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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE South Dakota Public Utilities Commission
Contact: Pamela A. Bonrud or Bonnie Bjork
Phone Number: 605-773-3201
Date: August 20, 2003
SIGN UP TO STOP TELEMARKETING CALLS BY OCTOBER 1ST
Consumers that want to stop most of their telemarketing calls by October 1st must sign up by August 31, 2003.
Sign-up is free. Consumers have two ways of registering their home telephone and personal cell phone numbers. One, they can call a toll free number, 1-888-382-1222, from the home or personal cell phones that they are registering. Two, they can register via the Internet at www.donotcall.gov. Through the Internet site, consumers can register both their home phone and personal cell phone numbers. To date, 70% of South Dakota consumers have chosen to register via the Internet.
Telemarketers will have access to the phone numbers that are on the Do Not Call Register as of September 1st and will have until October 1st to delete those numbers from their calling lists. If a consumer waits until September 2nd, the telemarketer that accessed the list on September 1st does not need to access the Register again until December 2nd and will have until January, 2004 to delete the number from their calling list.
"If this is something you have been meaning to do. I would encourage you to act today to register your phone number. The whole process takes only a few minutes." said Public Utilities Commission Chairman Bob Sahr. "If you have trouble, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-332-1782 and our staff will walk you through the process."
Because the PUC and the Federal Trade Commission have teamed together on the Do Not Call List, South Dakota consumers can register just once to be covered by both the national and statewide Do Not Call lists. PUC Vice Chair, Gary Hanson said, "The process is very simple. As of last week, over 100,000 South Dakota consumers have signed up."
"If you have signed up and are still getting telemarketing calls as of October 1st, we want to hear from you. We are ready to investigate complaints and make sure that telemarketers are complying with the law," said PUC Commissioner Jim Burg.
Companies who call consumers after October 1st date will be subject to a fine of up to $5,000 per violation. South Dakotans will be able to register complaints with the South Dakota PUC by calling 1-800-332-1782.