not-call registry

November 22, 2010
When does the 18-month call window close?

The Oct. 27, 2003, edition of this newsletter reviewed the three exceptions under which consumers who registered for the Do Not Call Registry still could be called. The exceptions are: (1) the consumer has made a purchase from the dealership in the past 18 months; (2) the consumer has made an inquiry to the dealership in the past 30 days; or (3) the consumer has provided written consent to permit such a call-in advance of any call. Dennis O'Keefe, the CATA's general counsel, said dealers have asked him whether periodic lease payments made on a lease would qualify under the first exception, and therefore renew the calling period for 18 months after any lease payment. Dealers also asked O'Keefe if a return to the dealer for service under warranty or otherwise is enough to restart the 18-month period. "With regard to the second issue," O'Keefe said, "the FTC has indicated that if the consumer has had additional contact with the dealer for service, that is sufficient to form an established business relationship and would allow calls 18 months from the last date of service. "However, if there is no contact other than the making of periodic lease payments to a leasing company, such payments are insufficient to show further contact with the dealership, and the dealership would be prohibited from calling a customer more than 18 months after the lease signing."