To Get Telemarketers To Stop, You Must Specifically Say "Put Me On Your Do Not Call List"

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.

“If you want a telemarketer to stop calling you, do not say “Quit calling me” or “Don’t call me again.” In some companies, Reps are informed under strict guidelines to only delete records if the customer specifically requests they do so. Telemarketers are only required to put you on the “Do Not Call” list if you SPECIFICALLY request to be put on it. Be clear about this and ask for written documentation to be mailed to you if they have your mailing address, but don’t provide it to them if they do not.”

Furthermore, if you’re on the National Do Not Call list, you can report the infraction to the FCC here. An important caveat is this technique will only work for non-skeezy, non-fly-by-night telemarketing operations.

(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Amy Alkon says:

    Furthermore, you should request to be removed, not only from the list for the particular company they are calling on behalf of at that moment, but all calling lists they have.

  2. 82300sd says:

    “If you call me again, you’ll be speaking to my lawyer” usually is more effective

  3. algorhythmic says:

    How about telemarketers that don’t speak English? I keep getting Mandarin-speaking telemarketers. When I tell them to put me on the Do Not Call list, they pretend they don’t understand me and hang up. Ugh.

  4. Canadian Impostor says:

    Step 1: Disconnect your land line.

    Step 2: Use the money you used to spend on that land line to buy more minutes for your cell phone.

    Step 3: I’ve never gotten a telemarketing call on my cell phone.

  5. michaelwebster says:

    Why not just buy an answering machine and screen your calls?

  6. ScramDiggyBooBoo says:

    Heres an idea. Go to If you register your number there, you will be put on the international do not call list. I have done it for family and what not, and they never get telemarketing calls. Also, and dont quote me, but i think that if anyone calls you within 5 years of registering on the do not call list, then you can sue them.

  7. ScramDiggyBooBoo says:

    My bad, i meant the national do not call list.

  8. spinachdip says:

    @michaelwebster: To me, that’s more of an inconvenience than receiving the occasional solicitation call. Plus, it’s a waste of time and money for my parents who call me internationally. I’ve put my number on the DNCL and haven’t received a spam call since.

  9. Buran says:

    Doesn’t matter if they’re fly-by-night operations. They will still have to pay the fines when they are sued for violating the laws that apply to them as much as anyone else.

  10. thepounder says:

    While I screen my calls at my house, I’ll sometimes be in the mood to talk to one of these telemarketers, solely for fun. I suppose it makes me a jerk that I’ll talk to them for quite some time before saying that I’m not interested, but I do ask nicely that they add me to their DNCL.
    Typically though, I’ll only answer a telemarketer call if I notice they’ve called several times over a few days… thus, I’ll have a bit of fun with them, then make them add me to their DNCL.
    As far as I’m concerned, any grief I give them is their own fault for having called my house so often. I read a comment yesterday where the commenter recommended playing the role of Special Ed from Crank Yankers with the solicitor calls; I’ll have to try that sometime.

  11. Crazytree says:

    Here is the script to read:

    1. I demand you stop calling this number.
    2. You are in violation of the DNC list.
    3. Any further violations will be reported to the FTC and my State AG.
    4. Fuck you.*


  12. MommaJ says:

    Reporting “do not call” violations to the FTC does nothing. There’s no enforcement. Don’t waste your time.

  13. ThyGuy says:

    My company doesn’t call residential phones, unless you want us to call you at home when you’re already a customer. Commercial phone lines cannot be placed on the do not call list, as far as I know. Lying and getting the list when you are a business owner can get you fined just as badly as the telemarketers.

    Here’s a tip. Caller ID. Block any telemarketing numbers you encounter. Make it so all unknown numbers are blocked, also do the same with unavailable. If you want to turn in a telemarketing company that is calling residential, just remember, be buddies with the telemarketer. They might slip their company name, and you’ll have them.

  14. Buran says:

    @MommaJ: States aren’t as spineless. The MO AG sues. A lot.

  15. Jim C. says:

    This is what I’ve understood from the very first, long before the national list. My cable company (comcast, natch) used to call me often with various promotions until I used this exact wording with them. Worked like a charm.

  16. RosieCotton says:

    I used to work as a telephone surveyor. We weren’t selling anything, but we were instructed never to remove anyone from our calling list unless they specifically said the magic words, which were “remove me from the panel.” They had to use the word “panel”, or it didn’t count. The panel was comprised of folks who entered sweepstakes.

  17. michaelwebster says:

    @spinachdip: While that may have worked for you, many people get back on the telemarketing lists. You need to have defence that works automatically, without requiring thought.