Telemarketers Weep As President Signs Do Not Call Improvement Act

Never again will you have to worry about renewing your Do Not Call List registration thanks to Public Laws 110-187 and 110-188. Our newest laws provide a permanent stream of funding for the Do Not Call List and guarantee that registrations will never expire. Read the White House’s ebullient press release, after jump.

On Friday, February 15, 2008, the President signed into law:

H.R. 3541, the “Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007,” which prohibits the automatic removal of telephone numbers registered on the Federal “do-not-call” registry; and

S. 781, the “Do-Not-Call Registry Fee Extension Act of 2007,” which extends permanently the authority of the Federal Trade Commission to charge fees to telemarketers required to access the Federal “do-not-call” registry and specifies the fees to be charged.

Can’t you sense the excitement? No, these bills don’t need a Rose Garden ceremony—a brief description is enough to show that the Do Not Call List is one of the government’s most successful, cheapest, and popular programs—way more popular than, say, Congress or the President.

For anyone who doubts the list’s usefullness, read one Ars Tech editor’s experience:

My family recently moved into a new home, and with it, we received a new phone number (I didn’t want a new one, but in Massachusetts they can be strict about towns and their exchanges). At our old house we had been covered by the DNCR, but at the new home, we weren’t because we had a new number. It took one week, at most, before the unsolicited calls started. When they started, they were frequent and annoying. Life “off” the DNCR was horrible.

After about another week of putting up with it (it just sat on a long “to do list” as we attended to other move-in crises), we finally got around to signing up our new number, and even though the Registry gives ample time for opt-out information to be followed by telemarketers, in reality we were spam-call-free within a week. In short, the DNCR works, it’s fast, and telemarketers are by and large obeying it when expected.

The common-sense bill was the brainchild of Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA), who didn’t want to see 50 million numbers fall off the Do Not Call List in 2008. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) helped shepherd the legislation through the Senate.

Both measures passed the House on a voice vote and cleared the Senate by unanimous consent.

Statement by the Press Secretary [The White House]
Do Not Call Registry saved from mandatory reset [Ars Technica]
PREVIOUSLY:
Liveblogging The Do Not Call Improvement Act and CPSC Reform Act Committee Markups

Should Do Not Call List Registrations Last Forever?
(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. Bladefist says:

    yay. The otherday I got one on my cell phone though. First time ever for that, I told the lady this was a cell phone and she immediately hung up. So I’m not sure if she is just a bitch or if there is some law preventing her from calling a cell

  2. dugn says:

    Dinnertime with the family has never been the same. Thankfully.

  3. meeroom says:

    I got a call the other day, one of those awful automated ones where they tell you to hold (the gall!). I held on, feigned interest, got the reps name, the company name. When I mentioned the Do Not Call registry, they hung up on me. I lodged a complaint on the donotcall.gov website. I felt like a crimebuster or something, what a dork I am.

  4. darkened says:

    I worked at an outbound call center before the DNC list is taken incredibly serious as the violations are $1000 plus, huge enough 1 bad call rep can turn a business so far into the red they will close that branch.

    Ironically it’s totally the opposite of how the FCRA is treated by collection agencies. Sounds like the FCRA needs to be publicly taught far more and on how to punish violators.

  5. Juliekins says:

    OMFG, the president actually did something I like?!? Hooray!

    In all seriousness, this is great. I love the DNC list very, very much. I’m glad to see that it’s permanent now.

  6. Bladefist says:

    @FitJulie: lol I was the same way, only, wow, the democrats found one thing that makes sense and is a plausible thing to do.

  7. IrisMR says:

    Now, do we have such a thing in canada? I want to be on it. RIGHT NOW. I’m sick of telemarketers.

  8. apotheosis says:

    Sometimes, the cold black dead hand of evil right-wing oppression stops and scratches us behind our collective ears.

    And we purr, like a white persian cat.

  9. ChrisC1234 says:

    But what if I only wanted my number to be off of the list for 5 years… Now I’m screwed. Thanks a lot Uncle Sam!

  10. weazel says:

    With all due respect, this law has ripped the heart out of some rural economies. I have call waiting, like every other civilized human being on the planet, and have no sympathy for anyone who doesn’t. This is like Congressional hearings on steroids, ie the Federal Government appealing to cranky old people by acting like a cranky old person itself. Next up, free Lipitor with your tax forms?

  11. Bladefist says:

    I’m just glad that we Americans can come together and all agree we hate telemarketers. *plays athem*

  12. IphtashuFitz says:

    @Bladefist: I believe that telemarketing laws make it illegal for them to call you on a cell phone. On a land line they incur the full cost of the call, but on a cell phone they’re most likely costing you money in the form of minutes or other potential charges (roaming fees, etc) which is a big no-no.

  13. apotheosis says:

    With all due respect, this law has ripped the heart out of some rural economies.

    With all due respect, from an evolutionary standpoint, a telemarketing-based economy is a seven-legged fluorescent asexual dodo that should be encouraged to thrive.

  14. Nytmare says:

    If your economy is based on unethical or illegal behavior, it might be wise to try a different economy.

  15. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I have call waiting, like every other civilized human being on the planet, and have no sympathy for anyone who doesn’t.

    @weazel: I have no sympathy for businesses who feel like they should be able to harass people with repeated phone calls. They wouldn’t have even made this list if these companies would have just stopped calling when people asked them to.

    @Bladefist: I think there’s a law.

  16. Peeved Guy says:

    @weazel: Did you mean call waiting or caller id?

    If you meant call waiting, then… what the hell are you talking about?

  17. Juliekins says:

    @Bladefist: Aww, I feel so bipartisan. It’s very warm, and also fuzzy.

  18. apotheosis says:

    @apotheosis:

    …”should NOT”…

    *sigh*

  19. friendlynerd says:

    @weazel:

    What do your four seemingly unrelated sentences have to do with each other?

  20. scoosdad says:

    What we need now is a law that stops the phone companies from selling or distributing that information in the first place, unless you specifically opt-in (such as for a directory listing).

  21. Shadowman615 says:

    @IphtashuFitz: That’s true, it is illegal for a company to make an autodialed telemarketing call to your cell phone. However, when this happens there’s really not much you can do about it. I’ve gotten a few calls in the past (probably not more than once a month), and have tried recording the number and reporting to the ftc [www.ftc.gov], but they aren’t much help. Their response was something like they didn’t usually get involved in private disputes.

  22. deadlizard says:

    I hope they join their fellow encyclopedia and vacuum cleaner salemen sooner than later.

  23. floyderdc says:

    Can anyone tell me how/if anyone makes money telemarketing? I mean it looks as if anyone on this board even answers calls from numbers they do not know. Most people I know do not answer calls from people they know. The rest of the population all seem to just hang up or get pissed at a telemarketer. Even if they are paying there agents shit wages, and operate out of some rual area where a lease is going to be cheap, how can they make any money doing this. If anyone has any data on this I would like to see it.

  24. deadlizard says:

    All clear now for the war on spam!

  25. snoop-blog says:

    the calls i’ve gotten lately are from extremely shady places out of the country. they do not give ONE shit, about our do not call list. i’m on the federal and the state dnc. and its my freakin cell, which the federal website said is already proctected and i wouldn’t need to register (but i did anyway to be extra sure). there is no real number on my caller id. just 4-5 odd digits that won’t let you return the call. the place is called matrix media, and there are like 3 billion matrix media’s on the internet, all of them, different companies.

  26. snoop-blog says:

    @floyderdc: i use to make money telemarketing- if you care…. and the company i worked for is still in business, and they do make money. it’s really easy to make money at it (as a company and an employee).

  27. SVreader says:

    @weazel: If an economy is based on harassing people with unwanted phone calls…time to find something else to do.

    I’m glad to see this extended! Before the DNC list, I was getting calls all the time, including 8am on Saturdays.

  28. weazel says:

    Apo:

    With all due respect, I humbly submit that a government that does everything old people want but sand thier bunions is not going to be respected as a going concern by other governments that pride themselves on sticking to their fundamental principles.

    This Administration and the Congress that passed the law were based on non-interference with legitimate business and the adaptation of new technologies like caller ID (I meant, he said). The Republicans, in passing this law, put up a neon billboard that they care only about public relations, not principles. This law sticks out like a shiny smelly carbunkle on their laissez-faire facade. A federal government that is based on hands-off principles should let private enterprise and technology handle the micromanaged details of daily hassles.

  29. disavow says:
  30. spinachdip says:

    @weazel: I have 3-way calling, and I have no sympathy for anyone who doesn’t. NO SYMPATHY!!!!!

    BTW, care to substantiate the “ripped the heart out of some rural economies” claim? Plus, assuming you’re actually right, that rural economies were dependent on telemarketers’ ability to make unsolicited calls to an unwilling audience suggests those economies were pretty fucked to begin with.

  31. apotheosis says:

    @weazel:
    I humbly submit that a government that does everything old people want but sand thier bunions is not going to be respected as a going concern by other governments that pride themselves on sticking to their fundamental principles.

    Well first, it’s fundamentally unfair to characterize this measure as being attended to appease “old people.” While “old people” might be the prime movers in the electorate for this measure, the same could be said of anything other measure. They comprise the largest voting block, because they vote.

    That being said, if you’ve any evidence that younger people hate telemarketers LESS than older people, I’d be happy to look it over.

  32. apotheosis says:

    I humbly request a comment edit feature, since I’m apparently determined to hit “submit” before reading through every post.

  33. OnceWasCool says:

    YEAH!!!

    Wish they would let businesses get on the list. We are getting TONS of telemarketers calling our 1-800 number doing surveys. (which just give telemarketers inside information)

    I have a strict policy, if they call me, selling office, safety, light bulbs, or packaging I just tell them we do NOT do business with telemarketers.

  34. Shadowman615 says:

    Well, I have NO SYMPATHY for anyone who doesn’t have “Verizon Speed Calling 8.”

  35. weazel says:

    Sp:

    I totes agree that telemarketing is a crappy base for an economy, but it beats wildcat mining. My “ripped the heart out” comes from various press accounts. Of course, the billion or so dollars being piled into the 2008 campaigns probably goes a long way towards ameliorating the hurt.

    It’s just that this is the kind of law that liberal democrats pass, and puts the big lie to Bush being a real Republican, along with his WTO steel thing a couple of years ago, and his putting the deficit on steroids.

    BTW I’m totally not a spammer nor do I work for a lobbyist, although, of course, I’d like to.

  36. Wally East says:

    @weazel: So, essentially, you’re saying that poor people should continue to receive telemarketing calls while rich people purchase technology that might block the calls. Weazel for the lose!

  37. spinachdip says:

    @weazel: “The Republicans, in passing this law, put up a neon billboard that they care only about public relations, not principles.”

    Well, that should’ve been obvious to anyone who’s been paying attention since the 1960s. From Nixon’s Southern Strategy on, the GOP has *always* placed pandering over policies or principles.

  38. OnceWasCool says:

    By the way, the FTC has great information for handling/avoiding telemarketing scams at your office.

    [www.ftc.gov]

    Hope it helps!

  39. apotheosis says:

    @spinachdip:
    the GOP has *always* placed pandering over policies or principles.

    You’re not really suggesting that behavior is peculiar to Republicans, are you?

    Really?

  40. PeteyNice says:

    1) Screw rural anything. It’s those people who voted for Bush that put us in a lot of the messes we have now.

    2) This may be bs but one of my college friends worked for a telemarkating firm for a while and he said that if you have a cell phone centric area code (917 for instance) they will never add you to their lists as they are too worried about being sued.

  41. lascauxcaveman says:

    @weazel: Gonna have to disagree with you this time. The right to be left alone in the privacy one’s own home sounds more libertarian/consitutionalist than liberal democrat to me. And it sounds pretty good to me.

    As for your rural communities getting their economic heart ripped out: Get a job.

    Seriously, I’m a pretty good consumer, but having people spend that much time and effort trying to get me to buy stuff I don’t want, won’t use and can’t afford is just a waste of time and resources.

  42. rmz says:

    @weazel: At what point do repeated calls (despite repeated requests to not call again) become harassment? Should the telemarketers be allowed to call every day for months despite being told on no uncertain terms never to call that person again?

    If these telemarketers are blatantly and purposefully ignoring customers’ wishes not to be badgered, it needs to become legally enforceable at some point, not just left to “private enterprise and technology.”

  43. utensil42 says:

    @weazel: I am 22, hardly an “old person” by anyone’s standards. Why should I have to deal with telemarketers? I am also too poor (graduate student) to afford either call waiting or caller ID. Should I have to deal with telemarketers because of that too?

  44. marsneedsrabbits says:

    @weazel:

    Laissez-faire is wonderful when the businesses are responsible, but the telemarketing industry steadfastly refused to police itself, inviting government oversight and control. They had decades to fix themselves and steadfastly did nothing of note.

    My sense is that they thought they were powerful enough to avoid it. They were wrong.

    Now the telemarketing industry has more regulation than they would have liked. They should have thought their cunning plan all the way through.

  45. GearheadGeek says:

    @weazel: So, you’re upset that the do-not-call list is not Libertarian? I think the best thing the do-not-call legislation did was require telemarketers to advertise their number via the caller ID service you love so much, think should be required and (if you have a wireline phone) probably pay about $9/month for in total (unless you’re old-school and just get the number.)

    I had my old number on the list, and it was useful. When I moved last year I went voip/mobile only and between the filtering on my voip service and the unlisted nature of my numbers I haven’t had a problem.

    You’ll have to provide some evidence for the destruction of rural economies by making telemarketers behave in a civilized fashion, or no one is going to take any part of your rant seriously.

  46. rbb says:

    Now, if only the #$%$#% politicians would quit exempting themselves and charities….

  47. floyderdc says:

    @lascauxcaveman:
    Sometimes jobs just aren’t available in rural areas. I hate the get a real job comments. While I moved out of a rual area as soon as I could not everybody can do it.

  48. vermontwriter says:

    Telemarketers stopped calling me a long time ago. I got my name put on another list! My brother forwarded a “telemarketing script” to me a while back and the next telemarketing call I got, I put it to the test. It works incredibly well!

    [www.xs4all.nl]

  49. Where is the telemarketer’s trade association and lobby while this is being voice voted on? Christ, are they so evil that not even Congressmen will take their money… in an ELECTION YEAR?

    This is a bigger wow than someone being told to skip some meals b/c we’re out of chix soup.

  50. apotheosis says:

    @rmz:
    If these telemarketers are blatantly and purposefully ignoring customers’ wishes not to be badgered, it needs to become legally enforceable at some point, not just left to “private enterprise and technology.”

    …unless the laws are changed, allowing us to legally hire mercenaries to pursue the telemarketers.

    Private enterprise and technology intervene against same. No government intervention required. Satisfaction guaranteed.

    I can get behind that. Who’s with me?

  51. GearheadGeek says:

    @weazel: Not even the most cynical of W’s neocon puppeteers (Rove, Cheney et al) ever through W was a genuine conservative. I’m sure many of the people duped into voting for him by the Smear McCain crowd and the Swift Boat Liars for Sleazy Government believed it, at least for a few days, but even the dumbest voter should have seen the handwriting on the wall, done in liquefied US currency, that W is a borrow-and-spend monkey in a politician suit.

  52. Landru says:

    I keep telling ya, keep a police whistle by the phone!

  53. weazel says:

    Man, I wish I were someone who liked abuse. Maybe I am. Modern politics just seems so whimsical to me. Find one easily-encapsulated, narrow-spectrum issue (illegal aliens, telemarketers, steroids) and just pile on it, forget looking at real social trends or anything macro. And people who applaud this law are enabling that kind of whimsical crankiness. I will now return to Wonkette, where there are Muppets today. Mad love to y’all.

  54. spinachdip says:

    @apotheosis: No, I’m not saying pandering is an exclusively GOP trait.

    But it bears pointing out, since GOP has branded itself the “values” party and its candidates have carved out reputations for being non-nonsense and straight talkers. And their whole branding is based on being principled, but their principles are based on a well-crafted mythology, and they’re actually rather conflicted, as they have to appeal to neo-cons, cultural conservatives, and libertarians.

  55. DrGirlfriend says:

    I’m thinking of changing my screenname to NoSympathy.

    It’s just that this is the kind of law that liberal democrats pass, and puts the big lie to Bush being a real Republican, along with his WTO steel thing a couple of years ago, and his putting the deficit on steroids.

    This is really reaching. Out of all the faux pas that our dear president has committed, this bill that a vast majority of people approve of and are happy to have is what gets picked as an example of his not being a “real Republican”?

    I also feel that rural economies have much more to worry about than the DNC list. This just comes across as a very contrived effort to complain about something.

  56. kudzu says:

    Did both measures went through Congress unanimously? Really? I’m so disappointed! I would have expected at least a few douchebags voting against the DNCR.

    Is it that telemarketers don’t have lobbyists…? What about campaign donations? Don’t telemarketers contribute to Congressional political campaigns? What kind of world is this…!!?

  57. pestie says:

    @weazel: I have call waiting, like every other civilized human being on the planet, and have no sympathy for anyone who doesn’t.

    Shill on, Mr. McShillington, but the Do-Not-Call list has been one of the most successful and widely-supported laws in recent memory, and the USA is still a democracy.

    BTW, I don’t have call waiting. I choose not to have it. I hate being interrupted, and I hate being told “Oh, hang on, I’ve got a call on the other line.”

  58. apotheosis says:

    @spinachdip:
    So basically, it’s different when the other side of the aisle does it, because they’re completely and shamelessly open about it.

  59. Peeved Guy says:

    @PeteyNice:

    1) Screw rural anything. It’s those people who voted for Bush that put us in a lot of the messes we have now.

    Wow. Just…wow.

    @DrGirlfriend: I’m with you. The one thing that it seems Pres. Bush has done in the last, oh, 8 years that would be universally popular and it starts a partisan flame war. How funny. Not to mention that the OP kinda made a point of saying this was a bi-partisan law (introduced by Democrats and signed by an Republican).

  60. shadow735 says:

    Both my home and cell are on this, no calls to date before that I had privacy manager but telemarkets got hip on that and when they called a number was registered so they were able to get thru.

  61. weazel says:

    Pest:

    So Bush was totally able to buy you off by catering to your crankiness? This law built the goodwill which allowed him to shove the war and the violations of the constitution and all that other stuff down America’s throat. Democrats who gave him a chance to act like a real leader after he STOLE an election from you should feel covered in shame over how cheaply you were bought off.

  62. pestie says:

    @Landru: My girlfriend’s grandmother used to do exactly that. It became a problem when her hearing started going and she’d mistake a family member for a telemarketer.

  63. NightSteel says:

    @marsneedsrabbits: Right on. The real problem with a free market is that it depends on ethics. If all providers and consumers acted ethically, then a truly free market would work well. Ethics, unfortunately, do not push up a company’s stock price or save consumers money, so you have various entities trying to slant things in their favor using any means they can get away with.

  64. pestie says:

    @weazel: This may be hard for you to understand, but not everybody thinks “let businesses do whatever they want” provides a solid foundation for a healthy society.

    Perhaps I was mistaken in calling you a shill. You seem more trollish at this point. I do admire your trolling skills. Your first comment spawned quite the flame war, and your willingness to come back and keep throwing fuel on the proverbial fire has kept it going. Well played!

  65. moosetoga says:

    @weazel: How the hell you’re able to connect this to the Iraq war absolutely baffles me.

  66. hi says:

    Mike Doyle for pres? I’m still waiting to get on that Do not Tax List.

  67. weazel says:

    Pest:

    I’m blushing. You all have noticed me!

    Basically, I am disappointed with pollution and global warming and abuses of government running rampant, people are actually pointing WITH PRIDE to this bill, as if it does more than address 1/1000th of a per cent of this nations problems. “Dad I wrecked your car but I had it washed first. Gimme ten bucks.”

    Dems should have demanded Do Not Call be part of an omnibus Consumer Rights Act. And when Repubs balked and Dems took some heat, they should have seen that pain as being a good investment in distinguishing themselves from the President and his ilk.

  68. moosetoga says:

    @weazel: Dems should have demanded Do Not Call be part of an omnibus Consumer Rights Act.

    So… unless you can do everything with one bill, you should do nothing?

  69. spinachdip says:

    @apotheosis: No, that’s not what I wrote. Pandering is realpolitiks, and I accept that. My issue is with the mythology-based and policy-phobic politics.

  70. weazel says:

    Moos:

    Do you honestly think that unprincipled business people are going to let a single, narrow law stop them from doing their thing? They’ll do something else, and Congress will spend time stamping out that fire. It’s exactly like all the message bills you see passed in various state legislatures. “Resolved, America is Number One!”. It occupies space and attention and does nothing to improve peoples’ lives.

    I’m exhausted. Basically, anyone who thinks this menace was something that required a sledgehammer from Congress is blessed with an exceedingly agreeable existence free of real problems. Weazel OUT.

  71. whatdoyoucare says:

    @vermontwriter: That some good stuff right there!

  72. moosetoga says:

    @weazel: Do you honestly think that unprincipled business people are going to let a single, narrow law stop them from doing their thing?

    Clearly, it has. Ask just about anyone who signed up how many telemarketing calls they get now. I literally haven’t had one in years.

    Weazel OUT.

    Yeah, that’s probably a good idea.

  73. TheUncleBob says:

    @rbb: I agree, rbb. I’m all for a “Do not call” list, but I fail to see why the government uses the list to protect certain kinds of calls while forbidding others.

  74. Buran says:

    @weazel: With all due respect, I have no sympathy for anyone who makes money off harassment of people who don’t want to be bothered. Call people who don’t care all you want, but leave me alone.

  75. K-Bo says:

    @weazel: who cares if I have caller ID, I don’t like having to jump up and look at who it is, and I don’t ignore the phone because I have family members with frail health, and I have to make sure it’s not them calling. I’m 25, hardly a member of these cranky old people you speak of, but I know I’m not going to buy anything from a telemarketer, so they are wasting my time and theirs. I don’t care if being for the DNC list make me old and cranky, I’m against getting phone calls from anyone who is trying to sell me something I did not previously express an interest in buying from them.

  76. RedSonSuperDave says:

    @apotheosis: This guy gets it.

    *Hums the Mercenaries theme*

  77. bustit22 says:

    It’s all Bush’s fault!! Oh wait….

  78. DrGirlfriend says:

    Basically, anyone who thinks this menace was something that required a sledgehammer from Congress is blessed with an exceedingly agreeable existence free of real problems.

    Ah, the “you don’t know what real problems are” argument! Usually seen when a person has been backed into a corner, cannot fully explain his position, and therefore attacks the person disagreeing with him/her for even caring about the issue.

  79. sir_eccles says:

    Bottom line: at least 50 million people intentionally signed on to the Do Not Call list for a reason.

    THEY DON’T WANT TO BE CALLED

  80. snoop-blog says:

    hey everyone, i’m back……what’d i miss? lol. jeeze i think i’ve got to start calling people weazel’s instead of trolls now.

  81. bohemian says:

    Next step, make caller ID mandatory. I am so sick of restricted or no ID phone calls. It makes it harder to sort out the school or doctors office vs. a telemarketer.

    Our school uses restricted and half of the doctors offices use no ID back lines to make calls so you don’t know who is calling.

  82. nardo218 says:

    @apotheosis: Yeah. I’d say young people care less about telemarketers than old people. Telemarketers prey on older people because old people’s bullshit detectors are so low, because they didn’t grow up with the kind of evil corporations we all know and love. So, to old people, telemarketers are like highway bandits and must be stopped.

    Also, old people who have been retired for a long time worry about things that young, busier people don’t. The world is unfamiliar and scary to older people, so things we take in stride are more of a nuisance to them.

    I say this having spent a lot of time surrounded by the elderly, from my family to church to my inclination to chat people up who are likely to want to talk back. (Srsly, intimidated by talking to strangers? Practice on elderly women, they’ll talk to anyone.)

  83. NotATool says:

    Ah, I see. The DNC legislation is the root of all that is wrong with America. It spawned the war in Iraq and the Patriot Act? I never knew W was so clever to fool me like that. Thanks for the enlightenment.

  84. weazel says:

    In any event, none of you have convinced me. And repeating, I am not serving some hidden agenda here. You all make interesting if non-relevant points. There are people out there who smell a big rat in the kumbaya surrounding this bill.

  85. barty says:

    @weazel: I would normally agree with you, except that as long as even a miniscule number of people continue to answer these surveys, buy their wares, etc., they’ll stick around. Companies that employ these telemarketing firms don’t pay a ton for their services because they know they don’t get a ton of return on them, but ultimately some beancounter has determined the number of sales needed to make it worthwhile and therefore has calculated the number of people who have to be called to generate those numbers. Essentially, I get inconvenienced because there are still enough gullible people that continue to do business with them.

    Everyone else has made excellent points as well. I can’t recall how many times my roommates and I asked to be taken off of the phone list of this alarm company, yet they still continued to call at least once a week, if not more. Repeat this situation millions of times and we see a pattern of an industry that refused to regulate themselves. Its not uncommon to read stories about people who worked at these places who were instructed to flatly ignore any request to be removed from a call list.

    For once, I’d say the government actually passed a law that was actually desired by a vast number of people in this country.

  86. nardo218 says:

    1) Screw rural anything. It’s those people who voted for Bush that put us in a lot of the messes we have now.

    HAH! Yes yes.

  87. TheUncleBob says:

    @bohemian: I disagree that Caller ID should be mandatory, but I do believe in Anonymous Call Block. Basically, anyone who calls with a restricted number will get a pre-recorded message saying that the number they have dialed does not accept anonymous calls. Unfortunately, not all providers offer this feature. Verizon Wireless doesn’t. :(

  88. BearTack says:

    “With all due respect, this law has ripped the heart out of some rural economies.”

    I have a no trespassing sign at the foot of my driveway. The DNCR is the electronic equivalent. If honored, both save a salesman time and effort, as well as a fine or an arrest.

  89. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @Landru: I don’t know about blowing out the eardrums of some minimum wage slave. You know they don’t give them health insurance.

    There are people out there who smell a big rat in the kumbaya surrounding this bill.
    @weazel: Like what? What sinister goings on is supposed to be hiding in the bill?

    If you call someone repeatedly after being told not to you could be hit up with harassment changes. Why should the fact that you want the person to buy something change that?

  90. drjayphd says:

    @weazel: Well, with all due respect, I have no sympathy for anyone who uses “totes” in conversation…

  91. bobblack555 says:

    Woohoo! Your days are numbered, telemarketers.

    Time to get a real job.

  92. StevieD says:

    The best improvement would be to add BUSINESS telephone numbers to the DNC Registry.

    I would be so happy.

    As most establish customers by pass the telephone switchboard and direct dial the division or person desired, the only calls going to the company switchboard are new and casual customers and telephone solicitors that don’t know the direct dial numbers. On Monday and Tuesday this week my switchboard operator recorded 37 different telephone solicitors out of a total of 92 telephone calls.

    Screw all telephone solicitors.

  93. pigeonpenelope says:

    wow! the president signs something i totally approve of! i’m shocked. i absolutely love the dncr. i’m really pleased this was extended.

  94. pigeonpenelope says:

    @weazel: the do not call list has been very beneficial to me as well. i hate telemarketing calls.

    also, the do not call list is beneficial to telemarketers. those on the dncr are folks who do not want sales calls and will not buy. so why should a telemarketer waste their time? by weeding out folks who do not want to be called, telemarketers can focus on folks who do and make more money. its more succinct.

  95. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @weazel: I have no sympathy for people who assume that some lame optional technology defines civilized humanity.

    Seriously… call waiting? That’s what separates us from the apes?

  96. sventurata says:

    @TheUncleBob: Useful until it blocks a call from your bank, child’s office, the hospital, or even the police.

    Honestly, it’s a obsolete feature. The newer option is to make blocked callers “force-display” their numbers by hitting the pound key to connect the call. I can’t stress how useful this has been in my work (which is not telemarketing, but does use a blocked call switchboard to shield people’s individual extensions.)

  97. TheUncleBob says:

    Does anyone know what happens if you do add a business number to the DNCR?

    Anywhoo @Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler: I’m fine with that feature as well. What’s it called and how can I get it on my phone?

  98. BeastMasterJ says:

    weazel just made my DoNotRegard list!

  99. sventurata says:

    @TheUncleBob The version I have is through Telus (a Canadian wireless provider), and it’s called “Anonymous Caller ID.” (more details here: [www2.telus.com])

    In a nutshell, it advises blocked callers that I don’t accept calls from anonymous numbers, and gives them the option to unblock their number or record their name/company. I realize persistent telemarketers could get beyond this, but I then have the option to reject the call based on their voice identification or keyed-in number… and because I’m not crazy about answering the phone in the first place, it usually goes to voicemail anyway. :)

  100. StevieD says:

    @TheUncleBob:

    Not allowed. Numbers are cross checked with the directories and business numbers will be removed from the list.

  101. n/a says:

    This is the one of the very very few good things that our current idiot in command signed into law that was 100% benefit to all. Too bad he makes so many other fuckups.

  102. TheUncleBob says:

    @Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler: Wait, the Restricted Caller can just key in a phone number? So, say I call you, but don’t want you to know it’s me, but I also know your mother’s phone number, I could just key it in to get you to answer? That’s lame.

    @StevieD: Hmm. That doesn’t seem quite right. Not only is the government saying that particular speech is “protected” while other speech is “restricted”, but they’re even “protecting” particular groups of people while flat out refusing the same “protection” to other groups.

  103. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @BeastMasterJ: Wouldn’t it be nice if this site had a killfile?

  104. Skiiz says:

    I fail to see the Liberal or Libertarian argument against this bill, there isn’t a theorist of the aforementioned variety I know of that would construe government intervention of this sort as obtrusive or excessive when the market clearly cannot or does not provide for protection from abuses. In fact, that’s practically the only time when it is even remotely considered an option… Free enterprise does not mean you can cram your product down the throats of consumers when there is no demand for it, as 50 million registered DNC numbers clearly suggests there should not have been such a huge volume of firms utilizing that form of marketing.

    If you champion individual liberty and freedom on what grounds would you oppose the DNCR? It’s the very fact that these calls can be seen (or spun) as a mundane aspect of living that is more troubling, that one could regard a business’s ability to harass potential customers as a necessary freedom should cause recoil. Especially when they can do so only because there are people who gather and disseminate data that many individuals consider private. If anything you should be alarmed that the interventionist fat-cats in Washington don’t go farther and create a super-DNCR that would block ANY and ALL unsolicited calls, not just those from for-profit organizations. And this is the only argument I can see a liberal making without bringing their whole system of logic on its head.

    The idea that someone should have to purchase a product or service that may not even work so that they can NOT purchase a product or service is completely RIDICULOUS!

    A: You know, I’m tired of getting calls from Sam’s Craphouse, I’m never going to buy any of his crap…
    B: Yeah me too, I was getting those phone calls from Sam’s but with my new caller-ID service I just stop answering when I see their number.
    A: Oh really, I guess that’s an option, but I don’t think I should have to buy caller-ID just so I don’t have to be bothered with not buying carp from Sam’s…
    B: I kind of see your point…
    A: So, how much do you pay for caller-ID?
    B: Well, at first the sales rep said it would bump my bill up 8 dollars, but for 10 more I got a new plan and have a bunch of new features.
    A: Hmmm, I dunno. I like my current plan, and I don’t think it’s fair that I have to spend 120 more dollars a year to not spend one red cent at Sam’s Craphouse.
    B: Ha ha, hold a second I have another call…
    A: No problem.
    *Silence*
    B: WTF!
    A: What’s up?
    B: Stupid telemarketer, I didn’t recognize the number. And, at first I didn’t hear anything then some jerk at Bill’s annoying-something-something comes on and he’s like “Hello, Mr. D, we’re calling you today to try and sell you annoying crap you’ll never use…”
    A: So, wait, you’re spending that extra money and they still… Ain’t that some bullsh!t!

    Everyone who wondered where the telemarketing lobbyists were, isn’t it obvious? I’m willing to bet a million dollars our good friend weazy is one of them, OR he’s a disgruntled telecom exec who wishes his company could charge us for this service… and ironically we find the only other argument that a true liberal should be making.

    However, if you bothered to read this far, it should still hold that protection from harassment and the guarantee of privacy trumps any concerns over problems of government intervention and price-fixing that arise from this policy.

  105. CumaeanSibyl says:

    By the way, I tried to conceive of a straight-up libertarian solution to the telemarketing problem, and in my head it involves giving my phone number to a private corporation or corporate association, paying a fee, and trusting them when they say “we won’t ever sell our lists of phone numbers to our fellow businessmen, honest.”

    Okay, so it may not be a perfect system, but at least it means I’m not supporting the Iraq war!

    /weazel

  106. rjflyn says:

    Now we just need a US based customer service law. When companies are mandated to have their CS be based here not in some other county.

    RJ

  107. byandby says:

    I have a interesting question concerning DNCR.If telemarketer calls dry up,revenue dries up for the tiny tech company who developed DNC technology.They go bankrupt.Would the new law cease to exist?

  108. byandby says:

    I have worries about this DNCR working too well.What happens if telemarketers quit calling,and revenues dry up for the tiny tech company owning the DNC copywrights,and they go bankrupt? Who would buy a technology the makes no money? Does the new law cease to exist?

  109. byandby says:

    I’m worried The DNCR might work too well.What happens if telemarketers quit calling,revenues dry up for the tiny tech company who developed DNC technology,causing bankruptancy.Who would want this business that makes no money? Then would this new law cease to exist?

  110. byandby says:

    @rjflyn: I’m worried the DNCR might work too well.If telemarketers quit calling,revenues would dry up for the tiny company who developed this technology,possibly causing bankruptancy.Who would takeover a service making no money? Then what happens to this new law?

  111. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @rjflyn: Okay, I know I just laughed at the libertarians, but in this case I think the market might provide a solution. People obviously haaaaaaate calling a support line and talking to a call center in India, so I think some companies will start moving their call centers back to the US and trumpeting it as a massive improvement in service, even though it’s really just something they should’ve been doing in the first place.

    Of course, it’s also possible they’ll just move to Canada, where they don’t have to pay for employee health insurance. There are economic advantages for countries that have universal health care, though I’ve no idea if those advantages offset or justify the cost of providing it.

  112. CyberSkull says:

    @Bladefist: I think they are afraid of getting a cell phone bill.

  113. HappyCustomer says:

    DNC has been wonderful, but I second that something needs to be done about the political and charitable phone calls. Since the telemarketing calls have stopped, these calls are on the top of my annoyance list. Why not have an opt in or out for these types of phone calls? Maybe some people find these calls useful, but my hard and fast rule this past primary election was “no vote for anyone who left annoying taped messages on my phone.” And, I certainly am not donating money to anyone who calls. I suspect that many of the charity calls are scams anyway.

  114. RedSonSuperDave says:

    HappyCustomer, I’d like to point out that the CEO of the largest robocalling corporation in the US lives approximately six blocks from me.

    [www.wjhg.com]

    Contrary to what he says in this article, he moved to Marianna because Florida’s one of the few states in the union where his scummy method of doing business is actually LEGAL. If you or anybody else wants to call him and share your thoughts, I’m sure he would LOVE to hear from you at ANY hour of the day or night.

    850-482-796