Listing Broker Drops Can Lead to Do Not Call Lawsuits

Most of the laws against telemarketing calls are based on the Federal Telephone Practices Act (FPA). Telemarketers are restricted from calling anyone without their permission. There are even some states that allow telemarketers to contact people without telling them in advance they are calling. Unfortunately, many people take this law to mean they have no right to ask the telemarketing company to stop telemarketing calls once they’ve been contacted.

As a result, many people find themselves dealing with the Do Not Call list or getting thousands of harassing phone calls each year.

Some do not know what to do and end up giving up the fight. Others try to fight back but run into road blocks. This is where MLSS companies come in. Companies like Muchow and Call Corning make it easy for people to simply put a little note on their caller ID not to pick up any phone calls from solicitors, telemarketers, etc.

In an article I wrote for the Associated Press, Muchow said he does not understand why telemarketers are required to list a phone number when calling up potential clients.

“I don’t understand why they have to do that, it’s just flat-out wrong,” he said. He referred to a previous case in which he represented a telemarketing company that did not register its telephone number with the state or federal Do Not Call registry. The company was instructed by the state to register, but was able to continue selling its services despite being on the Do Not Call List.

Phone Consultants, Inc. owns and operates several telemarketing and marketing firms.

Information Technology Manager Robert Rice said Muchow’s advice is “totally wrong”. According to Rice, telemarketers are not subject to state laws regarding Do Not Call either before they reach out to potential clients or after they contact their existing clients. “He is totally out of touch with reality,” Rice stated.

According to Robert Weingarten of the National Association of State Criminal Defense Attorneys, telemarketers cannot be expected to abide by state laws regarding Do Not Call when calling up people for commercial purposes.

“The Do Not Call registry was designed to prevent telemarketers from blatantly commercializing their businesses when contacting potential clients. Telephone solicitors that violate the registry are guilty of criminal contempt, which carries serious penalties,” Weingarten stated. However, he indicated that it is possible for a telemarketer to be fined for violating the Do Not Call laws. For example, a court could order a telemarketer to stop making phone calls to persons who do not want to receive commercial information, he explained.

Muchow went on to say that listing brokers need to be more careful about whom they give phone numbers to.

“Data privacy and information security are paramount for today’s business environment. This is an unfortunate situation where listing agents can be manipulated and information that could benefit the client can be compromised,” he said. On the other hand, he noted that he does not believe that the Do Not Call List should be completely eliminated. “I would only advocate taking it one step at a time and recognizing the need for commercial and residential telemarketing calls in our marketplace,” he said. He encouraged telemarketing agencies to work with established list brokers that will assist them with managing the Do Not Call List to avoid situations where telemarketers violate the law.

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