HELENA – The National Do Not Call Registry gives you the opportunity to stop most unwanted calls from telemarketers, but just because your number is on the list doesn’t mean you won’t still get calls.

The Do Not Call Registry, which was created in 2003, now has almost 230 million active registrations. Signing up is free and simple, so if a telemarketer calls and you’ve had enough hang up the phone and dial 1-888-382-1222.

People can register home and cell phone numbers, and thanks to the Do Not Call Improvement Act of 2007 no numbers will ever expire.

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“The idea is that it would prevent the kinds of calls that you get at dinner time or inconvenient times that are offering you service or a concern about an extended warranty or delinquent property taxes that you don’t want at any time, that’s the goal,” Montana Office of Consumer Protection Director Matt Dale said.

Contrary to some beliefs, there is only one do not call list, and Dale says they can help if you have questions or problems with telemarketers still calling.

“In general, making sure the consumer actually understands the program to the specific of actually getting a hold of the business; we’ll do all of that,” Dale said.

While the registry is effective, Dales cautions, “people see it as a silver bullet; that they hang up the phone and they’ll never get a call they don’t want again, and that’s not ever going to happen.”

Political candidates, charities and businesses you’ve interacted with in the last two years are legally able to call.

Ultimately, Dale says telemarketing calls only work because of one thing.

“If people didn’t answer calls they shouldn’t, these people wouldn’t do it,” he said.

Once you sign up for the Do Not Call Registry, it takes 31 days to be completely effective and if calls continue after those 31 days you can file a complaint.

Click here to visit the FTC website for more information, including this brief overview:

How do I register?

Add your phone number for free by visiting donotcall.gov, or calling 1-888-382-1222 from the phone you want to register (TTY: 1-866-290-4236).

If you register online, you will receive a confirmation email from donotcall.gov. You must click on the link in the email within 72 hours to complete your registration.

How long does it take?

Your phone number should show up on the Registry the next day. Most sales calls will stop once your number has been on the Registry for 31 days. You can verify that your number is on the Registry by visiting donotcall.gov or calling 1-888-382-1222.

If I register my number, will ALL unwanted calls stop?

No, the Do Not Call Registry prohibits sales calls. You still may receive political calls, charitable calls, debt collection calls, informational calls, and telephone survey calls.

In addition, companies may still call if you’ve recently done business with the company, or if you’ve given the company written permission to call you. However, if you ask a company not to call you again, it must honor your request. Record the date of your request.


  1. also beware of a number of companies who “spoof” the 406 area code to get you to answer the phone. BuyBelize.com did just that. I answered because it was a 406 area code, but after a long conversation found out the guy was calling from L.A. FCC does not like this.

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