Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

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Telemarketer Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  When will the "Do Not Call" list be available to telemarketers?

A:  The list will be available on October 1st and then updates will be issued quarterly (January 1, April 1, July 1, October 1). Telemarketers have 30 days to remove the names and numbers from their calling lists. The Direct Marketing Association will distribute copies of the ?Do Not Call? list.

Q:  What are the penalties if a telemarketer calls a phone number that is on the "Do Not Call" list?

A:  Every telemarketer that calls consumers in Pennsylvania is required to purchase the list from the list administrator. The telemarketer must then remove every name on the "Do Not Call" list from their calling lists within 30 days of receiving the list. A violation of the law carries a civil penalty of up to $1,000, or $3,000 if the person contacted is age 60 or older.

Q:   Do I have to register as a telemarketer in Pennsylvania?

A:  Yes. All telemarketers must register unless you fall within an exception as provided for in the Act. Please review the Telemarketer Registration Act by clicking here.

Q:  How do I know if I am a telemarketer who needs to purchase the "Do Not Call" list?
A:  Act 24 of 2002 defines a telephone solicitation call as:

"Telephone solicitation call." A call made to a residential telephone consumer subscribers for the purpose of soliciting the sale of any consumer goods or services or for the purpose of obtaining information that will or may be used for the direct solicitation of a sale of consumer goods or services or an extension of credit for that purpose. The term does not include a call made to a residential telephone consumer:

  1. In response to an express request of the residential telephone consumer.
  2. In reference to an existing debt, contract, payment or performance.
  3. With whom the telemarketer has an established business relationship within the past 12 months preceding the call.
  4. On behalf of a charitable organization granted tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3), (5) or (8) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Public Law 99-514, 26 U.S.C. § 1 et seq.) or a veteran's organization chartered by the Congress of the United States and or its duly appointed foundation.
  5. On behalf of a political candidate or a political party.

If you are unsure whether you meet this definition, please consult an attorney.

Q: If my company makes calls on behalf of a client, which one of us is responsible for using the list?

A: Whatever entity is engaged in making telephone solicitation calls is responsible for using the list.

Q: How long do consumers remain on the list?

A: Consumers remain on the list for five years, or until the listed number is no longer valid.

Q: When a telemarketer is fined, where does the money go?

A: Act 24 requires that 10% of any civil penalties collected are remitted back to the consumer who was illegally called, up to $100 per consumer. The remainder of civil penalties are placed into the Commonwealth=s General Fund.

Q: How long do I have to purge my files before I am fined?

A: A telemarketer has 30 days from the date the list administrator issueseach quarterly list to purge the newly enrolled names from their call lists. During this 30 day period, the telemarketer is still prohibited from placing calls to residents whose numbers appear on earlier editions of the quarterly list.