$29 PER AREA CODE SELLER FEE FOR NATIONAL “DO NOT CALL” REGISTRY ACCESS PROPOSED BY FTC
On April 3, 2003, the Federal Trade Commission issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend the Telemarketing Sales Rule. 68 Fed. Reg. 16238. The proposed amendment would impose a seller access fee of $29 per area code, with a maximum annual fee of $7,250. The fee would apply only to “sellers,” and not to “telemarketers” who engage in telemarketing only on behalf of others who would pay the fee. The amendment also would (i) specify that a seller may access up to five area codes free of charge and (ii) set October 1, 2003 as the effective date for the “do not call” provisions of the Amended TSR, compliance with which will require accessing the registry for the first time during September, 2003.
Under the proposed rule, once the required fee has been paid, the seller would receive a unique account number that would allow it access to the national registry. A seller would be permitted to provide its account number to any of its telemarketers or list brokers.
As part of its proposed rulemaking, the FTC will be seeking comments on a number of issues including its estimates on the number of entities that will access the registry and the number of area codes each entity will purchase. The implementation costs of the “do not call” registry are estimated to be $18.1 million for fiscal year 2003. The FTC will accept public comments on the proposed rule until May 1, 2003.
Judy Scheiderer and Margaret Stolar