Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Keith McCord Reporting If you are tired of dealing with telemarketers who call your house during the evening hours, you can now do something about it.
Registration for the national "Do Not Call" list began today. It would appear this is something many Americans have been waiting for, as people wasted no time in signing up.
At midnight when the toll-free line opened, hundreds of thousands of people called. And the web site was overwhelmed; at times you couldn't log on!
If that isn't a sign that people are annoyed by telemarketers, then nothing is!
At the White House this morning, President Bush made it official, the national "do not call" registration system is ready to go. Once you register, most of those annoying phone calls should stop coming beginning in October.
Signing up is easy, but on this first day, we discovered it was slow going. It took the KSL reporter about five tries to finally get through on the "donotcall.gov website.
The Federal Trade Commission said, at times today, the site was handling a thousand visitors per second!
The "Do Not Call" program will block about 80 percent of the calls. There are some exemptions such as charities and politicians, and pollsters can still call you.
For telemarketers though, after October 1st, they'll face an 11-thousand dollar fine per call if they call a number that's been registered.
Tim Muris/FTC Chmn: "If you talk privately to telemarketers, not to their public representatives, they'll tell you they don't want to call people who do not want to be called."
Telemarketers make more than 100-million calls each day, and these calls result in more than 600-million dollars in sales annually.
The companies say this new law will devastate their business.
There are several telemarketing companies in Utah. KSL contacted some of them. One, Teleperformance USA sent us a statement, confirming that the registry will have an impact.
The company also said it already has, in place the technology to comply because many individual states have already adopted this policy.