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Do Not Call List Under Attack

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the reach-out-and-annoy-someone dept.

Privacy 599

smooth wombat writes "Do Not Call. Those words are music to millions of Americans who have signed up for the list so they're not bothered by telemarketers. Not content to let things as they are telemarketers are now lobbying the FCC to have state laws which regulate the practice overturned. In April an ad-hoc group of firms ranging from the Direct Marketing Association to the National Children's Cancer Society filed a joint petition asking the FCC to declare that it has 'exclusive jurisdiction over interstate telemarketing calls.' The issue revolves around some states whose Do Not Call laws are more strict than Federal law and which prohibit telemarketers from calling anyone on a Do Not Call, regardless of an existing business relationship." Update: 07/21 18:42 GMT by Z : Official EPIC page, with contact info and background.

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This could be VERY bad (2, Interesting)

Andrew Tanenbaum (896883) | about 9 years ago | (#13125624)

Worse than if the DNC list was never introduced, because now they have all of our numbers!

Re:This could be VERY bad (4, Insightful)

DietCoke (139072) | about 9 years ago | (#13125657)

I doubt it. This doesn't mean that DNC would be abolished, just that it would fall under the less-strict regulations of the federal government. Not that a change like that is a good thing, but it wouldn't put listees at risk in the manner you're suggesting.

Re:This could be VERY bad (4, Funny)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | about 9 years ago | (#13125668)

because now they have all of our numbers!

Exactly. Which is why I think there could soon be a market for the Do-Not-Call-Air-Horn ! Get your now, before supplies run out!

Maybe they can convince you. (3, Funny)

ShaniaTwain (197446) | about 9 years ago | (#13125764)

Yeah, these jackasses think people that don't want to recieve calls selling stuff are potential customers.. they're like the girl that loves the 'bad guy' and figures they'll be the one to change him. Don't want to buy a subscription to Gerbil Enthusiast? You just need the love of a good telemarketer!

wow, that's a really weird analogy. Time for my morning coffee.

do not post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13125628)

first, second, or otherwise

I wonder.. (5, Insightful)

Kjuib (584451) | about 9 years ago | (#13125643)

What part of DO NOT CALL dont they understand? I do not want people calling me trying to sell me stuff.. so DO NOT CALL me! hard to get much simpler.

Re:I wonder.. (3, Insightful)

HiddenCamper (811539) | about 9 years ago | (#13125724)

Somehow i was getting calls on my cell phone for a period of time, it all stopped though. seriously, if telemarketers want to call people, then telemarketers should give out "Telemarket phones" that they can call people on. Im pretty sure no one would take them.

Re:I wonder.. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13125742)

The same thing with spammers...

They send me emails that are barely legible, so that they can try to get around the spam filters I have set up. Do they really think, that if I've gone to that much trouble to block them, that if they do manage to get through, I will even give the spam a second glance?

These people need to get hit with the clue stick, and hard.

Re:I wonder.. (3, Insightful)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about 9 years ago | (#13125993)

Those emails are painful to read. I was wondering how they are meant to work.

Let's say I'm a tech-novice. To me, those emails look like the work of a semi-literate. Would I really want to buy medicine from them?

As a techie, I can see that they are dliberately trying to bypass spam filters which means that I instantly disregard their email.

Funny email arrived recently claiming to be from Wells Fargo. Of course I don't even have a Wells Fargo account but even if I did, would I really be tricked since they spelt their own company name as 'Wells Forgo'?

Re:I wonder.. (5, Insightful)

jayhawk88 (160512) | about 9 years ago | (#13125788)

Oh but see, you have an "existing business relationship" with them, since this one time you bought batteries at Target with your Bank of America Visa credit card, Bank of America sold your student loan and personal information to Wells Fargo, who sold it to Sallie Mae, who sold it's list of customers to Fannie Mae, who shares a database with several mortage companies, some of whom use cold calling to drum up business during the winter months.

How dare you not recognize the legitimate and in no way phony "existing business relationship". How do you expect Bruno's Mortgage and High Interest Loans to not communicate with you, their (possible, potential, maybe if they're drunk when we call, three times removed) customer?

Re:I wonder.. (1)

fred_sanford (678924) | about 9 years ago | (#13125938)

Dude, that would be way much more funnier if it wasn't so true. With all the buy-outs, consolidations, and trading my two credit cards have gone through, the only way I can survive telemarketing hell is to only have a cell, no land line.

Re:I wonder.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13125997)

Would have been funnier if you had bought Tinfoil at Target. :-)

Re:I wonder.. (5, Funny)

JonasH (183422) | about 9 years ago | (#13125929)

What part of DO NOT CALL dont they understand?

I think it's the "NOT". They seem to have no problems at all with "DO CALL".

Re:I wonder.. (4, Interesting)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | about 9 years ago | (#13125947)

The best part of the the whole Do Not Call registry- Not only are non-profits exempt.... But so are Political candidates! Those self serving a##holes. This may not be a problem for those of you in a state like NY or Maryland where everyone knows exactly which candidate is going to win, but in swing states like Ohio (where I am) it means we get tons of calls every four years....
Perhaps my logic is wrong- but wouldn't telemarketers like the DNC because it would save them wasted calls? I mean, if people sign up for the DNC, doesn't it mean that they hate getting these calls and would never buy anything from them?
It is like spam- if no one bought anything from these "tele-spammers," maybe they would go away....
My solution- one of those air horns people have at sporting events. My grandmother had one for obscene callers (Those over 25 remember obscene callers, in the days before caller ID when tracing a call meant "pulling the Logs"), she would toot the horn into the reciever- this really would hurt someone's ear drums....

Re:I wonder.. (4, Insightful)

eaolson (153849) | about 9 years ago | (#13125998)

What part of DO NOT CALL dont they understand?

You're the one that has it wrong. They understand perfectly. They don't want to obey your wishes.

Doesn't bother me anymore (5, Informative)

Apreche (239272) | about 9 years ago | (#13125651)

I used to care about this, but now not so much. I just got rid of the landline phone. Actually I moved and did not get a landline phone in my new abode. It's illegal for marketing types to call my cellular phone. I win. If you really don't want anyone calling you throw out your busted old landline.

Re:Doesn't bother me anymore (2, Interesting)

berboot (838932) | about 9 years ago | (#13125722)

IIRC, if a cell phone is your only phone then it is no longer illegal for marketing to call on it.

Re:Doesn't bother me anymore (2, Informative)

Skye16 (685048) | about 9 years ago | (#13125895)

I think it still is. You can't call someone for solicitation purposes if it costs money for them to take the call. Or so I'm lead to believe.

Re:Doesn't bother me anymore (2, Insightful)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about 9 years ago | (#13126053)

Until the telecrapers get that pesky law overturned.

Re:Doesn't bother me anymore (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | about 9 years ago | (#13125725)

If you really don't want anyone calling you throw out your busted old landline.

Tough shit if the only acceptable broadband Internet option is DSL, right?

While I use my mobile phone for long distance calling and only have the landline as required for DSL service I should still have to suffer with telemarketing calls because they whined to the FCC?

The American public whined far longer to get the DNC lists enacted. Now that we are comfortable we should lose them and have to move to mobile phones and no broadband?

Wrong answer.

Re:Doesn't bother me anymore (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | about 9 years ago | (#13125749)

If the only reason you have the landline is so you can get DSL, then just don't hook up a regular telephone to it. The phone can't ring if the phone doesn't exist.

Re:Doesn't bother me anymore (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 years ago | (#13126057)

If the only reason you have the landline is so you can get DSL, then just don't hook up a regular telephone to it. The phone can't ring if the phone doesn't exist.

That probably wouldn't change the fact that you'd still have to pay for a residential land-line you never used.

Re:Doesn't bother me anymore (1)

archen (447353) | about 9 years ago | (#13125778)

or for those of us happy with a $14 phone bill. They have a cell plan that cheap? Didn't think so. It doesn't make sense that many of us would flee working technology because some spam vendors decide it's their right to harrass us.

Re:Doesn't bother me anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13125872)

I have a >= $15 monthly cell phone bill. I'm on a joint plan and basically only talk with the other people on the plan, so I never use up my minutes.

Re:Doesn't bother me anymore (1)

op00to (219949) | about 9 years ago | (#13126020)

I guess your time (spent answering telemarketing calls/dealing with donotcall) is not worth anything, then!

Re:Doesn't bother me anymore (2, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 9 years ago | (#13125803)

Get yourself a telephone answering machine. You can use this to screen calls, and as it always answers, it guarantees the telemarketer will have to pay something, however small, for the privilege of not talking to you.

It's one of those tools that always works but nobody ever uses. It also works in that it prevents telemarketing calls from companies you have a prior business relationship with, which unfortunately the FTC DNCL and most state anti-telemarketing systems do not cover.

Re:Doesn't bother me anymore (1)

Trigun (685027) | about 9 years ago | (#13126051)

How about Asterisk? Can it blackhole calls based on caller id?

I'd pay for it to be able to do that. Private number? Voicemail! Long distance number? Check the whitelist, then Voicemail! Known telemarketer? The special,/i> voicemail!

Re:Doesn't bother me anymore (2, Informative)

Undertaker43017 (586306) | about 9 years ago | (#13125848)

I actually keep a landline for the sole purpose of sending marketers to it.

Anything I fill out, that requires a phone number, I use the landline number. The only thing on the line is an answering machine (that doesn't have a phone, so no ringer) and a fax machine. I am never bothered, and amazingly get very few messages. ;) I didn't even bother registering the number with the DNC list.

Re:Doesn't bother me anymore (1)

jrockway (229604) | about 9 years ago | (#13125871)

Speakeasy provides DSL without a phone line. It's $5/month extra.

Re:Doesn't bother me anymore (1)

clrscr (892395) | about 9 years ago | (#13125882)

You dont have to plug a phone in to your landline do you? problem solved

For now, at least. (2, Insightful)

Vainglorious Coward (267452) | about 9 years ago | (#13125753)

I moved and did not get a landline phone in my new abode. It's illegal for marketing types to call my cellular phone

If these bottom-feeders manage to get the DNC laws overturned, what makes you think they won't then start whining^Wlobbying about how unfair it is that they can't call cell phones?

Re:For now, at least. (1)

HairyCanary (688865) | about 9 years ago | (#13126000)

They can whine all they want, but the issue is entirely different. The days are long gone when land lines were measured rate for inbound calls. In the case of cell phones, that is still reality. Until cell phones become uniformly flat-rate, all the lobbying in the world will not grant marketers the right to call cell phones.

(and this is perhaps a good argument for why cell phones should remain measured rate indefinitely)

Re:Doesn't bother me anymore (2, Insightful)

wayne (1579) | about 9 years ago | (#13125776)

t's illegal for marketing types to call my cellular phone. I win. If you really don't want anyone calling you throw out your busted old landline.

You know that the telemarketing industry is trying very hard to "fix" this "loophole". With out being able to contact people on cellphones, how can they do proper political opinion (and push) polls? How can legitimate companies keep in contact with their customers? This is all very damaging to the US economy. You can't trample on the people's rights to political and economic speech like that, just because you have chosen to only have a cell phone.

While I'm being sarcastic, I'm sure that the DMA and political parties actually believe this stuff.

Re:Doesn't bother me anymore (1)

Rick Zeman (15628) | about 9 years ago | (#13125885)

You know that the telemarketing industry is trying very hard to "fix" this "loophole". With out being able to contact people on cellphones, how can they do proper political opinion (and push) polls? How can legitimate companies keep in contact with their customers? This is all very damaging to the US economy. You can't trample on the people's rights to political and economic speech like that, just because you have chosen to only have a cell phone.

No, it'll be "Only terrorists would want to hide like that...."

Re:Doesn't bother me anymore (1)

qwijibo (101731) | about 9 years ago | (#13125970)

They don't believe it, but that won't stop them. They'll say these things, but they know very well that it has nothing to do with helping the consumer. In fact, it's very much the opposite.

Are you familiar with the concept of targeted marketing? The "customer" is very much considered a victim to be attacked from the marketing perspective. The goal of targeted marketing is to maximize the body count. You're a wallet with their money as far as they're concerned.

Re:Doesn't bother me anymore (1)

Undertaker43017 (586306) | about 9 years ago | (#13125999)

This is quite solvable, just don't answer any call that you don't recognize the number or the number doesn't come through. If it's important they will leave a message.

Stay off my phone! (3, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | about 9 years ago | (#13125669)

The issue revolves around some states whose Do Not Call laws are more strict than Federal law and which prohibit telemarketers from calling anyone on a Do Not Call, regardless of an existing business relationship.

Wah! I can't bother people and piss them off during dinner, quiet evenings, and fill up their answering machines with partial recordings not knowing how long the machine's message was.

Businesses are busy scrambling to create new and interesting ways to get your phone number so that they, and their subsidiaries and sister companies, can contact you with their telemarketers. Companies telling me that they cannot process an order without my telephone number, companies telling their employees that they must take a telephone number down for pickup orders placed over the phone, and requiring a phone number to ship a package [] . Most employees are doing their job and refuse you service (which is a company's right to do at any time) but I find it increasingly annoying. I'll do anything to not give out my phone number including asking for a supervisor, giving out a phone number with the area code and all zeroes, or just giving the switch board number out at work.

I really have no sympathy for companies that are crying to the FCC about this. The public had been whining to the FCC for how many years to get telemarketers to stop? They finally did, creating a list that the telemarketers can reference to narrow their endless search of a customer to people that might be interested in their products, and they still complain?

Give me a break and stay off my phone.

Re:Stay off my phone! (2, Funny)

HeavyD14 (898751) | about 9 years ago | (#13125706)

My personal favorite number to give out is 8675309. If they don't like it, tough. Also, I don't think people understand that it isn't going away totally, its just going to be limited in some states that have stronger laws.

Re:Stay off my phone! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13125729)

Err don't the phone lines technically belong to the phone company and/or the government? You can beak off all you want when you are running your own POTS network. Until with it. Just say no and get on with it. Is it that big of a deal to ignore the telemarketing calls?

Ruels don't apply to the Military Recuiters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13125705)

Thanks to the "No Child Left Behind" act, military recruiters have the phone numbers of many teens. These guys don't take "don't call me again" for an answer.

He obviously was born before it took effect (4, Insightful)

Gamingboy (901447) | about 9 years ago | (#13125710)

"There is no evidence that (a favorable FCC ruling) will lead to large increases in telemarketing calls," he said. He, obviously, does not consider the fact that the large amount of telemarketing calls before the DNC list took effect is evidence that, without a list, that they would once again reach their old levels.

More Feds (4, Insightful)

magarity (164372) | about 9 years ago | (#13125711)

Just what the USA needs. More Federal involvment instead of state by state.

Why no marketing on cell phones? (1)

DisasterDoctor (775095) | about 9 years ago | (#13125715)

I never understood why we don't get yelemarketing calls on our cell phones. Is it actually illegal? What is keep the sleezy marketers from invading this technology.

Re:Why no marketing on cell phones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13125740)

Because it costs us to use our cell phone minutes as opposed to a landline which is presumably paid for already.

Re:Why no marketing on cell phones? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13125831)

Hm. Why do americans put up with paying to _receive_ calls on their mobiles, anyway? Surely you should be demanding treatment like the rest of the world where the caller pays for calls to mobile phones?

Re:Why no marketing on cell phones? (2, Insightful)

jam244 (701505) | about 9 years ago | (#13125837)

The reason, Dr. Disaster, is that incoming phone calls on most landlines in the US are free. Incoming calls on cell phones are, typically, not.

Re:Why no marketing on cell phones? (1)

DisasterDoctor (775095) | about 9 years ago | (#13125914)

I understand that, but why would that stop sleezy telemarketers? What do they care if their stupid sales pitch is eating up my minutes.

It just seems like an unusual example of restraint on behalf of the telemarketers. It got me wondering if there was actually a law or just their good faith (which is hard to believe).

Thanks for the answer.

Re:Why no marketing on cell phones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13126038)

Cell phone numbers are not published... here is what PA's Attorney General has to say on the subject one []

8:00am wakeup (4, Interesting)

Hachey (809077) | about 9 years ago | (#13125716)

I don't CARE if they never call me again, regardless if I have dealt with them in the past. Thats what the DO NOT CALL list is for! I'm sick of getting up in the early early morning to hear a recording about home loans. My aunt and her kids are all in the hospital after getting hit by a drunk driver this week, and I can't just 'unplug the phone'. I bolt out of bed, thinking she's out of surgery or something and it's someone trying to sell me ticket's to the Policemen's Ball.

Check out the [] :
The only wiki source for politically incorrect non-information about things like Kitten Huffing [] and Pong! the Movie [] !

Good Afternoon, How Are You? (5, Funny)

Duke Machesne (453316) | about 9 years ago | (#13125717)

My name is Duke, and I'm calling from the Great American Do-Not-Call-List Giveaway to let you know that you're a winner in our one million dollar sweepstakes entry sweepstakes, and are already automatically entered to win! Isn't that great?

On top of that, as one of our lucky winners, you're eligible to recieve outrageous discounts on subscriptions to all your favorite magazines! Exciting, huh? Which magazines do you like to read? Entertainment Weekly? Sports Digest? TV Guide?

Re:Good Afternoon, How Are You? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13125767)

People still pay for magazines!!? Ive been getting many different subscriptions free for quite a while...

Clearly for Federal Regulation (5, Insightful)

sterno (16320) | about 9 years ago | (#13125721)

This law makes perfect sense being a federal law. Why? Because almost all telemarketing calls are crossing state or possibly national borders. Thus there's a natural complication when you have different laws in different states with different abilities to enforce those laws on others.

Better to have one federal law to simplify things.

And I still wonder, why do those telemarketers want to call me if I'm on this list. Seems like they are being done a service here. I'm not going to buy their crap so no sense wasting time on a call.

no. no... we need international laws (2, Funny)

John Seminal (698722) | about 9 years ago | (#13125900)

that is what will end this problem. international treaties. until then, we should not have any laws regulating marketing calls.

the marketing firms will find arguments to postpone laws that make it harder for them to harrass customers. when the do not call list went into law, all the dish and satellite calls stopped comming from new york, and started comming from Canada. who do i sue to stop those calls? do i sue AT&T?

i can appreciate the argument for a federal law regulating telemarketing. but maybe congress should pass a law saying they give states the right to make laws however they see fit.

what is eventually going to happen, is the telemarketing firms will get sophisticated and hire powerful lobby groups. they will donate money to politicians who don't want to regulate telemarketing. and the laws will be reversed. it will be hard to overturn the "do not call" list, but i bet lawmakers could sneak in an exception like "related buisnesses exception", so if you buy a DVD from bestbuy, bestbuy can sell your phone number to columbia house since they sell DVD's too. and i bet the lawmakers will give the law a name that is the exact opposite of what the law does, like "consumer telemarketing protection amendment".

Re:Clearly for Federal Regulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13125919)

"Seems like they are being done a service here. I'm not going to buy their crap so no sense wasting time on a call."

They get paid to call people; selling is secondary. Consider the consequences if there was some kind of super-duper, highly-targeted phone listing, and the teledroids had enough personal info to ONLY call the people who want to be called and are likely to buy.
  • It would take relatively few calls to sell as much product as could be sold
  • The job would be handled by a small number of people
  • The barrier of entry would be even lower than it is today -- lots of Mom-and-Pop telemarketing companies
  • The industry would be fiercely competitive, margins would be razor-thin.

Re:Clearly for Federal Regulation (1)

Baricom (763970) | about 9 years ago | (#13125941)

Better to have one federal law to simplify things.
Many people feel the federal law is inadequate - it doesn't affect charities, political organizations, or surveys, and any company you have an "existing business relationship" with. Many state laws take care of these gaps, but elminating them at the federal level would be an easy way to nullify their effects.

And I still wonder, why do those telemarketers want to call me if I'm on this list. Seems like they are being done a service here. I'm not going to buy their crap so no sense wasting time on a call.
Because somebody, somewhere who's on the do-not-call list would cave with the right kind of persuasion. It's the same argument as spam - they continue to market to people, even people that have removed themselves, because every so often those people will make a purchase.

Re:Clearly for Federal Regulation (1)

benjamindees (441808) | about 9 years ago | (#13125948)

You're right, this would be easy to get around. If you're not doing business in a state, I don't see how they can sue you except in federal court anyways.

Except telemarketers probably have POPs in each state (each area code even) to avoid long distance fees. Technically, they're doing business in every state. They just want it both ways.

Re:Clearly for Federal Regulation (1)

arkanes (521690) | about 9 years ago | (#13126015)

If you're doing business in a state, then that state has jurisdiction over you, even if you're located in another state. So if a telemarketer calls someone in Ohio, that call comes under Ohio legislation, and they can be sued in Ohio court over it.

Re:Clearly for Federal Regulation (1)

VectorSC (721025) | about 9 years ago | (#13125986)

Hehe..Your website points to :-)

"Better to have to simplify things."

Isn't that a quote from 1984 Redux?

Incredible (4, Insightful)

Rew190 (138940) | about 9 years ago | (#13125733)

The worst thing about an action like this it is CLEARLY against the will of the people. The Do Not Call list is opt-in, it only applies to those who go out of their way to sign up. The only "victims" of something like this are the CORPORATIONS who are being denied the right to directly attack those who don't want to have their houses invaded by direct advertising. The people gain nothing from this sort of action, they only lose out.

How is it possible that a democratic governing body, which is supposed to be looking out for the people, is taking a direct stance against them? Which American citizens are rallying against the DNC list?

Yet more sad evidence that the government is more concerned with corporate interests than those of the people.

Re:Incredible (0)

Nimey (114278) | about 9 years ago | (#13125781)

RTFA, nitwit. They're lobbying the FCC to have this revoked. It does not say that the government will go ahead and do so.

Re:Incredible (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | about 9 years ago | (#13125926)

How is it possible that a democratic governing body, which is supposed to be looking out for the people, is taking a direct stance against them?

May I be the first to say "Welcome to the United States"! How long will you be staying?

OOP Laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13125735)

"The issue revolves around some states whose Do Not Call laws are more strict than Federal law and which prohibit telemarketers from calling anyone on a Do Not Call, regardless of an existing business relationship."

OOP comes to the legal system.

Your right to swing your fist.... (1)

bwillcox (196500) | about 9 years ago | (#13125762)

..ends at my nose.

What part of DO NOT CALL ME do you MORONS don't understand? I'm not buying your crap, so quit wasting my time and your time. Annoy me enough, I'll NEVER do business with you again!

Seriously, do what I did-- lose the landline. They call you on your cell phone, send them a bill for the airtime.

Re:Your right to swing your fist.... (3, Interesting)

numbski (515011) | about 9 years ago | (#13125917)

I'm with you on that, with one caveat:

Get the landline, for 911 only. It is federally mandated to be free. I have the landline with that alone on it. I recently got a phone number on it for DSL, and I'm in the process of working out what I need to do to keep the DSL, but go back to 911-only service. Then I can use my local 911 with asterisk, have a plain old "red phone" for 911-only calls in case asterisk goes down, and I get my DSL service.

It alarms me (1)

Miros (734652) | about 9 years ago | (#13125768)

It alarms me just how riled up people can become over our nation's inability to say "Thanks, but I'm really not interested, please take me off the list."

Re:It alarms me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13125813)

Please post your email address here so that I can sign you up to receive spam. After can opt out of those too! And the companies that have your info never sell it to another service that you havne't opted out of....noooo never.


Re:It alarms me (1)

Miros (734652) | about 9 years ago | (#13125937)

A purely "opt in" philosophy for things that can be considered public infrastructure is by nature flawed. Sure, I dont "opt in" to see billboards, signs, or those funny little planes dragging banners behind them. I also dont "opt" to use street lamps, parks, or anything like that. Finally, telemarketing obviously benefits some people who recieve calls. In general, people perform transactions when they see the product offered as a favorable exchange for their money. If it wernt for the call, they may have never discovered the product or service. If nobody ever bought anything advertised on these calls, the telemarketers wouldnt exist in the first place, because they wouldnt be able to pay their phone bills. Lastly, do you know how much money goes to the phone companies from these people? It's kind of important that we allow the phone system to remain in at least some way sustainable. If you would opt to pay $$ instead of getting called to the phone company, then maybe it would be okay for your phone never to ring.

Re:It alarms me (1)

nkh (750837) | about 9 years ago | (#13125852)

"Thanks, but I'm really not interested, please take me off the list."

That would be easy if they had write access to the database. The problem is that this database is read-only and (most of the time) does not even belong to them (like a huge spam list provided by another more specialized company).

Re:It alarms me (1)

Zed2K (313037) | about 9 years ago | (#13125860)

Do you ever get cold called at 9am or earlier on a saturday or sunday morning? How about between 5-7pm on a weekday? What about 10pm on any evening? I have a phone so people I know can call me and I can call them. It doesn't exist so complete strangers can invade my private space. Especially not at the hours of dinner time, early mornings or late evenings.

Since you don't seem to mind I'll make sure to set a modem and computer up to call you at all kinds of odd hours and let you listen to all kinds of various sales pitches. We'll see how long before you start getting "riled up".

Re:It alarms me (1)

jdhutchins (559010) | about 9 years ago | (#13125865)

When you get called at 6am when you just woke up, and before your first cup of coffee, it can be hard to say "No thanks" coherently.

Re:It alarms me (1)

jmking1 (899043) | about 9 years ago | (#13125881)

I wouldn't have a problem with that if it were one or maybe a few lists, or if the corporations actually took me off the lists, or if they didn't sell their lists to other corporations before taking me off and then buy them back with my name still on them.

Re:It alarms me (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 9 years ago | (#13125883)

I get riled up over the inability of the telemarketers to accept it when I say "Thanks, not interested, take me off your list.". After telling the same company that 18 times in one month, it gets a tad old.

Tele-marketers seem to be refining tactics (1)

Spirckle (872312) | about 9 years ago | (#13125770)

Lately I've been getting more calls from a recording that makes me listen to the whole spiel before I can get to a live person to ask them to remove me from their call list. I signed up on the Do Not Call list but then I moved and had to change my number.

Too bad I'm not asked automatically if I want my new number to appear on the Do Not Call list.

How about... (1)

antonymous (828776) | about 9 years ago | (#13125774)

A Do-Not-Show-Me-Poorly-Written-Flash-Ads list?

FCC? Are you reading this?

Re:How about... (1)

dug_silver (887544) | about 9 years ago | (#13125897)

Yesterday, while sitting at my desk, my attention was drawn across the entire room by some blinding, seizure-inducing flash ad. It was blinking dark-gray to light-gray about every millisecond. I second this motion.

Re:How about... (1)

WalksOnDirt (704461) | about 9 years ago | (#13125988)

I think it's called Flashblock (for Firefox).

Simple rule (0)

Demona (7994) | about 9 years ago | (#13125780)

If a state allows its citizens greater individual freedom than the federal statute, then the federal statute is to be given first priority. Obviously, the reverse is true as well.

worth while calls (1)

Trippee (799704) | about 9 years ago | (#13125787)

I wouldn't care so much about the DNC if the telemarketers calling me were selling something that would even remotely generate some interest. I don't wake up each morning hoping that some random stranger calls me and signs me up for an unheard of magazine that would waste my money and bore me to death. I wouldn't mind if it would actually be something I would buy

Re:worth while calls (1)

Zed2K (313037) | about 9 years ago | (#13125835)

I would never buy something from someone over the phone or who comes to my door. If I want something I'll seek them out. If the company is good at what they do then word of mouth and normal advertising will be enough. If they are pieces of pond scum then I wouldn't want to do business with them anyways.

Re:worth while calls (1)

metamatic (202216) | about 9 years ago | (#13126040)

I wouldn't mind if it would actually be something I would buy.

Unfortunately "Asian Amputee Lesbians Shaving Each Other Monthly" doesn't try to get subcribers via telemarketing.

It is called harrasment (5, Interesting)

John Seminal (698722) | about 9 years ago | (#13125789)

These marketing companies are run by evil dirty bastards who will do anything to make a penny.

The law we need even more than "DO Not Call" is a law which says "You can not sell data about people unless that person gives you consent". There must be a way to opt out of having your information added to a sales list. For example, how can anyone opt out of the bank sales lists? Banks are well known for taking their clients data, and selling that information to credit card companies. Credit card companies use this information to mail solicitations for their services.

Likewise, when I go buy a DVD from a store, why do they need my phone number? They want to sell that information to someone, here is a good lead for a guy who buys DVD's?

The Do Not Call list is a great start, but consumers need more protection from harrasment. We need our information kept confidential. When we do buisness with a company, the company should not be allowed to sneak some fine print in the contract which allows data to be sold. God knows what rights I signed away when I applied for my grocery store shoppers card.

And did anyone here about the lawsuit against the company that made the small gadget you connect to your phone line. When you get a call, the device lets out some small noises. These are noises the phone companies use to signify a line is disconnected. Marketing companies that use computerized auto-dialers recognize these noises and immediatly hang up. The marketing associations sued the company of this product saying it violated the marketing companies first amendment rights.

And while we are making laws protecting consumers, lets do away with the mail in rebate.

Re:It is called harrasment (2, Interesting)

qwijibo (101731) | about 9 years ago | (#13126058)

The cat's already out of the bag with regards to who owns your personal data. Hint: it's not you.

If you don't like these things, give them bad information. Memorize the address of a crack house and the phone number of your local police department's fraud bureau. Nobody checks this information before reselling it. The more the databases are poisoned, the less value the data will have.

Attention DMA.... (4, Insightful)

Khyber (864651) | about 9 years ago | (#13125814)

The FCC is NOT a law-making entity.

The FCC has no power to overturn state laws or find them unconstitutional, this is the Supreme Court's job.

The FCC is not the way to go. Lobby Congress.

And watch how they laugh in your face as they think "I don't want these whiny bastards calling me everyday trying to get my money that I just weaseled from the taxpayers."

Re:Attention DMA.... (1)

Peyna (14792) | about 9 years ago | (#13125989)

The FCC is NOT a law-making entity.

They are an agency which is given power from Congress to pass and enforce regulations. So they can make "law" so long as it is within the restrictions Congress has placed on them.

they do have a point (1)

belmolis (702863) | about 9 years ago | (#13125823)

Although I have little sympathy for pesky telemarketers they do have a point. It is a burden to have to deal with 50 different state laws. Having a uniform national standard does have a lot of virtues.

Rather than doing what the telemarketers are asking for and relaxing the rules to the lowest common denominator, I wonder if there isn't a straightforward technological solution: create a database containing all of the state rules that telemarketers can use to filter their call lists. When a telemarketer proposes to call a number, a program checks the number and responds: "sorry, that's a Louisiana number and its Acadian Day; you can't call there today." It sounds like there isn't very much variation among states, just a few holidays to avoid and differences as to what an existing business relationship allows you to do, so it seems like it wouldn't be very difficult to implement or much of a burden on the telemarketers.

Consumer products severely lacking! (1)

mindaktiviti (630001) | about 9 years ago | (#13125849)

A lot of phones out there seem to only be programmable from the telecommunications company. Want a phone number blocked? The company will do it for a price. Where's the programmable consumer product that handles 1-800 numbers, or private numbers (all that's customizable by the end user) and takes them differently, whether it's to have them just ring once, or automatically pick it up to leave a message of no more than 10 second length (to give a call back number, name, and organization) basically spam filters for the phone. Where are these products? I haven't heard about them, so if they are around, the marketting is not being done properly! Where the hell is my cell phone that manages my minutes so that it alerts me EXACTLY how much my phone bill will be whenever I press a button, and the amount of minutes I used between the hours of 8am - 6pm? To reiterate, the telephone and mobile phones in this day and age are ancient technology and there is a huge market for products that empower the consumer.

Uniform standards (2, Interesting)

Rick Zeman (15628) | about 9 years ago | (#13125850)

...they're right, there should be a uniform standard: NO ONE should be allowed to call anyone on the Do Not Call list at all.

Re the automated dialing, back when I was a kid and you called a phone # and hung up it was called crank/prank calling and it was a crime. How is their machine dialling different (aside from the fact that kids don't contribute to politicians)?

Re:Uniform standards (1)

zx75 (304335) | about 9 years ago | (#13126045)

Oi, I think that might be a little too restrictive there! Personally I rather think it'd be good for the hospital to call me if someone was in an accident, and them not having to worry about being sued because I'm on a DNC list to stop telemarketers.

I'd be more than happy with a 'No Soliciting' sign to hang on my phone and let that be that. Its something you're allowed to do at private property physical locations, so why not electronic locations?

Business vs People (1)

mfloy (899187) | about 9 years ago | (#13125855)

Clearly, anyone on a Do Not Call list does not want to be called. They went through the work of registering for the list, so they clearly are annoyed by people. If a company had an existing business relation, I'm sure the customer would not report the company for continuing to call on business related matter. For this reason, people should be able to register "Valid Business Associates" who are free from the stricter regulation.

What part of (2, Funny)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | about 9 years ago | (#13125857)

"DO NOT CALL" do you not understand?
Are these people so F-n brain dead that they can't take a hint? I think the list is way to lame. I think they should have a "will beat your ass if you call" list.
That's right. If you call me to peddle bullshit I will come find you and beat your ass. Now that would be an effective list.

Really, I don't understand why they don't flat out outlaw all telemarketing. It's intrusive and obnoxious at the very least.

I cant be the only one thats ever wondered (1)

Recovering Hater (833107) | about 9 years ago | (#13125869)

I have never met anyone who straight up bought something through an unsolicited phone call. This is one of the most broken business models and yet we continue to hear from brain dead companies concerning the do not call list and how some facet of this is unfair for them. I don't get it.

Re:I cant be the only one thats ever wondered (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 9 years ago | (#13126027)

I actually worked as a "telemarketer" for an apparently respectable retailer, the product we were selling was extended warranties on products that had been purchased whose warranty was about to expire. This was way back when, I was lost and didn't know what I was doing. I needed the cash.

These people actually ENCOURAGED deceptive practices to get people to agree to have these extortionate fees on their store credit card, the axiom being "they can always cancel later". "Little old ladies" were the best, sales wise. I worked there two months and quit - I got fed up of the verbal abuse I was (rightly) getting from customers on the phone when the department decided to continue calling well into the evening (around 10pm), which is just bad manners.

Telemarketers suck. I was called by MCI a month or so ago and immediately told the person I was not interested in their offer and please do not call my number again. Guess what? They called again. So I instantly asked for the supervisor and explained the situation to her (I had stated that they not call me again). She apologized and said something about the system not being able to take me out on such short notice (BS), and I told her that I didn't really care about their system, just that they had better not call me again. They haven't called me since, thank goodness.

You just have to be polite, clear, concise and firm with them. You'll still get calls from new "businesses" from time to time though.

fcc reform (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13125910)

Broadcast Flag, ClearChannel, Do Not Call...

Seems to me the FCC is more trouble than it's worth. I don't see how their jobs couldn't be split up between Congress, IETF and Underwriters Labs.. We could scrap spectrum allocation in favor of a law that says you have to comply with the RFC's. Congress could regulate media ownership. UL could make sure your radio doesn't asplode.

Right now it's just a big beaurocratic loophole controlled by partisan hacks. 3 political appointees who easily are corrupted by lobbies. Congress at least has to answer to us. We can have direct say in IETF if we choose to participate and UL's main source of value is their word.

The landscape has changed dramatically since the motivations for creating the FCC. I think it's time to either sit down and do some serious rethinking of what the FCC's role is or scrap it entirely and replace it with something that matches todays reality.

Does it work? (1)

lawrenqj (782546) | about 9 years ago | (#13125971)

I was really skeptical about signing up to that list. I figured that it was going to end up being like the "Remove" buttons in spam that verify an email address. Has it worked at all so far?

If the telemarketers get their way that Do Not Call list is going to be a fantastic source of active phone numbers.

Calls aren't like emails at least (5, Funny)

Hachey (809077) | about 9 years ago | (#13125987)

At least my telemarker calls don't read like my inbox. I'd blush every time I picked up the phone if the person on the other end was trying to sell me dick pills.

Check out the [] :
The only wiki source for politically incorrect non-information about things like Kitten Huffing [] and Pong! the Movie [] !

Movie quote: I'd RATHER... BE... DEAD! (3, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 9 years ago | (#13125996)

I remember a movie with Jim Carrey (he wasn't the main character, tho) about a guy who loved accepting cold calls.

He would receive a call from an insurance salesman, and begin saying yes to most things until they arranged an appointment.

Then, after making him waste 2 or more hours, when the insurance salesman was leaving, he'd say:
"There's one little... problem.
I'D RATHER... BE... DEAD!!!" (Then he shut the door on the poor salesman)

Oh joy. How I loved that moment. I know it's cruel, but it vented my frustration towards spammers and the like.

Lobbying (4, Funny)

loconet (415875) | about 9 years ago | (#13126030)

Can someone start lobbying to make lobbying illegal?

Charities (5, Informative)

Karma_fucker_sucker (898393) | about 9 years ago | (#13126032)

If you're going to give to a charity, do it anonymously. Otherwise, you'll be put on a "sucker" list and you'll not only be continuously called by the original charity that you gave to, but also charities that they sold your name and number to.

I have blown off PBS because of this!

Thank the Washington Redskins. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13126056)

Danny Schnieder, owner of the Washington Redskins, perfected this "call at home during dinner" tele-marketing thing.

Thanks, Danny !!!

Hail to the Redskins !!!

State DNC lists are redundant (5, Informative)

p_conrad (118670) | about 9 years ago | (#13126063)

I have to work with these lists, because part of my job is to support a telemarketing system. Nobody told me squat about that on the interview, nevertheless here I am. I've been here long enough to see the lists come into being. It's making telemarketing harder, and all that good stuff.

I also have the misfortune to need to telemarket in two states, one of which has it's own state list. As it happens, we only call five small towns in this state. In order to get access to the State's DNC list we have to purchase it for the entire state. To make matters worse, this state has a very different set of rules.

On a federal level, you are allowed to call customers you formerly did business with for 18 months after the termination of the business relationship. Not so in this other state. Apparently you aren't allowed to call even the day after the relationship ends. The federal system actually allows the people who get called some recourse. The state system I have to deal with makes it very clear in their fine print that you are allowed a certain amount of accidental calls. Because you are a paying list subscriber, they actually have a department to handle these situations. If you get caught calling people on the state DNC list, you had better have paid the man or else it's game on for lawsuits. What it ends up being is simply extortion. You want to call people of that state, you buy the list, which costs more annually than the entire federal list, for what that's worth.

I really feel sorry for the people who live in that nameless state, because they are payin a ton of taxes to manage a list system that offers them no protection whatsoever. The federal list is a big pain for telemarketers, but at least it has and element of fairness, and really attempts to protect the people who want not to be called.

I'm not interested in arguing the notion of whether the freedom not to be bothered should trump the freedom to call any phone number you want without fear of prosecution, but for the nerds out there, here's some technical details:

The federal list can be downloaded in it's entirety or in updates by date selected once a day by any business who pays the fee. The list is numbers only, no names at all. The state list I have to work with is available by e-mail or on CD-ROM. I picked e-mail, and the updates are entirely at the discretion of the state. So every month or so, my office e-mail gets choked with the list in several parts, so I had to work a special deal with the MIS guys to get extra space on the server. When I first signed up for it, the state didn't send a file until the next scheduled update, but made it clear that we'd be covered in the event of accidentally calling somebody on the list we didn't have access to! Of course almost everybody in the state list is also on the federal list, so we never got a complaint.

I imagine the only people on that state list that are not on the federal list are people looking to sue somebody. They are out there; we've encountered them before. I'm not a fan of telemarketing and would support it if I didn't have to. The federal list makes sense, and really does eliminate any reason for states to keep their own lists, except that grand-daddy of all reasons for government programs - the pork. It's all about the pork, folks. Always has been; always will be.
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