I hate telemarketers. With a passion. OK, maybe I don’t hate telemarketers, but I hate the job they perform. I don’t want them to contact me at all -it is a waste of my time and theirs.
The good news is – you have rights which can eliminate almost all telemarketing phone calls to your house! All you have to do is call the National Do Not Call Registry, or register on-line. It is that easy!
Related Information: Opt Out of Pre-screened Credit Card Solicitations and Stop Junk Mail.
Do Not Call List Quick Facts
There is a lot of misinformation out there, so I’d like to clear up a few rumors concerning the Do Not Call Registry:
Rumor 1: The Do Not Call List expired. False. Telephone numbers added to the Do Not Call Registry were originally set to expire after 5 years. The 5 year mark was recently reached for those who signed up in the first days of the program, but Congress put a hold on expirations pending further action on their end. From the National DNC Registry webpage:
Your registration will not expire. The Federal Trade Commission will not drop any telephone numbers from the National Do Not Call Registry based on a five-year expiration period pending final Congressional or agency action on whether to make registration permanent.
Rumor 2: It costs money to register your phone number. False. The DNC Registry is free to sign up for. If you receive a solicitation offering to add your phone number for a fee, it is probably a scam!
Rumor 3: I received an e-mail that stated cell phone numbers are going public next week and I need to register my cell phone before I get telemarketing phone calls! False! This is a popular chain mail internet rumor. In fact, telemarketing to cell phone numbers has always been illegal in most cases and will remain so! “FCC regulations prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phone numbers. Automated dialers are standard in the industry, so most telemarketers don’t call consumers on their cell phones without their consent.”
Rumor 4: Cell Phones have to be added to a separate Do Not Call Registry. False. There is only one registry, and you can register your cell phone number there if you like. However, in most cases, telemarketing calls to your cell phone are illegal anyway. I have never had a telemarketing phone call to my cell phone, but go ahead and register your number if it makes you feel better.
Rumor 5: No more registrations will be allowed after this time next week, month, year, etc! False. This is another popular internet rumor. There is no cut-off date or deadline for registrations.
Rumor 6: Placing your number on the registry will stop all telemarketing phone calls. Unfortunately, False. It will stop most, but not all unsolicited phone calls. Phone calls from charities, political organizations, and surveys are allowed, as well as phone calls from companies with which you already do business, or those to whom you’ve provided express agreement in writing to receive their calls.
Rumor 7: Each violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act is punishable by a $500 fine – payable to you. TRUE! Each time a telemarketer calls you, you can sue them in small claims court for $500. If you can prove it, you stand a very good chance of winning! Read a great article about the process of suing telemarketers. Some people make very good money doing this (read: several thousand dollars per year!)
true facts about the Do Not Call registry:
The following information is true about the Do Not Call list.
- The Do Not Call Registry is managed by the Federal Trade Commission.
- Business to Business call are not covered under the registry.
- Your number will be added to the registry within 1 day after submitting your number, but it takes 31 days before telemarketers are required to remove your number from their lists and stop phone calls.
- You can opt in or out at any time. (But who would want to opt out?)
- You can only register up to 3 phones in your name at any one time. That’s fine by me though, I can only talk on 3 at one time before I get my conversations mixed up.
- A business may call you for up to 18 months after your last purchase or delivery from it, or your last payment to it, unless you ask the company not to call again.
- The registry covers phone calls no matter where they originate from – including overseas!
- The Do Not Call list can help you avoid identity theft by limiting your exposure to unwanted and potentially malicious phone calls.
For more information about the Do Not Call Registry, check out the Do Not Call Registry Q&A page.
Worried about identity theft?
If you are worried that your personal information may have been compromised by a phishing attack or by giving away too much information over the telephone you can monitor your credit reports or other personal data to help monitor and protect yourself. Using a credit monitoring service such as GoFreeCredit.com will help you monitor account actions related to your name and SSN and help alert you for potential fraudulent activity. GoFreeCredit gives you a 3-bureau credit report and helps you monitor your credit cards, new financial accounts or applications, address changes, and public records. You can start with a 30 day trial.