Telemarketing Sales Rules (TSR)
and Do Not Call List (DNC)
ESM thoroughly and consistently adheres to Federal TSR and Federal and State DNC rules. These Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations apply to telemarketers that use interstate phone calls to sell services. ESM is required to scrub our call lists against the national list to prevent us from calling those protected consumers unless we are calling under an allowable exemption. Additionally, telemarketers are required to maintain a list of phone numbers for those consumers who have requested not to be called by the telemarketer; this is called a “Company DNC list.”
The three main exemptions to the national DNC list are:
- Inquiry-based — when a consumer requests product or service information, telemarketers may call for up to 90 days from the date of inquiry;
- Existing Business Relationship (EBR) — usually occurs when a financial transaction has taken place between the two parties. An EBR enables a telemarketing company to contact the consumer for up to 18 months from the last date of contract delivery; and
- Express Written Consent – a consumer provides either an electronic or physical signature and expressly requests to be called at a number they provide. Unless the consumer revokes the consent, which can be done verbally, there is no time limit on calling express written consent leads.
ESM adheres to DNC compliance processing by doing the following:
- Expired leads – not calling numbers in the call list older than the allowed DNC exemption period; and
- DNC requests – adding to the DNC list those consumers who either have called in or we have contacted that have asked to be added to the DNC list.
If the client chooses to continue to call leads after the original 90-day period has expired, the client must obtain access to the national DNC list, which requires a Subscription Access Number (SAN). The client must independently register with the FTC at https://telemarketing.donotcall.gov/ to obtain the SAN, and then must provide the SAN to ESM. The SAN must be purchased by the seller (client) and can be shared with any outsourced call center or agency who is calling on the client’s behalf. ESM is prohibited from subscribing directly.
ESM accesses the national and state DNC registries through a service provider called PossibleNow that specializes in DNC compliance. Client SANs are held on record with PossibleNow on behalf of ESM’s individual clients. Depending on the number of area codes associated with each client’s subscription, ESM performs daily scrubs against the federal DNC, state DNC, Canadian DNC, wireless portability, and client Company DNC lists. All numbers found on these lists are rendered uncallable, removed from the dialer, and marked as either DNC expired or flagged as either a federal or state DNC. The remaining numbers not flagged as DNC remain active and are rescrubbed at 30-day intervals.
Processing is different for clients who do not provide ESM with a SAN. In those cases, all leads that exceed the DNC exemption period are marked “DNC expired” and are no longer dialed.
All calls made by ESM have an associated number that is pulsed out and visible through the consumer’s Caller ID. The consumer is able to call this number to initiate a DNC request through either a live agent or an automated Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. ESM’s agents are trained to accept DNC requests. When an agent is unavailable or a request is made after hours, the consumer can request removal of their number through the IVR. Either way, the number is added to the DNC list that is compared nightly to the call list; matching records are marked Do Not Call and no longer dialed. Generally, all DNC requests are fulfilled within 24-48 hours. DNC numbers are reported to ESM clients via daily or weekly reports.
FTC regulations prohibit calling any wireless phone number with an autodialer unless the consumer gives written permission. Consumers may also list their wireless numbers on the national DNC list limits allowable calling to the exemptions cited above for wire line phone numbers, including the 90 day inquiry-based exemption. At the end of this initial 90-day exemption period, ESM processes all leads. Leads not found on the national or state DNC list remain callable for an additional 30 days. Leads found on either list are removed from the dialer and returned to the client.
All DNC lead information is available to ESM clients daily. These files enable ESM to notify the client in a timely manner of all DNC actions related to their leads.