South Dakotans on Do-Not-Call list top quarter-million mark

South Dakotans on Do-Not-Call list top quarter-million mark
South Dakotans who have registered wire or cellular phones on the Do-Not-Call Registry total 269,863 as of Sept. 30, according to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. These consumers will no doubt be celebrating the two year anniversary of the registry.

Nationwide, the number of registrants has gone from 62 million a year ago to more than 106 million.

"The Do-Not-Call effort has been effective in limiting the number of telemarketing calls a typical household receives, since the registry's debut in 2003," said PUC Chairman Gary Hanson. "The feedback from most South Dakotans have been positive, resulting in 100,000 more in-state phones added to the list during the past year."

"The effort to get the Do-Not-Call list established has paid off � giving consumers a choice about the number and type of calls coming into their homes," said PUC Vice Chairman Bob Sahr. "South Dakotans have obviously taken advantage of this registry, resulting in fewer interruptions in their lives."

"We have heard from senior citizens and people with disabilities who are pleased with the effort, limiting the inconvenience of answering unwanted telemarketing calls," said PUC Commissioner Dusty Johnson. "And for those who have yet to register their telephone numbers to be off-limits for telemarketers, they can still do so."

The commissioners caution South Dakotans to be careful when giving out their wire and cell phone numbers to a business � one that they may not choose to receive calls from later. The federal exemption that deals with "existing business relationship" allows a business to call a customer during the 18 months after a purchase is made. A business can call those inquiring about a product for three months after such an inquiry.

The commissioners also remind consumers that the national Do-Not-Call Act exempts charities and non-profit organizations, political groups and pollsters � so calls from these organizations to those on the registry are allowed by law.

Those who have yet to register each of their wire and cellular phones can do so online at donotcall.gov or by calling toll-free (888) 382-1222. Consumers can view a brochure explaining the program on the Web at puc.sd.gov.

Those who have a telemarketing question or complaint can e-mail the PUC at pucconsumerinfo@ state.sd.us or call toll-free (800) 332-1782.

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