Does Uptick In Telemarketing Complaints Mean "Do-Not-Call" Registry Isn't Really Working?

Ah, the cherished dinner hour. Peace, quiet and if that stupid telemarketer doesn’t stop calling I am seriously going to throw my fork really violently at something. If that sounds like you, you aren’t alone. Even with the “Do Not Call” registry, there’s been a spike in complaints against telemarketers, especially those pre-recorded phone calls that always seem to come when you don’t want them to. Although, does anyone ever really welcome a telemarketer’s call? Doubt it.

According to the Associated Press, the government has been getting quite a lot of complaints about unsolicited phone calls, which is odd because we’ve got that “do-not-call” registry that is supposed to prevent that kind of stuff from happening.

The registry has more than 209 million phone numbers on it, which covers quite a lot of the country. There are 84 million residential customers who still have landlines, as well as the millions and millions of cellphone numbers out there on the list.

Companies using telemarketers are supposed to check the list at least every 31 days and avoid calling anyone on it. Seems they’re kind of just ignoring that list and ringing up people anyway. Hence, the increase in complaints.

Reports the Associated Press:

Government figures show monthly robocall complaints have climbed from about 65,000 in October 2010 to more than 212,000 this April. More general complaints from people asking a telemarketer to stop calling them also rose during that period, from about 71,000 to 182,000.

The Federal Trade Commission maintains that its “do-not-call” list is doing its job very well, thankyouverymuch.

“It’s absolutely working,” said the associate director of the agency’s marketing practices division. But she added that “the proliferation of robocalls creates a challenge for us.”

Part of the problem is that robocallers weren’t really a thing in 2003 when the registry started..

“In part because of technology and in part because of greater competitiveness in the marketplace, they have become the marketing vehicle of choice for fraudsters,” she said.

Big spike in complaints about telemarketing calls, especially pre-recorded robocalls [Associated Press]