The Federal Trade Commission or FTC is a federal consumer protection agency. They manage the National Do Not Call Registry (DNC) and release a biennial report to Congress on its progress. The report is “a summary of the current operations of the Registry, the impact on the Registry of new telecommunication technologies, and the impact of the established business relationship exception in our enforcement efforts” (FTC, 2017, p. 1).
The FTC released the most recent report on December 22, 2017, entailing an overview of operations throughout 2016 and 2017. Here are a few of the most notable trends spotted in the report as well as hurdles the FTC are currently facing.
What is the National Do Not Call Registry?
Before getting into the meat of the report, it is essential that you grasp the purpose of the National Do Not Call Registry. Voted into action by Congress in 2003, the registry has officially been in effect for 15 years. Its function is to protect consumers from pestering telemarketing calls. One can register his or her cell phone and landline onto the same list for free. There is also no need to resubmit your number to the list; once you register your phone number, it is on there until you cancel it or the number is discontinued.
Although registering your number does keep you off of the radar of telemarketers, you may still receive calls from debt collectors, political groups, charities, and surveys. Those who receive an unwanted telemarketing call after being on the registry for longer than 31 days should report the call to the FTC. In its first ten years of existence, the DNC was the focal point of 105 cases which resulted in $118 million in civil penalties and $737 million in other court-ordered rulings.
FTC Report Statistics
The report itself is eleven pages long, but the most noteworthy information is listed below:
- The FCC received 185,000 complaints from August 2016 to December 2017 for unwanted calls
- 3.8 million phone numbers were added in 2017
- The FTC received 375,000 monthly robocall complaints in 2017
- Over 229 million phone numbers are now registered to the list
- 2,259 entities paid over $12.6 million to gain access to the list
- 15,536 entities received phone numbers for five or fewer area codes for free
One major issue that the report highlighted is the DNC’s inability to keep up with technological advancements, the most ominous being spoofing technologies. These systems can spoof or fake caller identification information, ultimately concealing the identity of the entity placing the call. These systems are commonly optimized by companies and individuals who choose not to comply with the DNC for personal gain.
If there is one thing consumers can take away from this report, it is that even with federally monitored systems in place, the possibility of receiving an unwanted telemarketing call remains. When that happens, contact a Florida TCPA attorney at The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi. The law states that you can receive up to $1,500 per TCPA violation. Trust us to secure fair compensation for you! Contact us at 844-JIBRAEL for a free case evaluation. There are no fees until Jibrael wins for you!