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Where To Complain And Get Help

There are several organizations that provide help with complaints or additional information. Further, The DMA provides services that will help prevent unwanted solicitations by telephone.

These organizations can provide consumer information and help you with complaints:

  • Your state Attorney General probably has a division that deals with consumer protection issues; other state or local consumer protection offices can also be contacted;

  • Your state public utilities commission;

  • Your local Postal Inspector in Charge, or

    Postal Inspection Service Headquarters
    475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20260-2181
  • The Better Business Bureau where the company is located (check on the World Wide Web for listing of local BBBs);

  • The National Fraud Information Center (NFIC), a project of the National Consumers League, is a nonprofit organization that operates a consumer hotline to provide services and help for consumers who may want to file complaints. NFIC sends appropriate information to the Federal Trade Commission/National Association of Attorneys General Fraud Database. Contact NFIC at 1.800.876.7060, or at on the World Wide Web.

Reporting violations of the listed acts and rules

Violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the FCC's Rules

Actions You Can Take:

  • Ask the solicitor to stop calling your telephone number or sending unsolicited ads to your fax machine.

  • Contact your local or state consumer protection office to find out if your state permits you to file suit to stop solicitation calls or faxes and/or to file suit for actual monetary loss. The penalty for violations is generally $500 in damages or actual monetary losses, whichever is greater.

  • Send a letter to the FCC at the following address:

    Federal Communications Commission
    Common Carrier Bureau
    Consumer Complaints
    Mail Stop Code 1600A2
    Washington, D.C. 20554

Your letter should include:

  • Your name, address and daytime telephone number;
  • The action you are requesting, such as asking a person or business to: stop calling your home telephone number; add your name to their do-not-call list; or stop sending unsolicited ads to your fax machine;
  • The number the solicitor called;
  • The name, address and telephone number of the organization making the calls;
  • The date you asked to be added to the do-not-call list, and the name of the person you spoke with;
  • The dates and times of the calls or faxes;
  • The fax number receiving the unsolicited ads, and copies of the ads; and
  • Whether you have filed suit in state court, and if so, in what state.

To learn more about your rights under the TCPA and FCC's rules, you should read the FCC's free brochure: What You Can Do About Unsolicited Telephone Marketing Calls and Faxes. To obtain a copy, call the FCC's National Call Center at 1.888.225.5322 (TTY 1.888.835.5322). This brochure and other FCC consumer information on telephone-related issues can be found on the FCC's Web page at

Violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule, the Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule, the 900-Number Rule, and the Fair Credit Billing Act

These should be reported by writing to:

Consumer Response Center
Federal Trade Commission
Washington, D.C. 20580
or calling 202.FTC-Help (382.4357)

 Requesting More Information

You can order copies of the following free brochures:

  • Straight Talk About Telemarketing
  • Shopping by Phone or Mail
  • 900 Numbers: FTC Rule Helps Consumers
  • Fair Credit Billing


Consumer Response Center
Federal Trade Commission
Washington, D.C. 20580
or calling 202.FTC-Help (382.4357)

For a complete list of FTC publications, ask for Best Sellers. Or, you can visit the FTC at on the World Wide Web.

The DMA also has brochures and services available to assist you:

  • Sweepstakes Advertising — A Consumer's Guide
  • Make Knowledge Your Partner in Mail or Telephone Order Shopping (also available in Spanish)

To receive a free copy of either brochure, mail your request, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

Consumer Services Department
Direct Marketing Association
1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 1100
Washington, D.C. 20036

 What else can you do to prevent unwanted telephone solicitations?

Tell the caller not to call you again. According to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the FCC's rules, and the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule, the telemarketing company may not call you again at home after your request.

Additionally, The DMA offers a free service for consumers called the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) which enables you to receive fewer telephone sales calls at home by removing your name from many national telephone calling lists. Local telephone marketers generally do not participate in national name-removal programs; when a local company calls, ask that your name be deleted from that company's list.

When consumers register with TPS, their names are placed on a name-removal file which is made available to participating marketers on a monthly or quarterly basis. It may take a few months before there is a noticeable decrease in the telephone marketing calls received. Names remain on TPS for five years.

To register, simply provide your complete name, home address, including apartment number if any, and ZIP code, along with your telephone number including area code and send it to:

DMA Telephone Preference Service
Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512


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