All telephone solicitors or telemarketers are required to register with the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General per Business and Professions Code 17511. Registrants are required to submit prescribed information annually or whenever changes occur with their businesses. Evidence of registration must be conspicuously placed at their business location (Business and Professions Code Section 17511). The caller (seller) must inform the consumer that the purchase can be rescinded within 3 days and explain how to cancel the order.
If a consumer answers a phone call from a telemarketer and instructs the caller not to contact the consumer again and the telemarketer disregards the request, the consumer may have rights under federal law to take legal action.
The telemarketer must promptly disclose that he or she is making a sales call and identify the products or services being sold. In the case of prize promotions, he or she must state that no purchase is necessary to win. In addition, telemarketers must receive prior written consent or tape-recorded oral consent before debiting your checking account.
Telemarketers must disclose the total cost and any restrictions associated with the product or service before the consumer pays.
The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. Telemarketing calls are calls that solicit sales of goods or services. Most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. Calls from or on behalf of political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors would still be permitted.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
National Do Not Call Registry
To register or file a complaint:
To register a complaint about a telemarketer, consumers must register a complaint before the FTC can take action against the telemarketer. While the FTC does not resolve individual consumer problems, a complaint will help in investigation of the company and could lead to law enforcement action.
Federal Trade Commission
Division of Market Practices
Although the Federal Trade Commission cannot act to resolve individual problems, it can act when it sees a pattern of possible law violations developing.
Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
Telemarketing calls involving financial institutions, insurance companies, telecommunications carriers, intra-state telemarketers.
Federal Communications Commission
Common Carrier Bureau
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554
For inquiries, complaints or fraud issues, consumers must register the complaint before Attorney General can take action against the telemarketer.
California Department of Justice
Office of the Attorney General
1300 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Consumers wishing to remove their name and telephone number from telemarketing lists may send a letter with their name, home address, home telephone number, and signature or register on line with the:
Direct Marketing Association
Telephone Preference Service
1120 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036-6700
(212) 302-6714 Fax
Publications available: Basic Facts About Telemarketing and Basic Facts About Telemarketing Fact Sheet.