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News > Jobs & Economy
400k 'Do-not-call' complaints
FTC has received 429,000 complaints against telemarketers from consumers on the do not call list.
June 24, 2004: 3:19 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Not all telemarketers have gotten the hint that consumers really don't want to take their calls.

The Federal Trade Commission said it has received roughly 429,000 complaints against telemarketers over the past year from consumers who signed up for the national do not call registry. There are more than 62 million telephone numbers on the list, according the agency.

At least one consumer advocate says that number is way too high.

"That is a huge number of complaints to be filed for anything," said Jean Ann Fox, Director of Consumer Protection of the Consumer Protection of Federation, told CNN/Money. "Complaints are an indicator of what's going on, but not the sum total of the problem."

"The rule of thumb is that for every complaint that is filed there are probably a hundred or so people who have the same problem but they haven't complained because they don't think it would make a difference."

The FTC, however, says that the list is working.

"The Do Not Call Registry has made dinner time interruptions a thing of the past," said FTC Chairman Timothy Muris in a statement.

The regulations don't apply to political and charitable solicitors, but all other telemarketers who call numbers on the list face fines up to $11,000 per violation.

FTC data obtained by Reuters show that several debt-counseling groups have drawn a high volume of complaints.

Consumer Issues
Do-not-call list
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

One company, Credit Foundation of America, has received at least 10,872 complaints, twice the 4,991 complaints lodged against AT&T Corp. (T: down $1.58 to $14.83, Research, Estimates), the No. 2 company on the list, the news service said.

And debt-counseling group National Consumer Council was temporarily shut down in May for a multitude of do-not-call violations.

Consumers can place their phone numbers on the no-call list by calling (888) 382-1222 or visiting  Top of page

--Reuters contributed to this report.

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