Big Island

Telemarketers: Who Can Call & Who Can't

Ahh, peace and quiet. Recall, if you dare, the days prior to October 1, 2003. No dinner was complete without a huge helping of telemarketing! Worse, when they called, there was just no graceful way to get them off the phone. Didn’t they get it?! They were invading our space.


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Many of us finally resorted to either screening our calls (and to think the answering machine was first used to be sure we didn’t miss calls) or to a caller ID. In other words, we finally reached the point that we were willing to pay to ensure we weren’t bothered.

You may be surprised to learn that it took 10 years for the FCC and the FTC to formulate legislation that would help us recapture our sanctuary. The “Do Not Call” list developed as result of the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act of 1994. Guess what! It applies to REALTORS® just like everyone else.

Here’s what I know. Both agencies have a version of the law. The FTC regulates Intrastate only while the FCC has jurisdiction over all phone solicitations, so the FCC rules apply most often.

When May I Call You?

Hawaii does not have a separate set of rules. There are basically two situations when REALTORS® (and telemarketers) might still call. An established business relationship allows us to call for 18 months. So, if I sold your home, it’s OK for me to follow-up with you by phone over the next 18 months.

Second, with express written permission we are allowed to call. Permission might come in the form of a mail-in request for information or a registration on our website. Either would likely be considered written permission. Written permission is good for three months.

The Particulars of Telemarketing Rules

The protections apply only to registered residential and mobile phones. It does not apply to business phones, door-to-door solicitations, or e-mail. REALTORS® are not supposed to solicit an already listed property. It’s a violation of our Code of Ethics.

Do Not Call numbers must be re-registered every five years ( or call 1.888.382.1222). But you probably noticed with this last election cycle, politicians are definitely still allowed to call!

About the Author

Denise Nakanishi

Denise Nakanishi is a REALTOR Broker with Hawai'i Life. Denise Nakanishi is one of Hilo's most acclaimed real estate agents. She reached the rank of Major in the US Army and is now known by many as "Major Mom." The nickname fits–not only does Denise bring the discipline and mission-oriented attitude you'd expect, she's also caring and compassionate, always looking out for her clients like they're her own family. Having made the Big Island her home since 1987, Denise combines her extensive knowledge of the area with a sharp focus on customer service and the results speak for themselves. She's the recent recipient of the Best East Hawai`i, Best of Zillow, Chairman's Circle Award, President's Circle, Top Producing Agent since 2001, and Realtor of the Year awards. Denise stays ahead of the curve because she's passionate about education–she served as Education Chair for Hawaii Island REALTORS® for many years. She's one of Big Island's best real estate resources, known for her weekly article in the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Denise leads Team Nakanishi for Hawai`i Life, who is committed to their family, work, and community. In her little time away from work, Denise is a committed runner and Grandy. She also devotes many hours to various Veterans' Organizations, the East Hawaii Cultural Center, and the Hawaii Island REALTORS®. You can email me at or via phone at (808) 936-5100.

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Joshua Andrew S. Quirante

July 14, 2020

how do telemarketers from Manila call Hawaii residents on their cellphones using a Hawaii #?

Callers # has to be area code (808) a Hawaii #

But callers are from Manila

If you can do this, what are the procedures and cost?

Dear Major Mom,

what is the best way to do telemarketing in hawaii from the philippines legally and without invading their privacy.

thank you.

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