Do Not Call Registry
I keep getting emails from friends about adding my cell phone to a Do Not Call registry. Looks like a scam to me... Is the Do Not Call Registry for real, and if so, should I put both my home and cell phone numbers in it?
Stop Telemarketers With the Do Not Call Registry
Tired of calls from telemarketers? The US Federal Trade Commission's Do Not Call Registry is a legitimate online database where you can enter your phone number and stop the telemarketing calls. You can also call toll-free at 1-888-382-1222 and add your number to the Do Not Call list. If you register online, you can protect up to three US-based numbers from incessant telemarketing calls. If you register by using the toll-free number, you can only add one number per call to the FTC database. (Read on for Canadian and UK do not call registries.)
By entering your numbers into this registry, you are telling telemarketers covered under the FTC's regulations that you want to have your phone number (or numbers) removed from their calling lists. You can enter your land line number or cell phone number; however adding your cell number isn't really necessary. Cell numbers by law are protected against telemarketing calls generated by automated dialers. You probably rarely, if ever receive a solicitation on your cell phone. Companies that do telemarketing are required to check the Do Not Call registry every thirty-one days, and then delete from their calling lists any phone numbers in the registry's database.
Will entering your phone number into this database mean that you will never again be interrupted by unwanted calls in the middle of eating dinner or watching "Law and Order"? Well, no. Although the FTC's registry has limited a lot of the telemarketing, it is by no means a guarantee that you will never receive phone solicitations. Not-for-profits, political organizations and charities are exempt from the FTC's Do Not Call list. So are any companies you have done business with in the past 18 months. Also, you cannot submit business phones or fax lines to the Do Not Call database. Your Do Not Call registration will be effective
for five years permanently (thanks a change that took effect Feb 2008), and violators can be fined up to $11,000 per incident. I always mention that to telemarketers when reminding them I am on the Do Not Call list, and I keep a list of the ones that call. Individuals can file a complaint via the FTC's Do Not Call website.
Do Not Call Scams and Hoaxes
And keep in mind, there are a number of third-party scammers and opportunists, not affiliated with the FTC, who are ready to prey on your desire to stop the telemarketing calls from interrupting your dinner. So how do you discern the legit Do Not Call Registry from the scammers? Be sure that you are on the official Do Not Call website before entering your phone numbers. Instead of clicking a link in an email, enter www.donotcall.GOV (not .COM) directly into your browser. And be wary of any phone calls that mention the Do Not Call Registry. The FTC is not telemarketing individuals to tell them how to stop telemarketers! The same goes for any emails from people asking you to pay a fee to get your number on the Do Not Call list. Registration on the FTC's site is free. Never give your social security or credit card info to any company that claims they can add you to the Do Not Call list. Watch out for any emails that have a "sky-is-falling" sense of urgency about them.
One of the most-circulated emails intended to initiate panic issues a dire warning of cellular companies releasing all of their customers' numbers to telemarketers by a certain date, and that you as a consumer, will have to pay for any incoming telemarketing calls to your cell phone. The email goes on to urge the recipient to add his or her cell number to the Do Not Call registry. This email thrives because it is half-truth, half-hoax. Cellular service providers are not releasing your cell number to telemarketers on any date. For further reading, see The Truth about Cell Phones and the Do Not Call Registry on the FTC website.
Other Do Not Call Registries
Several states in the USA operate their own Do Not Call database, sanctioned by the FTC. These state-run databases are either free, or charge a minimal cost to add your numbers to. The AARP's website (yes, that AARP) has a complete listing of all the state-run DNC databases available. For Canadians, there is no Do Not Call list, yet. But the CRTC is working on a system modelled after the system in the US. Here's the latest news on the forthcoming Canadian Do Not Call Registry. Residents in the United Kingdom are better off, since they can register at UK's Telephone Preference Service website. And a new Australian Do Not Call law went into effect in March 2007.
Peace and quiet in your home is a right, not a privilege. By registering with the authentic Do Not Call registries, and avoiding the charlatans, you can drastically reduce the number of annoying telemarketing calls and reclaim your quiet evenings at home.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 19 Jul 2007
|For Fun: Buy Bob a Snickers.|
The Top Twenty
What is Firewire?
Post your Comments, Questions or Suggestions
Free Tech Support -- Ask Bob Rankin
Subscribe to AskBobRankin Updates: Free Newsletter
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved
Article information: AskBobRankin -- Do Not Call Registry (Posted: 19 Jul 2007)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved