We’ve been getting a lot of emails lately from people who are fed up with telemarketers ignoring the Do Not Call list and want to take the bastards to court. Now, to be fair, sometimes the people who email don’t fully understand what is and what is not allowed under the law.
Would you buy DSL service from a company that either doesn’t care about Do Not Call lists or doesn’t know how they work? A man in Missouri was harassed to the point where he considered calling the police, because no matter what he did, AT&T wouldn’t stop calling. Every time he tried contacting AT&T to get it to stop, he ended up in automated phone systems with recorded messages, busy signals, and disconnections—but never a live person. Only after he wrote to a local consumer advocacy columnist did AT&T pay attention and turn off the telemarketing fire hose. AT&T didn’t, however, explain why they were targeting this person, or whether anyone else is facing the same barrage of calls.
Reader Brian says that he’s getting weird scammy calls about “lowering his interest rates” and would like to know what he should do about it.
Reader Ron is annoyed that Domino’s Pizza will not stop calling his cellphone 1-3 times a week to let him know the specials. Yuck!
If You Love Junk Mail, Visit The Direct Marketing Association's Advocacy Website "MailMovesAmerica.org"
Did you know that “advertising mail is under threat?” It’s true! But what can you, the consumer who loves junk mail, do to stop the 15 states that, in 2007, “proposed the creation of state Do Not Mail registries, similar to the national do not call registry”? The Direct Marketing Association has set up a website just for you!
Every day for the past eight months, Dell has called Kat to demand payment for a bill she doesn’t owe. Kat unfortunately inherited the phone number of a Dell debtor when she started a new job, something Dell would rather overlook—along with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Kat has tried calling, escalating, and having the debtor tell Dell to leave her alone. Dell continually assures her that the problem has been fixed. And then they call again.
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.
Now Dish Network calls me LITERALLY every day trying to get me to sign up again. I explain my situation every time and they treat me with disgust, as if I am making up some elaborate story because I don’t have the guts to tell them I hate their service.
The FTC will vow in Congressional testimony today not to purge numbers on the Do Not Call List while Congress considers making registrations permanent. Do Not Call registrations currently last for five years, and are set to start expiring in April 2008 despite the list’s broad popularity: 92% of Americans have heard of the list, 76% have added their number, and 92% claim to receive fewer calls marketing calls. Lydia Parnes, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, appearing before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection will hail the list for ‘restoring the sanctity of the American dinner hour.’
Powerful Members of Congress are backing measures that would prevent Do Not Call registrations from expiring. Though the list has proven wildly popular, covering 150 million numbers in a country of 300 million, the FTC currently expires listings after five years to ostensibly account for people who move or change their number. Proposals to make registrations permanent have already won over the editorial board of the Asheville Citizen-Times:
The popularity of the list confirms that few people want to have their dinner or other personal time interrupted to deal with a telemarketer intent on selling something. The argument that people can just not answer the phone doesn’t work for everyone. Those with loved ones overseas or with family members who need special care are usually unwilling to risk missing a call that might bring critical or time-sensitive information.
We Use Illegal Telemarketing Not To "Change Your Do-Not-Call Status," But To "Give You An Opportunity To Change Your Do-Not-Call Preference"
DirecTV is defending automated sales calls to Do Not Call List subscribers as “informational,” and “not telemarketing.” The satellite TV provider recently called customers to say: “Because you are on our Do Not Call List, we can’t call you with all of our super-awesome special promotions.” This bothered reader Nina, who fired off angry letters to both DirecTV CEO, Chase Carey, and FCC Chairman Kevin Martin. Nina received the following pigheaded reply from DirecTV counsel, Rose Foley:
The “Do Not Call List” comes with a built in expiration date, and the date is coming soon for people who signed up for the list when it first started.
According to a reader who works as a telemarketer for a timeshare company, it’s not enough to say say, “Stop calling me,” to get yourself off a company’s calling list, you must unequivocally request the removal.
Meet Bluegreen, a Florida time-share company that regularly skirts the Do-Not-Call Lista by offering a $50,000 raffle. By entering the raffle, unsuspecting consumers give Bluegreen – and over a dozen of their affiliates – permission to contact them, even if they subscribe to the Do-Not-Call List. We explain how this is technically legal, after the jump.
Join us at 2:30 we liveblog the Senate Commerce Committee’s oversight hearing on telemarketing fraud. The Committee wants to fight telemarketers who target vulnerable senior citizens, so they’re going to ask the FTC to take center stage and explain its implementation of the Do-Not-Call list and the Credit Reporting Organizations Act (CROA.)
I just got yet ANOTHER call from a third party selling life insurance policies for BoA. Sometime last month, I told them to stop calling me, and that just because I bank with BoA (I had…I terminated that week before last for reasons unrelated to this) doesn’t mean they’re allowed to keep calling despite my telling them to stop. If I had access to our call records at the moment, I’d list the time, date, and duration of each call, as well as the date I told them to stop.
Wave after wave of telemarketers assault your household like it was a Normandy beachhead. Bleary-eyed, you tell your coke-bottle glassed, coupon-clipping, twine-saving friend over a cup of coffee at Denny’s. He intones nasally, “You know, you could sign up for the Federal Do-Not-Call List. That way, scrupulous telemarketers won’t call you. And if any unscrupulous ones do, you have the basis for making an official complaint to the FCC.”
Maybe now they’ll crack down on the telemarketers. After all that’s the hotline, the hotline for the Department of Homeland Security. Gotta secure the homeland from the Space Invaders and the Centipedes. Not a moment to waste for time-share condominiums.