With the prevalence of the Internet, an unlisted phone number is practically a thing of the past. The national government developed a system to maintain consumers' privacy from unwanted calls via the Do Not Call Registry.
The Do Not Call Registry gives consumers the option to block telemarketing calls to their home telephone numbers.
The Federal Trade Commission manages the National Do Not Call Registry. The FTC, Federal Communications Commission and local law enforcement agencies enforce the registry.
The National Do Not Call Registry was created in 2003 in response to the public's demand to limit telemarketing sales calls. The law was improved in 2007 to eliminate the need for consumers to renew their request to be added to the list.
Telemarketing sales calls are not allowed to numbers registered with the Do Not Call Registry; however, calls from political organisations, charities and survey takers are still permitted.
The President's Council of Economic Advisers reports that 72% of consumers had added their phone numbers to the registry by 2007.
Consumers can register their phone number with the Do Not Call Registry at donotcall.gov or by calling (888) 382-1222.