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U.S. National Do-Not-Call Registry On the Way?

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the don't-call-me-i'll-call-you dept.

Privacy 563

WinkyN writes "Yay! The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a measure that creates a national "do not call" list for telemarketers. Telemarketers are required to check the list every three months and can be fined up to $11,000 each time they violate the law. Now I won't have to ignore my telephone when it rings since more than 50 percent of my calls are from telemarketers." Congress is just getting around to passing a budget bill to run the government for fiscal year 2003 (started last October), and we're now in the time period when everything and the kitchen sink gets thrown into it just before it passes. Good to know that there's at least one useful piece of legislation.

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seeds (-1, Offtopic)

flikx (191915) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294779)

I hate seeds. And animals that hoard them.

Re:seeds (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294954)

What? Are you afraid that squirrels are after your NUTS?? What a waste of a perfectly good first post.

it hurts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294783)

when I ph0st furst

Too bad (5, Funny)

ouslush (535043) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294788)

I knew I shouldn't have spent $40 buying that damn Telezapper [telezapper.com]

Re:Too bad (3, Informative)

Jacer (574383) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294816)

Yeah, that thing screams false advertising. It sends no frequency over the telephone to delete your call. All it is is a recording that says the phone is disconnected. Have a friend mask his phone number from caller id, and then have him call. He'll hear it.

Re:Too bad (4, Informative)

swordboy (472941) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294891)

I knew I shouldn't have spent $40 buying that damn Telezapper.

Actually, you can get the same effect by simply whistling loudly into the phone when you answer it. Recently, after signing up for a credit card, I started getting all sorts of telemarketing calls. My caller ID would be filled with dozens of 'NO ID' on a daily basis. Instead of ingoring them, I started picking up and whistling loudly. In several other events, I just picked up and answered (followed by the routing delay). When they asked for me by name, I simply asked them to put me on their do not call list.

The calls subsided in less than two weeks.

The problem with this new law is that the US legislature is for sale. The politicians have squeezed every last drop out of the telemarketing industry prior to making this law. Now, they will have new ground to bargain with. Loopholes around this new law will be the next big cash cow.

won't change my life. (4, Funny)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294789)

"Now I won't have to ignore my telephone when it rings since more than 50 percent of my calls are from telemarketers."

I've been in the practice of avoiding my telephone regardless of the caller.

Re:won't change my life. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294960)

Cold-calling me trying to sell me something : That's a paddlin'

Spaming my inbox : That's a paddlin'

Selling my personal information after I do business with you : Oh you better believe that's a paddlin'

Finally America's voice has been heard (5, Funny)

jmacleod9975 (636205) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294792)

Yea, Now all they need to do is get around to a do not e-mail list, and fixing the patent office, and maybe even get their lips off of Mickey's ass, and allow copyrights to expire.

Be careful what you wish for (1)

SuperHighImpact (463360) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294864)

What whould happen to slashdot if all those problems were fixed? We would have nothing to preach about and the forum would slowly fade away into oblivion. Then I may actually feel obliged to get some work done. That's no fun.

NYS Do Not Call Registry (5, Funny)

Shant3030 (414048) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294795)

I signed up for the NY State "Do Not Call" registry, and it has been a success. I rarely receive telemarketing calls and when I do I love saying something like...

"Excuse me, I am on the Do Not Call list and if you continue calling this number, I will be forced to contact the proper authorities who will prosecute your company to the fullest extent of the law".

Might not make a whole lot of sense, but its fun to hear the scared telemarketers apologize and hang up.

SPAM (1, Interesting)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294796)

Now all we need is a do not send email...

Re:SPAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294808)

Les francais te pissent au cul.

Re:SPAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294862)

Monsieur, vous êtes un Monsieur !
Chapeau bas ! :-D

Who will it be? (3, Insightful)

silicon_synapse (145470) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294797)

My guess is that someone has a change of heart at the last minute that just happens to coincide with a large increase in their bank ballance. This will never go into effect.

Is this a widespread problem? (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294801)

"50 percent of my calls are from telemarketers"

It's tough when you have no friends!

Is this a problem specific to the US (telemarketers, not loneliness)? I get less than one telemarketing call a month here in Canada. Maybe I'm just lucky. Thank goodness that's less than 50% of my calls too! >:)

Re:Is this a widespread problem? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294848)

If you buy their product, you would pay them in Canadian currency. That is deterring the telemarketers.

50 percent, huh? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294803)

Now I won't have to ignore my telephone when it rings since more than 50 percent of my calls are from telemarketers.


2 CALLS- Telemarketers
1 CALL- His Mom
1 CALL- Wrong Number

thats a fast refreshing of their data base... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294805)

"Telemarketers are required to check the list every three months"

that so fast we all can feel relieved of receiving phone-spam (tm)

Confusion on Budget for This (4, Informative)

syntap (242090) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294807)

I heard a conflicting report on the radio today about this (surprising!) They said this would be paid for by the telemarketers themselves, then said it would take $16 million to operate in the first year and no additional money was added to the budget for it. So either it's an "unfunded madate" for the FTC, or they intend to collect money from the telemarketing community very quickly.

Re:Confusion on Budget for This (4, Informative)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294887)

I think the latter is true - the telemarketing companies are compelled to purchase the list. So the only unfunded part is the initial creation - once it goes live, the $$$ from the telemarketers starts coming in.

And to the telemarketers who cry, "this is going to kill our business," one can only reply "Exactly!".

like tobaco (1)

Erris (531066) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294907)

So either it's an "unfunded madate" for the FTC, or they intend to collect money from the telemarketing community very quickly. Oh no! If they can make money off it, it will never go away. That's why it's an opt-out instead of opt-in list. Look for any law to have enough loopholes to make no difference.

Mexico is revolution proof because they already had their revolution. Ha!

Re:fee-driven (1)

MacAndrew (463832) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294925)

Everything I see [google.com] appears to think it will be driven by telemarketer fees. Presumably the FTC *will* need some nominal funding up front to set it up. The article is badly written on this point. I wouldn't worry much, $16 million is peanuts out of $2+ trillion budget, I think they can scare up the money from the office supply funds.

"Take me off your list" (3, Informative)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294818)

If you just interrupt the telemarketer with "Take me off your list", it'll take a week of calls... MAYBE two, and it'll ALL STOP.

I haven't gotten a telemarketing call in years.

Re:"Take me off your list" (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294895)

"Would you like to fuck me up the ass?" works pretty well too.

Re:"Take me off your list" (4, Interesting)

LetterJ (3524) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294918)

I've responded to EVERY telemarketer for the past 2 years with "add me to your do not call list". I've added myself to the MN statewide do not call list. I STILL get 4-5 telemarketing calls a week. They've just changed their tactics a bit to get through the loopholes in the MN law. Now, if they don't actually intend to complete the sale on the phone, they can get away with it. So, instead of being asked to sign up with a mortgage or buy siding on the phone, they just want me to set up an appointment with a friendly sales representative to discuss the matter in person.

bullshit (2, Insightful)

Erris (531066) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294941)

My wife and I did that and the same people called right back the next day. Low budget callers simply give phone books to their $5/hour employees and tell them to call. Most other places just don't care.

that didn't work for me. (2)

sirshannon (616247) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294961)

apparently there is a never-ending stream of new people who will call me. And a large percentage of my incoming telemarketing calls are recordings, not real people.

Calls by Telemarketers (2, Informative)

Lysol (11150) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294821)

I haven't had a land line for many years and enjoy the fact that I hardly ever get called by TMs- maybe once or twice in the past year and that from my bad behaving credit card companies. And if I receive a call on my cell, I specifically tell them this is my cell number and not to call it. I usually get a response akin to whipping out a cross or splashing some holy water on a vampire. ;) "Oh, well, we have it down as our main number. We'll remove it". Darn tootin!

I'm not sure though, that it's illegal. or something like that, for TMs to call cells. If it is, and if people could afford it, it seems like the way to go. Just my opinion I guess.

Re:Calls by Telemarketers (1)

silicon_synapse (145470) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294868)

I believe its illegal unless its considered your main phone. If you do have a landline that you use as a main line, they cannot call your cell. If you use your cell as your main, I think it's legal. I'm not 100% sure on this.

We can only hope... (4, Interesting)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294823)

Here in Indiana, the Do Not Call List has been a major success. I'm tempted to say it's the single most effective piece of legislation I've seen come along in quite a while. The problem with this being done at the federal level is the amount of lobbying that will take place for special exemptions (political campaigns, charities, etc.). Hopefully these will be kept to an absolute minimum, but in Washington, I wouldn't count on it!

Re:We can only hope... (4, Insightful)

silicon_synapse (145470) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294904)

There are already exemptions for political parties, charities, and businesses you have a preexisting relationship with. I believe businesses can contact you if you've done business with them within so many months/years or if you're currently doing business with them.

In Canada? (1)

NorthernMinx (600563) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294826)

Anyone know if something like this is in place in Canada? I would be ready to get out of my igloo and get on the list anytime!

Re:In Canada? (1)

fudgefactor7 (581449) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294958)

I don't think so, mainly because there is at least one US Telemarketing firm that is completely relocating its operations to Canada.

"one good law"? (1)

Sylvestre (45097) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294827)

It violates the ninth, tenth, and first amendments. How is that a good law?

It violates no law (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294857)

These amendments do not protect the harassment of someone intruding into your home or personal space.

Re:"one good law"? (3, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294871)

It violates the ninth, tenth, and first amendments. How is that a good law?

Please post your phone number and we will all tell you.

Re:"one good law"? (1)

Dunark (621237) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294913)

It violates the ninth, tenth, and first amendments. How is that a good law?

And which of these amendments gives unwanted intruders the right to invade my privacy to deliver their sales pitches? This law is does nothing more than create the equivalent of a "No Trespassing" sign for my telephone. I see no constitutional problems with this.

Fax Law (1)

fjaffe (469551) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294828)


Hope this works better than the law which mandates the $500 fine per unsolicted fax. I get about 5 unsolicited faxes per day, more than I ever got from telemarketer calls.....

But I love telemarketers (4, Funny)

Adam Rightmann (609216) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294829)

Whenever they call me, I ask if they're willing to end their sinful ways and return to the True Church. [vatican.va]

Of course, since telemarketers are a tool of Satan, they instantly hang up.

Re:But I love telemarketers (5, Informative)

qoncept (599709) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294994)

Maybe it would be better to instead ask them to add you to their do not call list. By law, they have 6 months to do it, but they've got to do it. (Aside: It's not a national do not call list, but that one company is required to remove you. Ask the name of the company representing whatever product it is -- there aren't that many.)

I think people would benefit from an explanation of why telemarketers do what they do.

Why do they take so long to talk??
A telemarketer doesn't do any dialing. They sit at a dummy terminal and are presented with a contact's information as the contact picks up the phone. ie, they not only don't dial your number, they don't even hear the rings -- just you saying "LLO? HELLO???"

Why do they keep calling me? I already said no!
Each, I think it was called program or whatever (I only worked their for a few weeks, please forgive me) they call it lasts until the contacts are "exhausted." Exhausted doesn't mean everyone has been called, it means the sale rate drops below a certain percentage. When you call and say no, your name gets thrown at the end of the list. Right along side the people who had answering machines, the people who weren't home, and the people who said maybe later. You're going to be called until enough people stop saying "sure, I'll take one."

Why are they still calling me?? I said take me off your list!
It'll be done, just relax. When you do this, ask the name of their company and document it. I recommend keeping a little pad of paper with these things along with the time and date you request it. 6 months later, go ahead and talk to your lawyer.

I know THAT guy won't call me again!
That guy doesn't have a choice -- you'll either come up on his console randomly or you won't (most likely the latter; it'll be one of the other 10419 people he's sitting with). I'll encourage you to remember these are 14 year old kids trying to save up for a car when they turn 16, not the greedy businessmen that fabricated the annoyances. Sometimes that's not enough to curb the desire to be a dickhead, so also remember this: these 14 year olds don't care what you say to them. They're getting paid minimum wage to be there and make very little commision. They've been desensitised by 10000 callers before, and I guarentee you:

You aren't that clever.

Now, on with people's wit. Show me how great you got them, geniouses.

PA's works (4, Funny)

jpsst34 (582349) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294830)

I signed up in Pennsylvania on the first day it was available last August. In PA, they sell the list of blocked numbers to telemarketers on a quarterly basis. I was told that I would see a dramatic drop in telmarketing calls After Novermber 1, 2002. This is in fact what happened. It's been nearly 4 months, and I haven't received a single telemarketing call.

If Congress approves funds for this year, ... (1)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294834)

If Congress approves funds for this year, the do-not-call list could begin operation by summer.

The perfect way to kill it. Don't fund it. "We've got a war to fight and taxes to cut. Plus if we fund this, telemarketers will be inconvenienced. And they have lobbyists, and you don't."

Funds are on the way (2, Interesting)

TCPALaw (609927) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294932)

Methinks not... funding for it passed the house 418-7 yesterday. Quoteth [cnn.com] a congresscritter by CNN:

"If anyone holds this legislation up, we're prepared to give out their home phone number," the Louisiana Republican said.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist supports the bill and is confident it will pass.

a small change (5, Interesting)

xao gypsie (641755) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294838)

and can be fined up to $11,000 each time they violate the law.

now, this law would be really impressive if we, the 'victims', get a cut of that 11 grand...


Re:a small change (2, Funny)

0x20 (546659) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294986)

Actually I'd be just as happy if it went to support enforcement of the law - legal fees, court fees, international hitmen for those offshore spammers, things like that.

No it wouldn't... (2, Interesting)

MongooseCN (139203) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294990)

If the government knows they'll get 11,000$ for every illegal telemarketing call, you know they are going to spend every possible effort to collect it. They could hire people who's job is to hunt down these illegal phone calls. Just 4 calls in the entire nation each year would pull in 44,000$, enough to pay someone fulltime to track these calls.

Just think of how much effort the government goes to get a few extra hundered dollars off your tax form, so what do you think they will do to get an extra 11,000$ for a bad phonecall?

Finally (2, Interesting)

Thorin_ (164014) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294839)

All I can say is its about time something like this is passed. I'm sick of getting tons of phone calls for crap i don't want. Now if they could only stop the mass of credit card applications my wife and i get every day...

Opting out of credit card solicitations (2, Informative)

GGardner (97375) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294926)

Almost all of the credit card solicitations get your address from the credit bureaus. You can write to each of the three majors, and opt out. I've done this, and it has dramatically reduced the number of offers that I get. Reducing them is not just a convenience, it also reduces the chance of identity theft, or someone stealing the credit card application from the mail. Look up the opt-out instructions on the credit bureau websites (can't opt-out online, yet):


Re:Finally (1)

Vel0ur1a (622099) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294959)

all you need to do is tear up the applications and send them back to the company in their own postage-paid envelopes. even if it doesn't DO anything, it gives a little 'fsck you' back to the credit card company -- personal victories. :)

Re:Finally (1)

Diabolical (2110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294964)

Im with you all the way man.. i feel your pain, my wife keeps filling them in and returning them also...

Should be a law against that.....

Re:Finally (1)

redog (574983) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294991)

You can!!! Just screw up your credit line Like me, you'll never have to worry about credit applications showing up in you mail ever again.

On the other hand I get too much, Bad Credit? Low Credit? No Credit at all? With this ez application our professional credit councelors can help you establish good credit in almost no time at all( in which I'd expect the flood of CC apps again).

So I guess I am stuck screwed.

Only a couple problems with it... (2, Interesting)

zimbu (99236) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294841)

Charities, surveys and calls on behalf of politicians would be exempt.

The FTC has limited authority to police telemarketing calls from certain industries, including airlines, banks and telephone companies.

I wonder if "limited authority" means this bill won't apply to calls from those industries.

Re:Only a couple problems with it... (1)

Arjuna Theban (143564) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294946)

Unless the FCC works with the FTC on this, we will keep getting calls from the latter three you listed.

I don't know about everyone else, but 99.99% of the telemarketing calls I get are from those six types of companies/organizations. I hope the FCC does cooperate so at least my telemarketing call traffic would drop a bit.


Yup... (2, Insightful)

TCPALaw (609927) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294970)

The FTC do-not-call list will not apply to calls from those industries (the FTC is not empowered to regulate them) but it WILL apply to calls from telemarketing firms hired BY those industries that call on their behalf. The second shoe (a bigger and heavier one) is the FCC action [fcc.gov] that will be announced in a month or two... the FCC DOES have the express authority to enact a nationwide do-not-call list that does apply to all of those industries - every one of them.

Used to get 5-10 calls a night.... (2, Insightful)

LordYUK (552359) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294846)

... from telemarketers, usually from AT&T about long distance. Then I switched from the local crap service to MCI's neighborhood plan, and I get at most 1 a week, and then its usually from some charity organization like the local police or something, so I dont know if thats really considered telemarketing...

At any rate, thats how I fixed my problem... and free long distance rocks when playing vid games with people in other states!! :-)

What about scams? (1)

jniver (91943) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294847)

So would this apply to all those people who are out there scamming people by saying "I'm a relative, and I need money, Guido will be by later to pick it up...oh by the way, where do you live again?"

This in addition to the current laws they are breaking?

Re:What about scams? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294897)

Has anybody actually ever fallen for one of these? I mean, that's even dumber than the "Bill Gates wants to give you money for testing his e-mail tracking system" e-mail hoax... :)

How about a mail-out opt-out (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294850)

I keep being mailed out offers for christmas puddings, expensive cakes from New York, Readers' Digest's "free radio", and Visa Gold Card application forms (I am a teenager who does not work, it is weird, who gave them my name?). I am tired of it. How about an opt out for the letterbox as well as the phone?

Its GREAT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294851)

We have this in the UK. Telephone Preference Service
or something. Cold sales calling now a thing of the past. Some evidence of firms using a loophole permitting "calls for gathering market statistics". Hmm:

SELECT Name, Address
WHERE YesAnswer = 1;

So, my lovely US couterparts - get signed up now but watch that loophole!


and behind the curtain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294852)

This bill sponsored by SPAM YOU INC.

3 months (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294861)

Does this mean that, after signing up for the list, one must still wait 3 months or so before one can expect to be off all the telemarker's lists?

How much of a problem is this in the US anyways, I'm in Canada, and I don't often get phone-spam. It might be a bit more annoying for those that are home during the workday, but even on my odd-days-off I can't say I get these type of calls a whole lot.

Re:3 months (2, Informative)

normiep (68432) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294976)

Yes, that's generally how it works with the state lists. In new york for example, I just got a new phone number which I registered with the do not call list earlier today. According to the new york website the next list gets distributed on April 1st and doesn't actually become binding until May 1st. When I signed my old phone number up for the same service, it took a similar amount of time.

I should also note that once the list became active the number of calls I was receiving dropped down from 3 or 4 a day to less than 2 a week.

Cellphones (1)

hafree (307412) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294863)

I hope this will work for cellphones too... My wireless number isn't listed anywhere and I don't often give it out, but about 50% of my cellphone calls that I pay per-minute rates on are telemarketers too. Sure, explain to me how to use MCI long distance on my AT&T wireless service. And with no long distance charges on my wireless calls, how exactly is 5 cents per minute going to save me money? Yeah that's what I thought.

i don't receive telemarketer calls anymore! (4, Funny)

quick9vb (628271) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294865)

My telephone line went dead about 6 months, but my DSL still works. After a few days of peace and quiet I decided I had no reason to call BellSouth to get it fixed.

Not expected to pass the Senate (3, Informative)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294867)

NPR said this morning that it's NOT expected to pass the Senate.

Re:Not expected to pass the Senate (2, Informative)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294963)

Did you read the article? It doesn't need to pass the Senate.

Personally... (1, Troll)

Chocolate Teapot (639869) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294869)

...I don't really have a problem with telemarketers. Unlike spammers, each telemarketer can only hit one 'victim' at a time, they are not anonymous (they can't withhold their number) and will more often than not leave you alone if you say "I'm sorry, but you are wasting your time. Please remove me from your list." These are just people who are trying to scrape a living. This list is probably a good thing, but I really think that people are overreacting.

What's the point (4, Interesting)

kopper187 (59901) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294870)

I'm on the state list in NY. So are my parents. We both get a new kind of call. A lovely British-accented woman's voice, or jerky man's voice computer message is left, daily. "This is NOT a sales call. We have an urget matter to speak to you about..." blah blah, "Please call us at 1-800-...." 'SO THAT WE CAN MAKE A FREAKING SALES PITCH' is the part they don't add.

A federal level law has not even been passed yet and already the tele-crapers have a way around it. This method was started, I believe, by collection agencies but has been picked up by the marketeers. (I am yelling at one of them as I type this!)

Re:What's the point (2, Insightful)

djward (251728) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294933)

Also, there's a built-in way around it:

>> Charities, surveys and calls on behalf of politicians would be exempt.

"Hello, we'd like you to take our quick survey... in return, we'll let you switch to our long-distance service for only..."

As much as I like the idea ... (3, Insightful)

funkman (13736) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294877)

I don't think its the job or responsibility of the federal government to dictate whom businesses may or may not call.

What's your phone number? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294888)

I'm sure you won't mind a few convenient offers from companies carefully selected for you then.

Favorite Telemarketer Reponses (5, Funny)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294883)

"Thanks, but I was saved at the office."

"Thanks, but if you'll check your records, I already HAVE your long distance. (click)"

"Nigeria, you say? Let me get my checkbook."

"Sorry, but I'm illiterate and proud of it, so I won't be needing magazines."

"No, but would you like to buy my 1992 Chevy Cavalier? Low, low miles!"

And, my favorite. . .

"Sorry, we don't have a phone. (click)"

I worked as a telemarketer... (5, Informative)

Jacer (574383) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294884)

for a week to get money for rent one month. I may have stayed longer had I thought it in anyway ethical. The first thing you have to be aware is the close, they use information they know to be accurate, such as "To get you started, I just need to confirm your current address is " and if when you say that it is your current address, you're agreeing to the sale, now, they can't sign you up off of this, they have to record the offer, and you accepting it, but it's just a step to "confuse" the customer as they were telling me. Furthermore, they have to close the phone call by giving you a toll-free number, or possibly an email address or URL at which customer service can be reached. If they don't, all you have to do is call FCC and tell them the name of the company they were calling on behalf of, they'll do the rest and you'll get $500 of the fine (this is how I paid the rent the month after I quit) Another thing you can do is request their do-not-call policy, it's a document dictating all of their policies, it's just to irritate them. Just incase any of you were curious, I worked at Access Direct, in Ames, Iowa, and we were calling nationally on behalf of DirecTV.

Bill Number is H.R. 395 (4, Informative)

adenied (120700) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294886)

For those who want to read the full text of the bill, it's H.R. 395. You can go to the Library of Congress's Thomas [loc.gov] website to look it up but I've also pasted a copy here.

And for those who don't understand how laws work in the US, this just means that now it gets to go over to the Senate, who then may or may not approve it, who can then approve it with amendments, send it back to the House for further approval in a committee or two, and eventually send it off to the President to sign into law.

And this has little to do with H.J.Res. 2 which is the Omnibus Appropriations Bill that is currently in committee. Well, other than dealing with money.


To authorize the Federal Trade Commission to collect fees for the implementation and enforcement of a `do-not-call' registry, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `Do-Not-Call Implementation Act'.


The Federal Trade Commission may promulgate regulations establishing fees sufficient to implement and enforce the provisions relating to the `do-not-call' registry of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (16 CFR 310.4(b)(1)(iii)), promulgated under the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act (15 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.). Such regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with section 553 of title 5, United States Code. Fees may be collected pursuant to this section for fiscal years 2003 through 2007, and shall be deposited and credited as offsetting collections to the account, Federal Trade Commission--Salaries and Expenses, and shall remain available until expended. No amounts shall be collected as fees pursuant to this section for such fiscal years except to the extent provided in advance in appropriations Acts. Such amounts shall be available for expenditure only to offset the costs of activities and services related to the implementation and enforcement of the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and other activities resulting from such implementation and enforcement.


Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Federal Communications Commission shall issue a final rule pursuant to the rulemaking proceeding that it began on September 18, 2002, under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 U.S.C. 227 et seq.). In issuing such rule, the Federal Communications Commission shall consult and coordinate with the Federal Trade Commission to maximize consistency with the rule promulgated by the Federal Trade Commission (16 CFR 310.4(b)).


(a) REPORT ON REGULATORY COORDINATION- Within 45 days after the promulgation of a final rule by the Federal Communications Commission as required by section 3, the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission shall each transmit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report which shall include--

(1) an analysis of the telemarketing rules promulgated by both the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission;

(2) any inconsistencies between the rules promulgated by each such Commission and the effect of any such inconsistencies on consumers, and persons paying for access to the registry; and

(3) proposals to remedy any such inconsistencies.

(b) ANNUAL REPORT- For each of fiscal years 2003 through 2007, the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission shall each transmit an annual report to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report which shall include--

(1) an analysis of the effectiveness of the `do-not-call' registry as a national registry;

(2) the number of consumers who have placed their telephone numbers on the registry;

(3) the number of persons paying fees for access to the registry and the amount of such fees;

(4) an analysis of the progress of coordinating the operation and enforcement of the `do-not-call' registry with similar registries established and maintained by the various States;

(5) an analysis of the progress of coordinating the operation and enforcement of the `do-not-call' registry with the enforcement activities of the Federal Communications Commission pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 U.S.C. 227 et seq.); and

(6) a review of the enforcement proceedings under the Telemarketing Sales Rule (16 CFR 310), in the case of the Federal Trade Commission, and under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 U.S.C. 227 et seq.), in the case of the Federal Communications Commission.

Passed the House of Representatives February 12, 2003.



Ever try talking sexually to them? No more ;) (2, Funny)

digitalgimpus (468277) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294889)

to get rid of a telemarketer:

"Hey there ____, would you like to help get me off"

- No

"Why don't you pitch your product while I undress"

- uh

"Mmm that's better.... Now what are you wearing? Or not wearing?"

- excuse me!

"Ohh, Ahh..... Yes! Yes!"

(if still on the phone)

"Damn, forgot to tell you... I have herpies and AIDS, hope you don't mind"

[i]if heterosexual, and your a man:[/i]
"Damn, is Bin Laden hanging out in there, that's one cave that many men can hide in. How many men did it take to get like that?"

[i]if heterosexual, and your a women:[/i]
"I'm pregnant, when can I get my first check?"

[i]if homosexual conversation (man man, women women):[/i]

If they still don't hang up:


Works every time.

More Big Brother Government? (1, Insightful)

Pave Low (566880) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294892)

I'm kind of confused about the slashdot crowd's hypocrisy by hating all these Big Brother and anti-free speech laws, and then cheering new laws that just turn the government into more Big Brother.

In my opinion, new laws like these are not needed and will just bring more overhead and telemarketers will just find loopholes around this. Why not just enforce the laws on the books against harassment?

This just sets a precedent for creating more National "do not do this" lists that threaten our rights as well as these "evil companies".

I'll miss the calls, actually (2, Funny)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294898)

I for one was learning to enjoy the deluge of late night calls and the oppurtunities for abuse that they offerred. If the caller is a woman, I always just start hitting on her and ignore eveything she says until she hangs up. I will also repeatedly ask her "what are you wearing", ignoring all other statements other then those concerning her dress. As soon as she tells me what she's wearing, I thank her and hang up.

If the caller is a man, I keep responding to their sales pitches with sensless phrases like "Remember the Alamo" or start reading to them whatever book I was currently reading when they called. I'll miss these good times.

Will be such a relief! (1)

DesiDudette (647655) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294902)

Oh I will be soooo happy...it will be such a relief! I work from home and I hate it when the phone rings all day long with those unwanted calls!!

For 5 bucks a month.. (2, Informative)

antis0c (133550) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294903)

Verizon has a service that will block incoming calls who's caller ID is marked private or out of area. It doesn't entirely block them however, it presents them with a message that they must leave their name and wait for me to accept the call.

I actually got this service because some automated computer system in another state had my number in it to automatically call to do some kind of batch processing (someone fat fingered the number obviously..). So every day, twice a day at exactly 10am and 3pm, I'd get a call with no answer. Since it was out of area, Verizon couldn't specifically block it (or so they told me), but they offered this service. For 5 bucks a month I figured what the hell, but I also noticed that now that I have the service in place, I never get telemarketing calls anymore.

It also has a feature if in case someone you know who regularually calls you has an out of area or private number can enter a simple 4 digit pin to automatically be put through without leaving a message and waiting for me to accept.

I've had the service for about 6 months now, and it's been worth the $5/mo I've paid for it. Maybe with this Do-Not-Call list I won't need it anymore provided this batch machine no longer calls my number anymore..I doubt it though, considering telemarketing companies will lobby to have some kind of end run around it..

Non Cold Calls (2, Informative)

Flamesplash (469287) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294911)

I wish this covered the problem with "utilities" you do subscribe to marketing more stuff to you.

For instance I have AT&T digital cable, however I get telemarketing calls from AT&T broadband which is a different subdivision in AT&T.

I started by yelling at the guy that he isn't supposed to Telemarket to Cell phone, since it is illegal, then he informed me that since I'm a Digital cable customer my contract gives them the right to. I then asked him to take me off of their call list, he informed me that because he is not part of the Digital Cable subdivision he doesn't have that authority. I hung up.

It's crap.

Worthless, thanks to loopholes (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294915)

Most of the telemarketing calls I get are from so-called charities, and from politicians. There is no reason why this "don't call list" should exempt them; if I don't want these people harassing me, I should be able to tell them not to before they ever bother me.

Fritz? (1)

pesc (147035) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294929)

And the sponsor behind this bill is Ernest (Fritz) Hollings. The Disney senator behind UCITA, etc.

My head spins! Now what dark plots are behind this new do-not-call list?

How is this worthwhile if your number is unlisted? (1)

robkill (259732) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294942)

Who has access to the "Do-Not-Call" list? If someone with an unlisted number puts that number on the Do-Not-Call list to avoid calls from "business partners" as the phone companies, credit card companies etc. like to call themselves, is he or she opening the door for anyone to get the number by obtaining the "Do-Not-Call" list?

NPR Yesterday, Slashdot Today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294943)

I've seen a trend lately where stories that appear on National Public Radio yesterday, end up here on Slashdot the next day.

In this case, they discussed this topic at length in the Justice Talking segment yesterday. You can even listen to it here:

http://www.justicetalking.org/viewprogram.asp?pr og ID=394

The London toll story was several weeks after it appeared on the radio.

Hey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294944)

Since every bad piece of legislation that gets passed gets blamed on the Bush administration, lets just give them credit to compensate!

Politics! Yay!

Is this the real deal? (2, Insightful)

mrkurt (613936) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294945)

I wonder if this bill will be the real deal. Skimming over it on Thomas [loc.gov] , the bill is merely what they call an 'implementation' act. Both the FCC and FTC are to submit suggested reglations for the do-not-call list. Apparently the FCC is given precedence, and AFAIK they haven't come out with any proposed rules yet. They may not be as tough as those already proposed by the FTC.

What I do know is that a few weeks ago, Rep. Billy Tauzin was all-fired against the FTC regulations. Yet, in the article I read on a service supplied by AP [looksmart.com] , he was very supportive of this bill passing. Perhaps, because the devil is in the details. Sen. Fritz Hollings, proponent of that wonderful "Fritz chip" we've heard so much about, also was mentioned as lauding the passage of this bill.

I sense that if consumer advocates don't keep their eyes on the ball, do-not-call advocates will get rolled by Tauzin and Hollings, who have a reputation for standing up for big business interests in Hollywood and among the telcos. I am sure they will be ready to assist the telemarketers, if the price is right.

Top three signs... (0, Offtopic)

CoderByBirth (585951) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294948)

...you're a Slashdot zealot:
3) Your leg twitches involuntarily every time someone says the word "linux"
2) You just changed telephone companies because the old one had a business agreement with Microsoft, which everyone knows mean that they spy on your calls
1) 50% of your calls are from telemarketers

michael michael.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294952)

and the kitchen sink gets thrown into it just before it passes.

Dont them give them ideas. That sink might become part of the $500 hammer and $2000 toilet seat.

maybe OT: Guy that plays with telemarketers? (4, Funny)

gsfprez (27403) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294955)

I once heard this guy on Howard Stern who recorded his sessions with telemarketers and he'd jerk them around.

One was a call from a carpet cleaning telemarketer. He told them that he had a _lot_ of blood all over the carpet, and the he wanted to know if they could come over in an hour... or sooner.

Howard said that it was a CD on sale.

i swear, i googled for it. Can't find it.

clout visa is a bitch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294968)

i would usualy ignore such article as these about telemarketing, but... after dealing with a case of misrepresentation yesterday by visa i am more inclined to push for ledgislation to stop telemarketing. Fucking visa said they were my college and then made me give them information.... as soon as i asked for a manager they hung up. the only reason i found out who it was is that not 1 minute from hanging up the phone my roomate was called by the same fuckers.

Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5294969)

"Good to know that there's at least one useful piece of legislation. "

That's okay, I'm sure by the time all the legislators and lobbyists are done, it won't be that useful at all.

Wisconsin's List (2, Interesting)

Stanl (646331) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294971)

More than 1 million people have signed up for our "do-not-call" list, which went into effect Jan. 1. Residents are already noticing a difference. Interestingly enough, MCI [jsonline.com] is suspected of violating the rules and calling people anyway, according to our state officials. The AG's office is investigating, but for these lists to truly be effective, someone is going to have to make an example out of a few companies trying to slip through.

Not out of the woods yet! (2, Informative)

Logic Bomb (122875) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294978)

Everyone please remember that the House passes stuff all the time that never even gets brought up in Senate committee meetings. It's become the most convenient way for the national parties to claim, "hey, we're working here!" while not actually following through. However, there is a short window of opportunity where true momentum can be created. If you want to see this actually made into a law, now is the time to CALL or FAX your senator. Simply explain that you are a constituent, you were thrilled to hear that the do-not-call list bill passed in the House, and you expect the Senate to take up the matter.

Not sure of how to contact your senator (or who he/she is)? United States Senate [senate.gov]

Ya see!? (1)

fudgefactor7 (581449) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294983)

Bitching does work! Now that the Senate needs to approve this for it to work, EVERY American who is sick to death of telemarketing calls needs to write, fax, call their Senator and tell them to pass this legislation ASAP!

The real question is (2, Insightful)

truth_revealed (593493) | more than 11 years ago | (#5294988)

who the their right mind would not want to be part of a "do not call" registry? Lonely or insane people? People with too much money to burn? The government would save a lot of money creating a "please call" registry. That way the drug companies would know exactly who to target their anti-depressant drugs to.
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