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Do Not Call Registry Gets Glowing Reviews

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the bug-me-not dept.

Communications 276

coondoggie writes to tell us that in a recent report to Congress by the FTC, the National Do Not Call Registry got glowing reviews. They seem to be well established now with $21 million in fees in the bank, 22 successful court cases, and an almost 70% approval rating. "In 2007, a total of 6,242 entities paid fees totaling $21,602,003 for access to the National Registry. According to the FTC, telemarketers and sellers can access registered telephone numbers and pay the appropriate fee for that access, if any, through an Internet website dedicated to that purpose. The only information about consumers that companies receive from the National Registry is the registered telephone number. Since the Registry's inception, a total of 18,197 unique entities have paid fees for access to the National Registry. The total amount of fees paid by all entities since the inception of the National Registry through the end of 2007 is $80,629,778, the report stated."

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coondoggie? (0, Offtopic)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156123)

People who annoy you.

=Smidge=

Two problems still (5, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156159)

1) Still opt-out style. Unless you add yourself to the list, you are fair game for callers

2) Still ineffective against pollsters, politicians, and fundraisers

It's better than nothing, but there are certainly ways to make it better.

Not the end state (4, Interesting)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156227)

If things move to the point where it is socially unacceptable to bother people at home, then this is a good transitional state.
No one bothers people on cell phones. Probably due to pricing. Interesting, how the flat rate for the home line makes spamming people somehow acceptable.

Re:Not the end state (5, Informative)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156271)

No, they don't bother people on cellphones because it is illegal. It has nothing to do with pricing.

Re:Not the end state (4, Insightful)

martinw89 (1229324) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156335)

That doesn't seem to stop the text message spam and occasional bogus calls I get. I just don't answer anything that's not in my phonebook at this point.

Re:Not the end state (3, Funny)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156441)

If you get cellphone spam I truly feel sorry for your personal information, it must be on every bathroom wall in the US.

I have been using a personal cellphone as my primary contact number for the better part of a decade, and to date have only received two spam texts (when I was with Nextel, 6 years ago) and not a single unsolicited sales phonecall. About twice a year, someone dials a wrong number and gets me, to which I politely tell them that no, there is little chance that Joe Bob Jackson Seefus Jr. lives even NEAR me.

Re:Not the end state (1)

bonkeydcow (1186443) | more than 6 years ago | (#24157047)

I get spam phone calls to my cell in spanish. Also get spam texts. A few years back people around here used to get spam text from some kind of social networking site saying "Jane Doe (or whoever) wants to be your friend."

Re:Not the end state (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#24157123)

If you get cellphone spam I truly feel sorry for your personal information, it must be on every bathroom wall in the US.

4155557368@mycellprovider.com.

Re:Not the end state (5, Informative)

omris (1211900) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156497)

My understanding of WHY it was illegal to bother people on cell phones though was that it costs money to the person you're calling. Unlike landlines which only charge for outgoing calls.

Like a collection agency cannot cost you money in an attempt to collect what you owe them and likewise can't call cell lines.

At least that's the way of it in my home state.

Re:Not the end state (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#24157197)

The expense is an excuse for why it's banned on cellphones and not to landlines.

The real reason was cell phone users weren't willing to tolerate unsolicited calls to their cell phones. Yes, it's because people were having to pay for the calls, but if land line users would stand up like that to unsolicited calls of any sort they too would be banned. Or at least the bulk of the calls that were placed purposefully would be.

Re:Not the end state (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24156873)

Actually they do bother people on cell phones. I used to get calls constantly...put it on the list and they stopped. I live in TX, btw, if that makes a difference, legally.

Re:Not the end state (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Codger (96717) | more than 6 years ago | (#24157093)

Illegal or not, over the past year I've gotten a huge number of telemarketing calls on my cell. Since putting it on the do-not-call list those calls have stopped.

Re:Not the end state (3, Funny)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156625)

No one bothers people on cell phones.

A statement that is only technically correct. All of the telemarketing calls I get on my cellphone are recorded messages.

Re:Not the end state (2, Interesting)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156953)

Which is doubly illegal, at a minimum. Those people are liable for severe civil penalties. I just moved to GA and am familiarizing myself with the legal system here so that I can begin to exact my revenge on companies that autodial my cell phone number. And by "companies" I mean "political advocacy groups".

Re:Not the end state (5, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156703)

No one bothers people on cell phones.

But people on cell phones bother everyone.

Re:Not the end state (3, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156845)

Aye, particularly when making a sandwich, putting on makeup, correcting the children, and, oh, driving the SUV.

Re:Not the end state (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24156919)

No one bothers people on cell phones.

Actually, I make a habit of using a jackhammer nearby when someone is on the phone.

Re:Not the end state (3, Insightful)

nategoose (1004564) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156833)

I get informed that the factory warranty on my car is about to expire about once a week on my cell phone. Second time it happened I stayed on the phone long enough (ie past the recording) to ask them about this warranty that was about to expire on my car, which is ~15 years old. Since they didn't even know who I was or what kind of car I had. I'm pretty sure they were telemarketer con-persons.

Re:Not the end state (3, Funny)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 6 years ago | (#24157057)

I'm pretty sure they were telemarketer con-persons.

If I had mod points, I'd mark this "redundant". Not the whole article, just the words "telemarketer" and "con-persons".

Re:Not the end state (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156835)

No one bothers people on cell phones.

This is because it's already illegal thanks to the TCPA. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Two problems still (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156407)

"2) Still ineffective against pollsters, politicians, and fundraisers"
That is covered under freedom of speech. The Supreme Court has ruled that commercial speech does not have the same protection as political or religious speech. Which I feel is a good thing.
I am not fond of the other calls but they are clearly protected in the US.
As to opt out? Fine with me since I did.

Re:Two problems still (4, Insightful)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156649)

"2) Still ineffective against pollsters, politicians, and fundraisers" That is covered under freedom of speech.

Actually, it isn't. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom to use my property to conduct your speech. The freedom of pollsters to "speak" to me ends at the demarc, where I start paying for the wires.

It's ineffective simply because the politicians get money from fundraisers and hire pollsters to push-poll their constituents. They wrote their own exemption into the law.

They exemption they DO NOT HAVE, is if you tell them explicitely not to call you. THAT makes the next call illegal.

Re:Two problems still (1)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156775)

2) Still ineffective against pollsters, politicians, and fundraisers
That is covered under freedom of speech. The Supreme Court has ruled that commercial speech does not have the same protection as political or religious speech.

I hardly think that calling up my 82 year-old widowed mother to ask for campaign donations = protected political speech! Begging for money shouldn't be protected speak whether you're buying siding or donating to a non-profit.

It's been exasperating, my parents used to be active locally in political campaigns when they were much younger. And it's been some time that they donated any monies. My dad died over a year ago and she gets calls asking for him. Naturally she doesn't want to tell a complete stranger her husband died. When they'd ask if Mr. ___ could come to the phone, she'd say no and they'd say, "okay, I'll call back." Usually they hang up before she can tell them, don't call here again. Even when she does, she still gets calls. I've told her to say instead, "There's no one here by that name." Short of changing the phone number she's had for decades, I hope that tactic works.

Re:Two problems still (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24157133)

I would suggest caller id and a phone machine.
I am afraid that yes fund raising is a form of political speech and is protected.
It is annoying but not that terrible. And I am sorry to her about mothers loss. Things like that are at best a sore spot and at worse very painful.

just an idle thought (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156897)

That can be an interesting thing to keep in mind, when looking at the same principle in other contexts. [slashdot.org] If people are allowed to use other people's private property (my cellphone provider's network and my phone) without the owners' consent for purposes of political speech, then perhaps I am allowed to use flickr's server without the server's owner's consent, for my political speech.

Well, ok, not really. :-) In the phone context, we're talking about a law (you are not allowed to spam cellphones) which had to be exempted for free speech, whereas congress hasn't tried to pass a law saying you're not allowed to upload photos to servers. (If they did, then the courts would create an exemption there too.)

Re:Two problems still (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156423)

A third problem is it doesn't protect against collection agencies. This wouldn't be a problem, except that where I live, apperantly every "recycled" number was registered to someone who owed someone money. If the phone is plugged in, the collection agencies call hourly, despite the number not being active for most of a year.

Telling them the person no longer lives there and the number is recycled at best gets a sympathetic "Sorry, I understand but I have no authority to do anything about it."

Come to think of it, does anyone know if I have any recourse (other than to just use my cell phone, which I do)?

Re:Two problems still (4, Informative)

Tebriel (192168) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156501)

Tell them to cease and desist or you will file harassment charges.

Re:Two problems still (2, Informative)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156753)

A third problem is it doesn't protect against collection agencies.

It would be a bad law that says that a company with which you are involved in business dealings couldn't call you because you are on the DNC list. A collection agency inherits your "business dealings" with the people you didn't pay. Or the people who had the number before you who didn't pay.

Come to think of it, does anyone know if I have any recourse (other than to just use my cell phone, which I do)?

The law says they must stop calling you if you tell them to stop calling you, even IF you are the deadbeat they are trying to find.

If you aren't, that ends the problem. They are usually trying to harass someone, anyone, into paying something, and if you don't harass well, they lose money by calling you. They probably don't have enough evidence to prove you owe the money, so they won't waste court time.

If you ARE the deadbeat, and they can prove it, you've just escalated the problem to the next level, which might mean legal proceedings and lawsuits, so you might want to think twice about telling them to stop.

Re:Two problems still (4, Interesting)

PlatyPaul (690601) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156515)

Actually, I'm surprised that there hasn't been mention of anyone opt-bombing the system, as your number is only confirmed when registering by phone - they simply require an email confirmation if you do it online.

All you'd need to do is direct all incoming emails @yourdomainnamegoeshere.com to one account, set up an auto-opt system and an auto-respond system, run through all numbers in your area code.

Telemarketers access the DNC registry?? (2, Funny)

haluness (219661) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156171)

I thought the goal of the registry was to exclude marketers from getting this info? So who gve the glowing reviews?

Re:Telemarketers access the DNC registry?? (2, Funny)

CyprusBlue113 (1294000) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156215)

How do you expect telemarketers to know who not to call if you do not *tell* them who not to call?

Re:Telemarketers access the DNC registry?? (4, Funny)

HomerJ (11142) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156229)

If you don't have access to the list, how are you supposed to know who not to call?

Re:Telemarketers access the DNC registry?? (5, Insightful)

holmedog (1130941) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156759)

I work for a data warehousing company. Any accounts that we have that still use direct telemarketing campaigns are required to buy the list. It's not that expensive, and it is very nice, honestly. These people took the time to say they won't be buying things from telemarketers, so we know we don't want to market towards these people.

Re:Telemarketers access the DNC registry?? (1)

Madball (1319269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156279)

I thought the goal of the registry was to exclude marketers from getting this info? So who gve the glowing reviews?

Well, think about it. How do you know if you are allowed to call someone, unless the list is actually published.

Re:Telemarketers access the DNC registry?? (2, Funny)

lazyDog86 (1191443) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156795)

I thought the goal of the registry was to exclude marketers from getting this info? So who gve the glowing reviews?

Well, think about it. How do you know if you are allowed to call someone, unless the list is actually published.

This is a clear violation of my rights to both privacy and sarcasm! Telemarketers should not be allowed to know that they are not allowed to call me and you, sir, need to take a deep breath before posting.

Re:Telemarketers access the DNC registry?? (1)

MrMunkey (1039894) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156315)

Like the other two have said, you need to know who not to call. I used to work on the CRM for a company that started doing outbound dialing campaigns. There is a lot of phone numbers in that list. You also get updates monthly (or really whenever you want to update it) and then you can download the change log stating which numbers were added, which were deleted, and when so that the people on the phone can confirm that stuff. Companies are still required to maintain their own specific do not call list as well.

Re:Telemarketers access the DNC registry?? (1)

MrMunkey (1039894) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156359)

Crap, I forgot to add some more information. Mostly I used the numbers to remove them from the dialing lists that we purchased from the three major credit bureaus, or a few other places. It was easier to dump a few companies after finding out 80% or more of the numbers were on the national DNC. That's bad when they say that they pre-screen the numbers for you. Verification FTW!!!

Re:Telemarketers access the DNC registry?? (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156571)

To the respondants above me: WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

Pay for access to the list? (1)

Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156179)

Am I misunderstanding the article to believe the telemarketers only need to pay to have access to a list people signed up to not be telemarketed? Really?!?

Re:Pay for access to the list? (5, Informative)

crow (16139) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156237)

Nope, that's exactly how it works. The trick is that if they call people on the list, they get fined, so it's cheaper to buy access to the list.

Re:Pay for access to the list? (4, Informative)

MrMunkey (1039894) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156429)

I wouldn't think so. Like I said in another post, I used to work for a company that did outbound campaigns. I had to keep the list up-to-date and also purge the dialing lists of those numbers on the National DNC List. I don't remember the exact number of the fine, but it was pretty large and on a per call basis. Based on this article [usatoday.com] the per-call fine is $10,000. You'd better be making a HUGE margin on each sale to make up those costs.

Re:Pay for access to the list? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24156257)

No, they have to know who they're not allowed to call. Basically, they have to either (i) pay a fee to do business legally, or (ii) shut down entirely.

I'd prefer the latter.

Re:Pay for access to the list? (1)

Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156345)

My post was an obvious knee-jerk reaction. Please disregard.

Re:Pay for access to the list? (1)

Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156261)

Forgive my stupidity...my answers lie above.

Re:Pay for access to the list? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24156935)

Yep, just another reason those B@$T@RD$ up in Washington get to make money off their constituents by getting them to register for the DNC service and then charge the @$$HOLE$ who we don't want bothering us in the first place a fee so that they can bother us still!

Damn it all to hell, I'm getting tired of lying, cheating, conniving politicians.

Or maybe I'm just getting old, bitter and grumpy.

Re:Pay for access to the list? (1)

bonkeydcow (1186443) | more than 6 years ago | (#24157137)

Works great for charities. They get a nice cheap list of people that they CAN call. That's why I keep getting called for this charity BS for knocked up teenage sluts!

Happy until recently (1)

ArtemaOne (1300025) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156223)

I have my home and mobile numbers on this registry, but recently I've been getting more calls from toll free numbers for various crap. I can't imagine how many I'd get without it though.

Re:Happy until recently (1)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156877)

We get these at work. actually, i'm not sure that they're from toll free numbers, come to think about it.

Does anyone have any idea how to make them go away? To date I've just been pressing "1" or whatever the appropriate button is to speak to someone, as if I'm interested in their insurance. Then, once I've been put into the queue, I just put the call speakerphone, and go about my business. When the operator picks up, i make sure to type extra loudly, or ruffle papers, so it's obvious to them that someone's on the line. They eventually hang up. I figure it's gotta cost them something to have someone on their end waiting for the mark to buy. If they don't make a sale, then they've lost something.

What else is effective? I'm happy to do a little playful mischief if it costs them money, rather than go through the hassle of going through their do not call department, since the calls continue even after requesting to be taken off.

Re:Happy until recently (2, Interesting)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 6 years ago | (#24157015)

Does anyone have any idea how to make them go away?

These crap calls are a natural result of the DNC. They spoof the caller id and they never tell you what company they are calling from until after you "press 1" and thus accept the call.

I've had these people two or three times a day leaving messages on my answering machine at home. It varies between "you've won a wonderful vacation, press 1 to collect or 9 to be removed from the list" and "this is your final notification about your credit account, press 1 ...". The caller id is a fake 800/866/877 number and the name of a state (MISSOURI, e.g.). Yeah, the entire state of Missouri is calling on line 1 ... yesterday I heard from the state of Illinois!

There is no way to file a complaint because there is no information the FTC can use to find these people.

Keeping them on the line doesn't solve your problem. They'll just call again. The dialers are automatic and if the number isn't removed it will just come up in the list again.

Re:Happy until recently (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 6 years ago | (#24157069)

Call 'em back. Inbound toll-free calls are expensive, outbound is rather cheap. Just the connect fee costs quite a bit.

Direct Link to report (2, Informative)

Madball (1319269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156247)

http://www.ftc.gov/os/2008/07/P034305FY0dncreport.pdf [ftc.gov] I'm still reviewing it, but for doing what it's defined role is, it seems to do it well (notwithstanding the exceptions for politicians, charities, etc).

Check up on your state laws (3, Informative)

PlatyPaul (690601) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156253)

Even if you're registered on the national list, I highly recommend that you check into state laws (and lists, if they have them), as there are variations in what is and isn't protected.

For fellow New Yorkers, here [state.ny.us] is the official NYS law regarding "Do Not Call".

Don't get me wrong... (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156273)

I love the Do Not Call Registry. I'm just concerned about it's ramifications to the first amendment.

Re:Don't get me wrong... (4, Informative)

bucky0 (229117) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156387)

You have the right to say what you want. You don't have the guarantee of an audience.

Re:Don't get me wrong... (-1, Redundant)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156453)

I bet you would be singing a different tune if 911 didn't answer~

Re:Don't get me wrong... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24156599)

dadinportland@yahoo.com

Re:Don't get me wrong... (3, Interesting)

sobachatina (635055) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156607)

Wait... Are you trying to say that 911 is a vehicle of free speech? If the 911 operator didn't answer it would be a violation of my rights? That having a 911 operator proves that I have a right to an audience?

I don't get it. Was that a joke somehow?

Re:Don't get me wrong... (1)

bucky0 (229117) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156747)

If 911 doesn't answer, that's a violation of the First Amendment? I don't follow. Did you drop a sarcasm tag?

Re:Don't get me wrong... (2, Insightful)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156961)

911 failing to answer is an undesirable situation, not an infringement of rights.

Re:Don't get me wrong... (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 6 years ago | (#24157193)

I bet you would be singing a different tune if 911 didn't answer~

911 is for cases not covered by free speech. For example, you call 911 if there's a fire in a crowded theater.

Re:Don't get me wrong... (2, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156451)

You have freedom of speech, not freedom to bother me. "Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins".

Your freedom of speech does not extend to standing on the sidewalk outside my residence with a bullhorn. My right to ignore you supercedes your right to speak.

Re:Don't get me wrong... (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156473)

Actually the seemed to have worked out a good balance. A lot of people are crabbing about the exceptions but those exceptions are for the protection of political and religious speech.
Commercial speech has less protections which is why cigarette companies can not advertise on TV and such.

Re:Don't get me wrong... (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156683)

Commercial speech has less protections which is why cigarette companies can not advertise on TV and such.

Valid and insightful

Re:Don't get me wrong... (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156881)

Actually the seemed to have worked out a good balance. A lot of people are crabbing about the exceptions but those exceptions are for the protection of political and religious speech.

No, they aren't. They are for the protection of politicians and pollsters hired by politicians who want to be able to call you at election time to remind you to vote.

Your freedom of speech is not interfered with in any way by my telling you not to call me. You can stand at your phone and speak all you want. The laws aren't supposed to guarantee you an audience. They aren't supposed to let you use my property to conduct your speech.

I should have the same ability to tell The Mormon Church or Joe's Political Polling Company not to ever call me that I do in telling Sears Roebuck not to call me. I do not want to EVER hear from any of those three; I should be able to preemtively opt-out using the DNC list from all of them.

To claim otherwise means I must opt-out individually, and there are simply too many pollsters and politicians and religious and charitable organizations to make that viable.

Re:Don't get me wrong... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24157079)

Sorry but that is no different than people protesting or putting political signs up or stopping you to ask you to sign a petition.
You can ask them to never call you again, you can hang up on them.

Re:Don't get me wrong... (1)

MyNymWasTaken (879908) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156511)

That's why it's an opt-out registry. The first amendment doesn't force people to listen against their will to what you have to say.

Re:Don't get me wrong... (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156527)

I love the Do Not Call Registry. I'm just concerned about it's ramifications to the first amendment.

What, your first amendment right to call me in the middle of dinner to try to sell me a carpet cleaning service? Or to have a robo-dialer which will leave me answering a phone with nobody on the other end?

Individuals have first amendment rights. I've never bought the argument that companies have the same thing. I fail to see why we should protect the ability of companies to make unsolicited calls to people who don't want them. Are you saying spam should be protected speech too?

Besides, if you are going to do this kind of call, wouldn't it be better to get a list of the people who you know aren't interested rather than hearing me tell you to "fuck off" for the 3rd time this week?

I realize the poor schmuck on the other end of the phone is just doing a job -- but, I don't give a crap and I don't owe him any politeness. If you show up on my doorstep and aggressively won't leave or keep coming back when I tell you to, I'm gonna knock your ass down. If you call me, I'm going tell you exactly once nicely -- there after, you're not getting nice. (And, believe me, I've been called 20 times in two weeks by the same organization. There's no point in politely explaining after the 1st time.)

Cheers

Still too many loopholes (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156275)

I don't get nearly as many telemarketing calls as I used to, but I've noticed (and oth ers have too [businessweek.com] ) that many telemarketers who call me still exploit two major loopholes in the law:
  • The "if you've done business with me in the recent past" loohole--A lot of credit card companies are essentially selling telemarketers the rights to call you on their behalf (if you have one of their credit cards). So now instead of getting calls that say "Hi, I would like to sell you product A" I'm getting calls that say "Hi, I'm calling on behalf of Discover. I would like to sell you product A." A new low even by credit card company standards.
  • The "polls, research, charities" loophole--Now I get a lot of calls from companies claming to be doing market research or polls, when they're actually just trying to sell something. I also get calls from for-profit companies who've somehow scammed their way into 501(c)(3) [wikipedia.org] non-profit status, trying to pass themselves off as a charity as they hawk their product to me.

Overall, things have improved a great deal. My telemarketing calls have probably dropped by about 75% since this law was introduced. But I still get WAY more than I should be getting (which should be none). Until they close these loopholes, a landline is still a bit of a pain in the ass.

Fortunately, both groups use computer autodialers which let me spot them very easily. If there is even the slightest pause after I say "Hello?" I know it's a telemarker (a normal person will respond immediately, an autodialer takes a little time to connect you with a live salesman). I've also found it helpful to always give my voicemail number at work as my "phone number" with any new company I do business with (telemarketers never leave messages).

I have a cousin who actually LOVES to get telemarketing calls, though. He has found all kinds of creative ways to screw with them. He will try to keep them on the line as long as possible, encouraging them with lots of questions and feigned interest, only to tell them "No" at the end (time is money for telemarketers). He will ask them "Hey could you hang on just a minute?" then put the phone down and go watch TV. My personal favorite is when he responds to them with "EXCUSE ME, but I'm trying to masturbate here!"

Re:Still too many loopholes (1)

MrMunkey (1039894) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156531)

I know for a fact that your first loophole does exist. The time limit is 18 months since the last time you contacted them that they can call you back. That also pertains to finishing any business you have with them as well. I used to work in the student loan industry, and it was really common for Freshmen to call and want to consolidate their loans for a lower interest rate. The problem with that was that they couldn't consolidate until they got out of school (graduated or otherwise). If they didn't call back before 18 months, then we could not call them again to remind them of their interest in consolidating. I can't remember if it also applied to sending them something in the mail, but I doubt it.

We hadn't ever tried selling on behalf of another company, but I can see how a greedy PHB would think of that.

Re:Still too many loopholes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24156537)

(time is money for telemarketers)

Apparently it's not for your cousin. Must be nice to have nothing better to do all day than waste time talking to spammers. If you could relay this insult to your cousin, I would greatly appreciate it. KTHXBAI

Re:Still too many loopholes (1)

swb (14022) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156589)

The biggest problem I have anymore are totally automated systems that play a recorded message. I don't know why, but I get these more than anything else from all comers (lowlifes who really ought not be calling, charities, politicians, etc), and I thought they were illegal in Minnesota, too.

What's even more irritating is that the people behind this technology have it mastered to leave a perfect message on your answering machine, and if you do pick up the phone there's no way to challenge them and tell them to take you off their list (which pre-DNC was actually pretty successful for me). If they leave a phone number, I call back and demand to be removed from their list and if I get any static ("That's another department" or "we can't process that request") I contact the AG's office with the company name and tell them they are not honoring DNC requests.

The charities are really the worst, probably since they are using pro fund raisers who pass on a small percentage for the privilege of shilling under a "charitable" name.

Re:Still too many loopholes (4, Interesting)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156713)

You missed a loophole - My personal bane. I get calls regularly with a recorded message asking me if I'd like to save money on my credit card bills - Caller ID blocked & no identification on the line. The only options are to press '1' to indicate interest or hang up. I've pressed '1' twice. The first time, I asked repeatedly who I was talking to. At first, he told me that "I work for Mastercard and Visa". I pressed on because that's obviously BS. He eventually told me that he "worked for 250 different banks". When I asked who actually signed his checks, he hung up on me. The second time I clicked through, I pretended to have significant credit card debt that I wanted to finance but acted skeptical because of the Caller ID block and eventually got to a supervisor. After the "Visa and Mastercard" and "250 different banks" responses, he told me that he worked for American General Finance.

Here's the rub, though. If they'd have called me, it would obviously be illegal. And whoever did call me was violating the Do Not Call rules. But by the time I got through to American General Finance, I had (by pressing '1') expressed an interest in doing business with them and they were kind enough to hang up on me when I made it clear that that was not the case. They won't tell me who they're contracting with making the illegal calls and frankly, I don't know how to find out.

Very frustrating.

Re:Still too many loopholes (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156857)

I got a similar call. I was pretty sure that they were attempting to obtain my credit card information, not to help me consolidate my bills. Ya know, Phishing.

I took that they didn't want to reveal who they were as an indication that it was not a legitimate enterprise.

Re:Still too many loopholes (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#24157239)

You can still report them, especially since I'm fairly certain the rules regarding recorded messages are that they must provide a clear manner of contacting them to be removed from their calling list in the message (i.e. a live phone number not a "press 1 to..."

Re:Still too many loopholes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24156879)

Sounds like your cousin can be a lot of fun for the telemarketers, makes their job more bearable. What about your cousin's time. Is it money too?

Re:Still too many loopholes (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156909)

I have a friend that does something similar ("Oh! The old 'I-have-a-friend-routine'! Sure, Buddy!"). When a telemarketer calls, he will interrupt them by saying, "You have a very sexy voice." For some reason, this seems to throw off the males more than the females. Anyway, if they continue, he will ask what they are wearing, if they wear perfume of cologne, anything that comes to mind. They usually hang up quick.

Re:Still too many loopholes (2, Funny)

AeroIllini (726211) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156991)

I have a cousin who actually LOVES to get telemarketing calls, though. He has found all kinds of creative ways to screw with them. He will try to keep them on the line as long as possible, encouraging them with lots of questions and feigned interest, only to tell them "No" at the end (time is money for telemarketers). He will ask them "Hey could you hang on just a minute?" then put the phone down and go watch TV. My personal favorite is when he responds to them with "EXCUSE ME, but I'm trying to masturbate here!"

And all over the world, poor schmucks who are paying their way through graduate school by working as telemarketers get great stories to tell their buddies at the pub.

He's doing them a service!

Just a 70% approval rating? (3, Interesting)

panaceaa (205396) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156313)

Who are the 30% of people who don't approve of the Do Not Call list? The telemarketing industry is not that big. I don't think 30% of people are adamant enough to say that all telemarketing should be illegal, therefore they disapprove Do Not Call list: These people would probably be happy that there's something helping out. One statistic in the article showed that only 18% of respondents who placed themselves on the Do Not Call list now receive zero telemarketing calls, so maybe people don't feel the list is effective enough. But only 9% of respondents claimed no reduction in calls; 91% said the Do Not Call list reduced telemarketing calls. Yet these people still don't approve? I don't get it.

Re:Just a 70% approval rating? (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156465)

Maybe they just think it needs to be better.

Another reason to disapprove... (2, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156593)

Another reason people might disapprove is that the Do Not Call list preempted state laws that let the person called sue for a nontrivial chunk of change. The federal law only allows the fed to fine and sue. Then the fed gets the money and the callee only gets more aggravation.

Re:Just a 70% approval rating? (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156767)

What do you mean just 70%?!

I think that we should toss out congress and put these guys in because they do the Right Thing(TM) AND the people love 'em. Ironically, stopping those annoying policital telemarketers would be enough to get the FTC/DNC into the oval office!

Re:Just a 70% approval rating? (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156905)

Who are the 30% of people who don't approve of the Do Not Call list?

Invalids who realized they now have no one to talk to.

Re:Just a 70% approval rating? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#24157011)

I disapprove because it doesn't work well enough. There are too many loopholes.

Re:Just a 70% approval rating? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 6 years ago | (#24157105)

When someone asks you a question about a complex thing and ridiculously demands a black-and-white answer (approve vs disapprove), that black-and-white answer isn't going to make sense.

Maybe a shockingly-low 30% of the people polled, thought telemarketing ought to be opt-in, for example. These people prefer a DNC list to the former situation and acknowledge that they are getting less spam now, but think that having a Yes Please Spam Me list instead, would be so much better, that they can't honestly say they approve of a Do Not Call list.

Sorry but the DNC list is bullshit (4, Interesting)

the_macman (874383) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156351)

My gf worked for a telemarketer for 1 week before she quit out of frustration. They used a computer system that had thousands of scripted responses for any reason imaginable a person would use to reject an offer. The phone numbers were automatically dialed by the computer and when a number popped up that was on the DNC list you got a warning message on your screen. Of course everyone was told to ignore the message and make the call anyways. We later reported them to the police.

Tele marketers can choose to ignore the DNC list.

Re:Sorry but the DNC list is bullshit (5, Insightful)

Madball (1319269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156421)

My gf worked for a telemarketer for 1 week before she quit out of frustration. They used a computer system that had thousands of scripted responses for any reason imaginable a person would use to reject an offer. The phone numbers were automatically dialed by the computer and when a number popped up that was on the DNC list you got a warning message on your screen. Of course everyone was told to ignore the message and make the call anyways. We later reported them to the police. Tele marketers can choose to ignore the DNC list.

And I can choose to ignore stop signs, drug laws, et cetera. It doesn't make the law/list BS (which it may or may not be). The question is how effective is the policing of it--there are no cops waiting by your phone, so the onus is on you to report any violations.

Re:Sorry but the DNC list is bullshit (3, Funny)

Madball (1319269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156553)

Correction. The cops are eavesdropping, but they work for the NSA and they don't give a damn about the DNC List :P

Simple solution to telemarketers (4, Funny)

vorlich (972710) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156489)

Put the television up rather loud, let them talk all the way through their script, agree that all the offers are very tempting (ahu, ahu) and then when you get an opportunity to ask a question, just say: "Do you think I will be able to get social security to pay for that?" ....buuuuurrr!

Re:Simple solution to telemarketers (4, Funny)

nickruiz (1185947) | more than 6 years ago | (#24157089)

I personally find that bawling like a Wookie seems to break up telemarketers' momentum.

I call it a win (albeit imperfect) (3, Insightful)

Madball (1319269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156533)

1. Cost onus is on the callers (i.e. I don't have to pay some fee to put my name on the list--the telemarketers have to pay to get it or risk breaking the law).

2. I have no idea what the costs associated with running the lists are, but 21M for 1 year in fees sounds pretty good. A government program that doesn't waste a lot of money--hallelujah.

3. It has the desired effect. 91% with decreased unwanted calls.

Re:I call it a win (albeit imperfect) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24156757)

2. I have no idea what the costs associated with running the lists are, but 21M for 1 year in fees sounds pretty good. A government program that doesn't waste a lot of money--hallelujah.

Written like a true 40 point IQ Lib-retard-ian. As long as the program doesn't cost you money you don't care what the benefits are.

The purpose of government is to control the people - that means business people too. It costs money to control those people - REAL MONEY.

Now go sit in the corner and play with yourselves.

Re:I call it a win (albeit imperfect) (1)

Madball (1319269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156875)

Written like a true 40 point IQ Lib-retard-ian. As long as the program doesn't cost you money you don't care what the benefits are.

The purpose of government is to control the people - that means business people too. It costs money to control those people - REAL MONEY.

Now go sit in the corner and play with yourselves.

Umh, OK.

The question was not whether this is an appropriate use of government. The question is, is it a success? (which to us that live in the real world means: did you accomplish your goals?)

No go sit in a corner and adjust your tinfoil hat.

Re:I call it a win (albeit imperfect) (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#24157053)

Decreased, but not eliminated. I get more phone spam than I do valid calls. Mainly because all I use my phone for is ordering Chinese food, but still.

Complete failure from my perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24156597)

I have every number I own (about 7) in the dnc and I get more calls now than I've ever received. The companies took a year or so off but then the calls really started. The only difference is that outbound call centers are used that refuse to provide any information about who they are or for whom they're calling. They do everything they can to "qualify" you for a purchase and everything they can to avoid any identification of who they are until you're fully "qualified." I got a call about 10 minutes before seeing this posting and it's maddening. I don't see any effective enforcement and certainly no reduction in calls made to me.

Pay for access?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24156623)

telemarketers and sellers can access registered telephone numbers and pay the appropriate fee for that access

I'm confused, what exactly are they paying for?

Are they paying the FTC for permission to call those people even though they are on a Do Not Call list?

Or are they required to pay to find out who they are not allowed to call? Not that I disagree, if a telemarketer wants to telemarket they certainly should be required to pay a tax so-to-speak.

Simple solution to telemarketers (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156629)

All I have is a cell phone, no home phone.

If I don't know the number I don't pick it up...If it's important they will leave a message.

The wrong solution (1)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#24156817)

The DNC list is the wrong solution to the problem. If you are unhappy with the number of telemarketer calls, you should be complaining to your service provider. Make it their duty to filter the calls coming to you, using whatever technology they desire. If they fail in that regard, switch to a service provider that will make it happen for you.

We should in general avoid a "National _____ List" whenever possible. Besides the rights violations that come with government-backed compulsion, there is also the needless risk of exploitation that comes with advertising your personal information. Anyone here would find it laughable if there ever was an attempt at a National Do Not Email List.

Re:The wrong solution (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#24157075)

Right, and by your nick I assume you live in magical fairy land where there are more than one phone companies that can supply POTS? Cause you see, here in the US we happen to have one company per area that is allowed to supply land lines. Or one company and a bunch of twits who will happily bill you to act as a go-between for you and that one company.

PS. The entire "personal" information provided by the DNC is your phone number, not exactly an exploitable source of information when the whole system is number based and most telemarketers are behind auto-dialers.

Re:The wrong solution (2, Insightful)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#24157211)

"Cause you see, here in the US we happen to have one company per area that is allowed to supply land lines."

You've only identified the problem all the more clearly. Government restriction. Get rid of the restriction on the number of telephone companies in an area, and maybe you'll get some choice. Your argument, as it stands now, is basically "the government doesn't give me any choice, so it shouldn't give anyone else a choice either." In other words, you are accepting the status quo in defense of the status quo.

"PS. The entire "personal" information provided by the DNC is your phone number, not exactly an exploitable source of information when the whole system is number based and most telemarketers are behind auto-dialers."

That was not my primary concern, though. My main concern is with the rights violations that come with government-backed compulsion. Besides, you can't say that it's impossible for me get your personal information just from your phone number. Even better, I have an entire list of confirmed, active phone numbers for which to gather personal information! Sure, alone it's just a number, but with a little social engineering it can turn into a whole lot more.

Shameful (4, Insightful)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 6 years ago | (#24157161)

Congress should be ashamed that this is most highly thought of and effective law passed in the last 30 years!
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