Before a recent article about the Do Not Call Registry in National Realty News, I never thought that the DNC legislation would apply to me.  Just like they said in the article, I assumed that as long as I stay away from cold calling and telemarketing (in the sense of calling random people to see if I can sell them something) then I should be fine.  Apparently, there are more ramifications than I thought.

FCC website is very clear regarding the DNC laws.  We’ve sent out a
message and our enforcement is vigorous,” notes FCC Director, Office
Media Relations, David Fiske. 

Any outbound call
that you make to someone whom you do not have an established and direct
business relationship with – to a past client referral, to a person who
walks into your open house, or to someone who calls on a for sale sign
– must first be run against the DNC registry.

need to first get a SAN and run every call – including referrals –
against the DNC registry at least once every 31 days.  You’ve got to
have a written compliance policy in place and train your employees.
You also need to have a system in place that documents all calls made,
proof of established clients and consumer inquires, and an internal
real-time do not call list” says Kaye.

My question is this — if a potential client calls and leaves me a voicemail asking me to call them back, and they are on the DNC registry, am I supposed to ignore them?  If the phone number they leave is the only contact info I have on them, and they have it registered, does that mean that I have to ignore their explicit request for me to contact them?

I am trying to be good about following up with people (clients or not), so I definitely don’t need my hands tied with this legislation.  I certainly understand the intent behind it, but it sounds as though this has gotten out of hand.

Here are other articles referencing the impact of the DNC registry (specifically on the real estate industry, but it applies across the board):

2 Thoughts on “DNC laws affect everyone”

  • I went to look at the (somewhat poorly written) articles and it looks like the DNC list is regulating third party referrals… (the mortgage broker, the client referral, etc.)
    That example of leaving a card at an open house is kind of murky, because, as the argument goes, the person didn’t explicitly contact you. (There’s a parallel question in the CAN-Spam world about whether contacting someone whose business card you got at a conference is a “direct opt-in”)
    So, if someone called you and only left a message, you’d be ok. Just make sure you have your record keeping auditable.

  • It does sound like things are getting too rigid. As typically happens with regulation, restriction level and power of the regulators tends to get worse and worse in an attempt to stamp out all actions along the lines of whatever the law was originally intended for. Then, as the pendulum swings back due to a realization that the law has gotten too overbearing, the laws, rather than being fixed or removed, are simply not enforced, and the overall effectiveness of the legal system is compromised, plus there remains a law on the books that can be arbitrarily used against people and businesses. This creates a dangerous and unaccountable level of power for the government. Its a recipe for some very bad stuff. The legal system needs to be used a lot less in problem solving, there are far too many pitfalls. Laws are by nature inflexible, and they have issues in a dynamic world.

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