To cut down on the number of annoying telemarketing calls to its residents, Pennsylvania offers a statewide Do Not Call registration program that enables PA residents to significantly reduce the number of unsolicited and unwanted telemarketing calls they are receiving at home. "Pennsylvanians have the power to hang a 'do-not-disturb' sign on their telephones and reclaim a piece of their privacy that has been relentlessly invaded by telemarketers," said PA Attorney General Mike Fisher when the Do Not Call program was first launched in 2002. Every telemarketer that calls consumers in Pennsylvania is required to purchase this Do Not Call list, and must remove every name on the list from their calling lists within 30 days.
How Does It Work?
The Do Not Call list is compiled from all registered Pennsylvania residents who want to avoid telemarketing calls. This list is updated and provided to telemarketers on a quarterly basis. Every telemarketer that calls consumers in Pennsylvania is required to purchase this list and must remove every name on the Do Not Call list from their calling lists within 30 days. A violation of the law carries a civil penalty of up to $1,000, or $3,000 if the person contacted is age 60 or older. Repeat violators can be banned from doing business at all in Pennsylvania.
How Do I Enroll?
Pennsylvania residents can enroll in the Do Not Call program in two ways:
- Visit the website where you can learn more about the program and register your name and phone.
- Call toll-free 1-888-777-3406. You will be asked to give your name, address, ZIP code, and phone number. The hotline is fully automated and is open around the clock.
Do I Have to Renew?
Yes. Your phone number will remain on the PA Do Not Call List for 5 years after you register. After that time you will need to re-enroll in the program. Also, if you change your telephone number, you must register your new number to have it affect your new telephone.
Will This Stop All Calls From Telemarketers?
No. If you enroll in "The Do Not Call" list, there are still some calls you may receive because they are excluded from this law. You may still receive calls:
- Made in response to a consumer's previous express request.
- Made in reference to an existing debt, contract, payment, or performance.
- When an established business relationship between the consumer and the entity making the call currently exists.
- Made on behalf of a tax-exempt charitable or fraternal organization.
- Made on behalf of a veterans' organization.
- Made on behalf of a political group or candidate.
What If I Receive a Telemarketing Call and I'm on the List?
First, please verify that these are not the types of calls which are mentioned as exceptions above and that you have waited at least 2 months from the time you initially added your name on the list.
Then, if you feel you have a valid protest, complaints against a telemarketer in violation of this law should be filed with the Office of Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection by calling the toll-free Hotline 1-800-441-2555 or filing a complaint electronically through the Attorney General's Office.