Telemarketers Weep As President Signs Do Not Call Improvement Act

Never again will you have to worry about renewing your Do Not Call List registration thanks to Public Laws 110-187 and 110-188. Our newest laws provide a permanent stream of funding for the Do Not Call List and guarantee that registrations will never expire. Read the White House’s ebullient press release, after jump.

On Friday, February 15, 2008, the President signed into law:

H.R. 3541, the “Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007,” which prohibits the automatic removal of telephone numbers registered on the Federal “do-not-call” registry; and

S. 781, the “Do-Not-Call Registry Fee Extension Act of 2007,” which extends permanently the authority of the Federal Trade Commission to charge fees to telemarketers required to access the Federal “do-not-call” registry and specifies the fees to be charged.

Can’t you sense the excitement? No, these bills don’t need a Rose Garden ceremony—a brief description is enough to show that the Do Not Call List is one of the government’s most successful, cheapest, and popular programs—way more popular than, say, Congress or the President.

For anyone who doubts the list’s usefullness, read one Ars Tech editor’s experience:

My family recently moved into a new home, and with it, we received a new phone number (I didn’t want a new one, but in Massachusetts they can be strict about towns and their exchanges). At our old house we had been covered by the DNCR, but at the new home, we weren’t because we had a new number. It took one week, at most, before the unsolicited calls started. When they started, they were frequent and annoying. Life “off” the DNCR was horrible.

After about another week of putting up with it (it just sat on a long “to do list” as we attended to other move-in crises), we finally got around to signing up our new number, and even though the Registry gives ample time for opt-out information to be followed by telemarketers, in reality we were spam-call-free within a week. In short, the DNCR works, it’s fast, and telemarketers are by and large obeying it when expected.

The common-sense bill was the brainchild of Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA), who didn’t want to see 50 million numbers fall off the Do Not Call List in 2008. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) helped shepherd the legislation through the Senate.

Both measures passed the House on a voice vote and cleared the Senate by unanimous consent.

Statement by the Press Secretary [The White House]
Do Not Call Registry saved from mandatory reset [Ars Technica]
Liveblogging The Do Not Call Improvement Act and CPSC Reform Act Committee Markups

Should Do Not Call List Registrations Last Forever?
(Photo: Getty)

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