FAQs About Robo-Calling and ADADS

Note: At the regularly scheduled Authority Conference held on March 22, 2010, the Directors of the Tennessee Public Utility Commission voted to withdraw the Automatic Dialing and Announcing Device (ADAD) Registration Rules.

Tennessee's Do Not Call Program prohibits telemarketing solicitation phone calls made to phone lines that are registered on the state's Do Not Call registry. Entities wishing to make solicitation phone calls must be registered with the Tennessee Public Utility Commission to receive updates to the registry.

What is a robo-call?

The word robo-call is not defined in federal or state law, but it commonly means telephone calls made using both automated dialing devices and prerecorded voice messages.

Why am I getting robo-calls if I am on the Tennessee Do Not Call list?

If you are receiving a call that is telemarketing solicitation, this call violates the Tennessee Do Not Call law. Contact the TPUC to file a complaint

How can I stop robo-calls?

You can cut back on the number of robo-calls you receive in a variety of ways. Registering your home telephone number(s) with the state and federal Do Not Call lists can help reduce drastically all unwanted calls, whether robo-calls or other kinds of unwanted telemarketing. Whenever possible, declining to provide your telephone number to businesses, and/or checking the opt-out box on solicitation cards, can help too. If you get a robo-call, listen for a contact number or address and file a complaint with the Tennessee Public Utility Commission.

Are robo-calls illegal?

Many, but not all, robo-calls are illegal under the  Tennessee state law. However, robo-calls made for non-commercial purposes typically are allowed subject to certain technical requirements. For all permitted robo-calls, the law requires the individual or entity responsible for the call to be identified at the beginning of the message. Additionally, the individual or entity responsible for the call must provide an address or telephone number where you can reach them to request that you be removed from their call list

What are the penalties for making an illegal robo call?

Under the Tennessee Do-Not-Call Telephone Sales Solicitation law T.C.A. Section 65-4-401 et seq., the parties responsible for making illegal calls may be fined up to $2,000 per call and prohibited from making further illegal calls. Know that some robo-call companies claim to be able to make hundreds of thousands of calls in an hour. At up to $2,000 per illegal call, penalties have strong potential to deter illegal conduct. But our ability to enforce the Tennessee Do Not Call statute depends on you. If you receive an illegal robo-call, file a complaint with the Tennessee Public Utility Commission.