The National Do Not Call Registry

January 23, 2012

Finances, Rants

Feast or famine, as the saying goes. When it comes to telemarketers, it’s always feasting time.

We’ve slowly incorporated more cell phones now that the kids are older. We now have five cell phones and one VoIP phone, and I’ve really enjoyed the relative quiet. Before, our landline would literally ring off the hook with calls from telemarketers and bill collectors. But the calls weren’t for us- they were for the people who had our phone number before us. Apparently, those folks had bad financial problems. When their debt collection calls got too pervasive, they ditched the number and got a new one.

…and our lovely telephone company promptly dumped that old number onto us. Sweet. Fun. SO now I was not only getting calls for OUR telemarketers, I was getting calls for THEIR telemarketers and debt collectors. My heart would always skip a beat when the phone rang. I discussed with my phone company how we could stop collection harassment for good from these calls, and the company said they’d give us a new number… but this would be our THIRD number because the one we had previously was bad, too! So we ditched our landline altogether and got a funky VoIP (Internet phone) number and I got the kids cell phones. The silent bliss lasted a few months and it was wonderful. But since September, we’ve all been bombarded with calls. Solicitors, wrong numbers, even some stop collection harassment California requests or some such stuff.

I’d heard about some Do Not Call list that the government maintains. I did a little research and found out that, according to the DoNotCall.gov website,

The National Do Not Call Registry gives you an opportunity to limit the telemarketing calls you receive. Once you register your phone number, telemarketers covered by the National Do Not Call Registry have up to 31 days from the date you register to stop calling you.

Now correct me if I am wrong, but I thought cell phone numbers did not need to be placed on the list. Isn’t it illegal for telemarketers to call us on our cell phones? We get so many calls so often that I would consider it harassment.

Anyway, I put all our numbers on the list. I find it very discouraging that we have to go to such extremes to opt out of such things. Junk mail is another thing. Why aren’t we all just “opted out” automatically? Well, we all know the answer to that: because NO ONE would ever sign up!

Here’s more information about the DO Not Call list that you may find interesting or helpful:

  • After you sign up, telemarketers have 31 days to remove your number from their list.
  • Charities, political organizations, and businesses with whom you have done commerce are exempt from the Do Not Call list. A business can keep calling you for 18 months after your last purchase! And if you sign up to “win” products, these companies have permission to call you because you voluntarily released your phone number. I always believed that those “contests” promising new windows, new siding, new cars, and new shoes are more like information farms that harvest your data for marketing later.
  • Your phone numbers in the Do Not Call registry are “shared” with law enforcement to “assure compliance with federal and state law.”
  • The Do Not Call registry applies to telemarketers calling from within the U.S. and from foreign countries. So, even telemarketers from Russia or China are not supposed to call you. How the U.S. government is able to enforce that, I don’t know.
  • If your number has been on the list for more than 31 days and you are receiving telemarketing calls, you can file a complaint with the government at DoNotCall.gov.
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2 Responses to “The National Do Not Call Registry”

  1. Susi Says:

    We ditched our home phone a while back, too. Between the cellphones ( and yes, we’ve been getting telemarketing calls on those, too) and Skype we are covered!!! I hate having to deal with all that stuff. We used to get calls from people trying to call a restaurant to order food… that was annoying.

  2. Lin Says:

    I don’t believe the do not call thingy works. Seriously. I still get calls of all kinds even though I keep registering. And the telemarketers are finding new ways of getting around it–they call and leave messages on your machines, block their numbers and what company they work for, hang up quickly when you ask to be removed from their lists, etc. It does not work.

    And yep, my cell number belonged to a real deadbeat. I have been getting the nastiest calls for him for 5 years. If I tell them they have the wrong number, I’m verbally assaulted. It’s awful. I don’t pick up any call on my cell other than my immediate family.