Unwanted telemarketing calls can be frustrating, intrusive, and time-consuming. Whether in the middle of an important task or trying to relax at home, unwanted calls can disrupt your day and leave you feeling defeated.
Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself from these calls and take action if your rights are violated. Here we’ll explore the Do Not Call list, telemarketing laws in Mississippi, and what you can do if you’re on the receiving end of do not call list violations.
What Is a Do Not Call List?
The Do Not Call List is a national registry of phone numbers to which you can add your phone number to avoid pesky sales calls.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) maintains this registry, and once you add your number, telemarketers are legally required to stop calling you.
To add your phone number to the Do Not Call list, call the FTC or go to their website and register online. Once you’re on the list, telemarketing calls may take up to 31 days to stop.
However, it’s important to note that the Do Not Call list doesn’t eliminate all unwanted calls. You may still receive calls from political organizations, charities, and companies you’ve previously worked with.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Do Not Call list only applies to personal phone numbers, not business phone numbers. If you’re using your personal phone for business purposes, you may still receive telemarketing calls related to your business.
How Can Violations Occur?
Even though the Do Not Call list is a powerful tool for reducing unwanted sales calls, violations can still occur.
Here are a few examples of how violations can happen:
- Telemarketers calling numbers on the Do Not Call list
- Companies calling numbers they have previously done business with
- Robocalls and automated messages
If you receive a telemarketing call that you believe violates the Do Not Call list rules, you can file a complaint with the FTC. The FTC may investigate the complaint and take legal action against the telemarketer if necessary.
What Are the Consequences of a Do Not Call List Violation?
Violating the Do Not Call list can have serious consequences for telemarketers and companies.
Here are a few examples of the penalties that can be imposed:
- Fines — Violating the Do Not Call list can result in hefty fines. The FTC can impose fines of up to $43,792 per violation, which means that a single company could end up paying millions of dollars in fines.
- Lawsuits — Consumers who receive telemarketing calls that violate the Do Not Call list can file lawsuits against the offending company. Consumers can be awarded damages for each violation they receive.
- Loss of reputation — Companies that violate the Do Not Call list can suffer damage to their reputation. Consumers may view them as untrustworthy or unethical, which can hurt their bottom line.
- Legal action — In addition to fines and lawsuits, violating the Do Not Call list can result in legal action from the FTC. In extreme cases, this can include injunctions, asset freezes, and even criminal charges.
Overall, violating the Do Not Call list is a serious matter that can have significant consequences. If you receive telemarketing calls that you believe violate the rules, it’s important to report them to the FTC so that they can take action against the offending company.
Telemarketing Laws in Mississippi
The Mississippi Telephone Solicitation Act governs telemarketing in Mississippi. This law requires telemarketers to register with the state and to comply with certain regulations when making sales calls to consumers in Mississippi.
Some important provisions of this law include the following:
- Telemarketers must check the Do Not Call list to ensure that they don’t call any numbers on the list.
- Telemarketers must identify themselves, including their name, the name of the company they’re calling on behalf of, and the purpose of the call.
- Telemarketers are prohibited from making calls before 8 a.m or after 8 p.m. (Central Standard Time)
- Telemarketers are prohibited from making calls on Sunday
- Telemarketers cannot block or circumnavigate caller identification service
- Telemarketers cannot use an automated dialing system or use a recorded voice message to communicate with you before a business relationship has been established