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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
South Dakota Public Utilities Commission
Contact: Pamela A. Bonrud
Phone Number: 605-773-3201
Date: August 28, 2003
TELEMARKETERS WILL NEED TO REGISTER WITH THE PUC
Telemarketers who plan to call South Dakota consumers after September 30th must register with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. Registration forms are available at the www.sddonotcall.com Web site or the telemarketer may call 605-773-3201 to obtain an application.
Telemarketers will also need to pay a registration fee and provide contact information. The registration fee is as follows:
Any company employing 5 or less employees or agents -- $0.00
Any company employing 6 to 49 employees or agents -- $50.00
Any company employing 50 to 100 employees or agents -- $100.00
Any company employing 101 to 249 employees or agents -- $200.00
Any company employing 250 to 499 employees or agents -- $300.00
Any company employing 500 to 999 employees or agents -- $400.00
Any company employing over 1,000 employees or agents -- $500.00
The annual fee is valid for one calendar year beginning October 1. The fee shall be renewed annually by October 1 of each subsequent year. The annual fee is due before any telemarketer may place an unsolicited telephone call to any South Dakota residential telephone subscriber.
Any telemarketer who makes unsolicited telephone calls to South Dakota residential telephone subscribers is required to update and delete the phone numbers of South Dakota consumers who have registered for the Do-Not-Call Register every ninety days. Starting September 1, 2003, telemarketers, sellers and their service providers will have access to the register. Telemarketers will be able to access the register online at www.telemarketing.donotcall.gov, which will be available starting September 1, 2003.
Telemarketers will be able to purchase just the South Dakota "605" area code or can choose to purchase additional area codes. When a telemarketer accesses the system for the first time, they will have to provide some identifying information, such as company name and address, company contact person, and the contact person's telephone number and e-mail address. If a company is accessing the register on behalf of a client-seller, the telemarketer may need to identify the client (or clients).
The only consumer information companies will be able to access from the register is a consumer's telephone number. Each telemarketer accessing the register data will be required to pay an annual fee based on the number of area codes the telemarketer accesses.
On subsequent visits to telemarketing.donotcall.gov, telemarketers will be able to download either a complete updated list of numbers from their selected area codes or a more limited list that shows additions or deletions since the company's last download.
The Do Not Call Register applies to any plan, program or campaign to sell goods or services through phone. This includes telemarketers who solicit consumers, often on behalf of third party sellers. It also includes sellers who provide, offer to provide, or arrange to provide goods or services to consumers in exchange for payment.
The Do Not Call Register does not limit calls by political organizations, charities or telephone surveyors.
A telemarketer or seller may call a consumer with whom it has an established business relationship for up to 12 months after the consumer's last purchase, delivery, or payment - even if the consumer's number is on the Do Not Call Register. In addition, a telemarketer may call a consumer for up to three months after the consumer makes an inquiry or submits an application to the company. And if a consumer has given a company written permission, the telemarketer may call even if the consumer's number is on the Do Not Call Register.
If a consumer asks a telemarketer not to call, the telemarketer may not call, even if there is an established business relationship. Indeed, a telemarketer may not call a consumer - regardless of whether the consumer's number is on the register - if the consumer has asked to be put on the company's own do not call list.
On October 1, 2003, the FTC and South Dakota will start to enforce the Do Not Call Register. Violators are subject to a fine of up to $11,000 per violation from the FTC and a $5,000 fine from the SD Public Utilities Commission. All covered sellers and telemarketers must access the Do Not Call Register in September 2003 if they plan to make covered calls after October 1, 2003.
For more information on South Dakota's law, visit the www.sddonotcall.com Web site and for more information on the federal requirements, you can access additional information at the FTC site at www.ftc.gov or for FCC information at www.fcc.gov.