FTC to Release Cell Phone Numbers from the Do Not Call Registry – Really?

Category: Communication, Inside a Contact Center, Star Principles, Technology
Posted by: Bob Dunmire on March 6, 2012
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iStock_000000513928XSmallFederal Trade Commission (FTC) was going to release cell phone numbers to telemarketers and cell phone users only had a few days left to place their number on the National Do Not Call Registry.



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We have uncovered the truth – The verdict: This rumor is FALSE.

If you been forwarded a similar email from a trusted source, you are safe to relegate it to your  junk email file along with other popular subjects, like…

  • Free airline tickets
  • You only have 5 days to live if you don’t forward this email
  • Miracle cure for wrinkles
  • Sure fire good luck ritual – click your heels three times, slap your knee, scroll to the bottom of the page, blow a kiss to your monitor and forward it to 30 of your closest friends.

Despite the handiness of the medium, emails are also one of the fastest methods for spreading baseless rumors and like a cat with nine lives, many seem to die off, only to live again months later.

According to Snopes.com, the FTC and cell phone number rumor is not true. The whole thing snowballed from a simple misunderstanding: “Cell phone numbers have generally been excluded from printed telephone books and directory assistance services. However, since the use of cell phones has grown in recent years, several national wireless companies (AllTel, AT&T, Cingular, Nextel, Sprint PCS and T-Mobile) banded together and hired Osent, Inc. to produce a Wireless 411 service. Their goal was to pool their listings to create a comprehensive directory of cell phone customer names and phone numbers that would be made available to directory assistance providers.”

English: Mobile phone evolution Русский: Эволю...

There are two ways this list is being protected.

  1. Wireless users must “opt-in” into the system.
  2. The information (i.e. cell phone numbers) will not be made available in any other media or sold to telemarketing companies. It is only made available to operator service centers participating in the 411 service.

As for the Do Not Call Registry, there is no deadline, nor is there a need to look for a separate list. You can add any number, landline or mobile, to the DNC at any time.

That does not mean you will never receive a rogue call or wrong number to your cell phone. Moreover, there are legitimate and allowable reasons to call someone’s mobile phone, particularly if they have no landline. In fact, many consumers choose not to be included on the DNC registry. The trend is for the marketing industry and government entities to work together to find a solution that works to protect individual preference while providing a means to contact consumers and citizens when necessary.

Moral of the story: Don’t believe everything you read and keep deleting those junk emails.

Learn more about the Federal Trade Commission’s stance on the release of cell phone numbers.

As a provider of outsourced contact center services, GCS supports the Do Not Call Registry and seeks to work with our clients to provide customer care, informational support and valued offers by the consumers preferred method of contact.  If you would like to learn more about GCS, visit our website.

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Posted Under: Communication, Inside a Contact Center, Star Principles, Technology