No, The Right To Call And Sell You Stuff Is Not Transferable

Russell wants to know: if a company cold-calls you to sell you things when you’re part of the federal Do Not Call registry, and insists that the call is totally legal because they’ve “partnered with” a company that you do business with, does that make it okay? No. No, it does not.

He writes:

I received a cold call on my cell phone from someone representing [a home security company]. I’m under the impression that telemarketing to a cell phone is illegal, even more so because my number is on the National Do Not Call Registry. When I mentioned this to the caller, he claimed that it didn’t apply because they’re partnered with someone whom I have a business relationship with. This sounds like flagrant bullshit to me, but I wanted to get advice from a more knowledgeable group. He conveniently neglected to name the company that sold my information, so I unfortunately don’t have anyone else to shame in this letter. As for the original issue, am I right?

Yes, although it could depend on the definition of “partnered” and your relationship to the company that shared your number. Which company is key, and when you last had any dealings with the business. According to the FCC:

A telephone solicitation is a telephone call that acts as an advertisement. The term does not include calls or messages placed with your express prior permission, by or on behalf of a tax-exempt non-profit organization, or from a person or organization with which you have an established business relationship (EBR). An EBR exists if you have made an inquiry, application, purchase, or transaction regarding products or services offered by the person or entity involved. Generally, you may put an end to that relationship by telling the person or entity not to place any more solicitation calls to your home. Additionally, the EBR is only in effect for 18 months after your last business transaction or three months after your last inquiry or application. After these time periods, calls placed to your home phone number or numbers by that person or entity are considered telephone solicitations subject to the do-not-call rules.

So file a complaint, and tell the company to set their call lists on fire before they try to call you again.

National Do-Not-Call Registry [FCC]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.