DMA Praises Senate Committee Move to Cap Access Fees for National Do Not Call Registry
August 3, 2007 — The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) on Thursday afternoon praised members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, who have approved the "Do-Not-Call Registry Fee Extension Act” (S. 781).
The bill would extend the authority of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to collect Do Not Call Registry fees after fiscal year 2007. More importantly, it sets a cap on the maximum fees charged to telemarketers for access to the registry and provides a structure for future fee increases.
“We are pleased with today’s action, and applaud the bipartisan efforts of Senator Mark Pryor and the rest of the committee that are laying the foundation for the continued effectiveness of the National Do Not Call Registry,” said Steven K. Berry, DMA’s executive vice president for government affairs and corporate responsibility. “We hope the measure will quickly clear the full Senate, and we urge members of both chambers to ensure that final legislation is enacted.”
If passed into law, S. 781 would cap the maximum annual fee per telemarketer to obtain access to the entire registry at $14,850, or $54 for each area code. The proposed fee amount is a reduction from the current access fee of $17,050, and would reverse a trend of accelerated annual increases that have resulted in a 263 percent increase in access fees over the last four years.
In addition, the bill would continue to permit businesses to access the first five area codes of data at no charge as well as continue to allow fee-exempted entities to access the registry free of charge.
S.781 would also tie any annual fee adjustment to changes in the consumer price index. In testimony before the Committee earlier this week, Jerry Cerasale, DMA’s senior vice president for government affairs, emphasized the need for such a cap.
“We are particularly happy that the Committee members responded to our concerns about the dramatic fee increases that many businesses have been subjected to,” Cerasale said today. “For all of the legitimate marketers who are committed to remaining in compliance with the law, the Senate’s proposal will make the registry’s fee structure much easier and certainly more predictable that what we’ve experienced over the past four years.”
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