EXEMPTIONS, VIOLATIONS AND SAFE PRACTICES
Telemarketing calls are calls that solicit sales of goods or services. There are a few types of calls not affected by the Do Not Call Registry. That is, you may receive these types of telemarketing calls even though your telephone number is listed on the registry.
- Calls from or on behalf of political organizations or candidates, charities and telephone surveyors are allowed.
- Calls from companies with which you have an existing business relationship (collection agencies, credit card companies, Internet service providers, etc.) are allowed.
- Additionally, a company may call you for 18 months after you make a purchase or three months after you submit an inquiry or application.
- Calls from companies you have given permission to call are allowed.
Telemarketers may not place calls to telephone numbers listed on the Do Not Call Registry and are required to check the registry every 31 days for newly enrolled numbers. These companies are also required to register with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission before placing any telemarketing calls to South Dakotans.
If your telephone number has been listed on the registry for at least 31 days and you receive a call from a telemarketer, you may report the violation to the South Dakota PUC, the Federal Trade Commission or the Federal Communications Commission. Complaints must include the date of the call and the company's name or telephone number.
There are numerous federal and state telemarketing laws in place to protect consumers. Being informed is your best defense against fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices that can take place over the telephone. Following is a sampling of standards of conduct for telemarketing calls.
- Telemarketing calls are prohibited outside the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
- Telemarketers must promptly tell you the identity of the seller or charitable organization and that the call is a sales call or a charitable solicitation.
- If you subscribe to caller ID, you should know when a telemarketer is calling you: telemarketers are required to transmit caller ID information and may not block their numbers.
- Within 30 seconds of the call, the telemarketer must ask if you are interested in hearing the sales presentation and must hang up if you are not.
- The telemarketer must terminate the call anytime you express a disinterest in the goods or services offered.
- Any verbal agreement made by you to purchase any goods or services from a telemarketer is not valid and legally binding unless the telemarketer receives from you a signed, written confirmation that discloses in full the terms of the sale agreed upon.
- Visit the South Dakota Attorney General's website for more consumer protection information.