Thursday, January 23, 2014

Stop Telemarketers with the National Do Not Call Registry


I'm so tired of telemarketing calls.  We get them all day long.  

It is especially frustrating when I'm in the middle of doing school work with the kids.  They will take advantage of any possible distraction to try to get a break from school.


Did you know that there is a way to limit the number of telemarketing calls that you get at home or on your cell phone?  It is called the National Do Not Call Registry.  It's FREE to sign up!


The National Do Not Call Registry is managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency and it is enforced by the FTC, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Telemarketers are required to remove anyone on the National Do Not Call list from their calling database.


To register your phone numbers, simply go to https://www.donotcall.gov/ to register your phone number for the National Do Not Call list.  Once you register, telemarketers have 31 days to remove you from their calling lists so you may continue to get calls during that time.  Your phone numbers will remain on the list until they are disconnected or reassigned so you don't have to worry about keeping up with a registry expiration date.


There are some exceptions in cases where you may still legally receive telemarketing calls.  According to the Do Not Call website, "Because of limitations in the jurisdiction of the FTC and FCC, calls from or on behalf of political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors would still be permitted, as would calls from companies with which you have an existing business relationship, or those to whom you’ve provided express agreement in writing to receive their calls. However, if you ask a company with which you have an existing business relationship to place your number on its own do-not-call list, it must honor your request.  You should keep a record of the date you make the request."


This is an important point.  Companies that you do business with have customer databases that they may share with other companies and this can result in telemarketing calls to you.  I try to always "opt out" of any information sharing with companies that I do business with but sometimes it can be challenging to figure out how to do this.


The frustrating thing is that we have had our home phone number on the Do Not Call Registry since July 31, 2004 but lately we have been getting about 3 telemarketing calls per day.  Usually we can tell it is a telemarketing call because of the information that shows up on Caller ID so we either ignore the call or hang up on them if we answer.  However, I've now decided to take a different approach that is a little more of a hassle right now but will hopefully be more effective in the long run.


On the Do Not Call website, you can also file a complaint if you get telemarketing calls once you are on the Registry.  I've recently started collecting information for each call.  Then I inform the caller that I want to be removed from their database and that I will be filing a complaint about their call because we are on the National Do Not Call Registry. filing a complaint for each one.  The essential information you need to file a complaint is the phone number and name of the company that called but any additional data you can provide is helpful.  The FTC may not investigate each one of these complaints but I think if I keep filing complaints then surely it will at least reduce the number of time wasting calls that we get.

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