If you are tired of the phone ringing with unwanted solicitations during dinner, you aren’t alone. And, if you haven’t heard, there is a solution.
The National Do Not Call Registry is enforced by the FTC and the FCC, and it gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home and on your cell phone. That’s right the solicitation calls at dinner, could start coming in on your cell phone –eating up your minutes.
But you can stop them. You can register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry – for free — by phone by calling 888-382-1222 (you must call from the phone you wish to register) or online at http://www.donotcall.gov/. Once you register your number your registration will be effective for five years.
After you register, most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. (Notice I said “most telemarketers,” there are exceptions see the Q&A below.) If they do call, you can file a complaint at http://www.donotcall.com/.
The following is from the FTC site. I thought these questions and answers were particularly important. If you have other questions about the do not call list, your privacy or filing a complaint check out this Q&A page.
Q: If I register my number on the National Do Not Call Registry, will it stop all telemarketing calls?
A: No. Placing your number on the National Do Not Call Registry will stop most telemarketing calls, but not all. 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.
Q: My number is on the National Do Not Call Registry. After I bought something from a company, a telemarketer representing that organization called me. Is this a violation?
A: No. By purchasing something from the company, you established a business relationship with the company. As a result, even if you put your number on the National Do Not Call Registry, that company may call you for up to 18 months after your last purchase or delivery from it, or your last payment to it. An established business relationship is also created if you make an inquiry to the company, or submit an application to it. This kind of established business relationship exists for three months after the inquiry or application. During this time, the company can call you, unless you ask the company not to call again. In that case, the company must honor your request not to call. If they call you again, they may be subject to a fine of up to $11,000.
Q: If I don’t want to put my number on the National Do Not Call Registry, can I still stop telemarketers from calling?
A: Yes. Even if you do not register with the National Do Not Call Registry, you can still prohibit individual telemarketers from calling by asking them to put you on their company’s do not call list.
Q: I received a phone call from someone offering to put my name on the National Do Not Call Registry. Should I let them?
A: No. The FTC does not allow private companies to register consumers for the National Do Not Call Registry. Web sites or phone solicitations that claim they can register your name or phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry — especially those that charge a fee — are almost certainly a scam. The National Do Not Call Registry is a free service of the federal government for more information visit http://www.donotcall.com/.