DMA Begins Five-Year Phase Out of Telephone Preference Service on Nov. 1; No More Consumer Registrations After Nov. 1
October 10, 2006 — The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) in July announced it would begin a timed phase out of its Telephone Preference Service (TPS) as it currently exists. The first step in this five-year phase out will begin November 1, 2006, when DMA and Interactive Marketing Solutions (IMS), a DMA partner company that manages the TPS and other consumer preference files, no longer will accept new consumer registrations for the service.
However, while consumers no longer will be able to register for TPS, which was inaugurated in January 1985, DMA members will be required to use the file for the next five years, according to Patricia Kachura, DMA’s senior vice president for ethics and consumer affairs.
“The reason our members must continue to employ our TPS file is because consumer names remain on it for five years,” explained Kachura. “Therefore, DMA members must honor those consumers who have requested – before November 1, 2006 – not to receive unsolicited telephone marketing calls. They must do this by scrubbing their prospecting lists against the TPS file until December 31, 2011.”
During this five-year period, IMS President Frank Rigano said IMS will continue to delete expired names and phone numbers, update area code splits, remove disconnected numbers, and make other appropriate list-hygiene changes.
In addition, Rigano said IMS would continue to maintain the TPS registry and accept new registrations for residents of Maine, Pennsylvania and Wyoming – states for which the TPS is, by law, the official state registry.
Moreover, Rigano said the five-year phase out of TPS would not affect other DMA customer preference services, such as the do-not-call lists for the states of Maine, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming; the Deceased Do Not Contact List; the Mail Preference Service (MPS); or the E-mail Preference Service (eMPS).
DMA Urges Members to Update Consumer Web Sites and
Customer Services Reps on TPS Changes
DMA and IMS are phasing out the TPS program due, largely, to the popularity of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) National Do Not Call Registry.
“We began the Telephone Preference Service in 1985 as a way to help consumers who wanted to reduce the number of marketing calls they receive,” Kachura said in July. “But with the widespread use of the FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry, our efforts have become confusing and duplicative for consumers, and are creating an additional and unnecessary expense for our members.”
“DMA members and other organizations should change Web sites, documents, and forms that are currently used to direct consumers to TPS,” Kachura advised. “They should also take care to retrain customer service representatives not to refer consumers to DMA for TPS registration. Consumers should be directed instead to the National Do Not Call Registry online at www.donotcall.gov or via phone at 1-888-382-1222.”
DMA’s consumer Web site (www.dmaconsumers.org) provides information to assist consumers during the phase-out period.
About Interactive Marketing Solutions (IMS)
IMS, a DMA partner company, develops innovative lists and database management software and services that mitigate the challenges posed by data-usage legislation and consumer preferences.
Founded in 2001 to manage DMA’s Preference Services, IMS now oversees the world’s largest private consumer preference database, distributing preference information to marketers and their service organizations for the sole purpose of removing individuals from prospect lists in compliance with state laws and DMA self-regulatory rules. For information, visit www.ims-dm.com.
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