FCC/State rules about telemarketing calls

Our office has had some questions from residents who have been annoyed by the volume of calls they receive from autodialers.

The FCC has specific rules for automatic telephone dialing systems.  These rules apply whether or not you have registered your home phone number(s) on the national Do-Not-Call list.

The links below were provided by a hearing officer of the state Department of Telecommunications and provide more details, but in general there are several exemptions that telemarketers can use to make calls to homes of people on the Do-Not-Call-List.  The exemptions include calls for which you have given prior express consent; non-commercial calls (not intended to make a profit); calls by, or on behalf of, tax-exempt non-profit organizations; calls that don’t include or introduce any unsolicited advertisements or constitute telephone solicitations; and calls from entities with which you have an existing relationship.

Unfortunately, the do not call list protects home residential lines only.  From the FCC: While you may be able to register a business number, your registration will not make telephone solicitations to that number unlawful.


Political calls are not covered under the do not call list because they are not commercial calls and do not contain unsolicited advertisements.  The following links to documents from the FCC and FTC explain the list in further detail.  There is also a link to the FCC’s initial Order on the do not call list, which effectively exempted political calls.

FCC summary: http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/do-not-call-list

FTC summary: http://www.business.ftc.gov/documents/alt129-qa-telemarketers-sellers-about-dnc-provisions-tsr

Original FCC Order: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=1071340001 (see paragraph 41)


Barbara Miranda, Chief of Staff