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Do Not Call Registry Set to Become Permanent

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the finally-our-government-at-work dept.

Privacy 183

coondoggie passed us a NetworkWorld article about an initiative by the Senate to transform the Do Not Call list into a permanent institution. Originally individuals on the list were to have their place on the list revoked; up to a third of the people who signed up might have fallen off the list by the Autumn without renewing legislation. A move by the Senate this past Wednesday will permanently prevent salesmen from calling those who have registered for the list. "Aside from what telemarketing junk the bill does prevent, experts note what may also be a big deal is a provision that is NOT in this bill and that is protection for those other annoying time wasters: political robo calls."

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Do not fp prevention registry (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22340710)

Why not just randomize the first 20 posts, eliminating the annoying fp problem ?

SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22340712)

_0_
\''\
'=o='
.|!|
.| |
do not goatse registry not yet implemented [goatse.ch]

Finally.... (4, Interesting)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22340724)

My congresscritters are finally doing something I approve of!

Re:Finally.... (3, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341014)

Yes - But good luck persuading your "congresscritters" to add "political robo calls" to the list.

Re:Finally.... (2, Insightful)

mrxak (727974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341418)

I assume other non-profit organizations will also be let through too.

Re:Finally.... (2, Interesting)

internetcommie (945194) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341736)

After I put my number on the do-not-call list, I actually got more calls. Some of the callers even go out of their way to tell me that since they are politicians, charitable organizations or what have you, they are exempt. Some even before I say I don't want to be called. I'm guessing this means they are using the list as a calling list, assuming us who aren't wasting our money on telemarketing scams must have some left over for their good cause. I hang up just the same.

Re:Finally.... (5, Informative)

reddburn (1109121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22342122)

I worked at one of these places for a week (I had to leave before I killed myself), and actually, they get your name from public records and donor lists. If you've donated to a political campaign online, signed a petition, joined an e-mail list, even visited a political website with the right cookies (the first sophisticated tracking cookies were - according to R.N. Howard in New Media Campaigns - used by the RNC website in the 90s) in the past 9 years, your contact info is automatically added to that party's, candidate's, organization's (the RCCC, DCCC, moveon.org) list of people to harass on the phone.

If you tell them no, if you tell them anything *other* than to specifically "Remove me from your list," ("don't call again" doesn't work) they can legally call back in 90 days (6 mos. if you donate, and then they ask for 2x what you gave before as the start). Worse: you have to be the individual they're calling. If it's a spouse, the autodialer will call back the next day. The organization you donate to is paying these companies by the call, and the company also gets a percentage (right off the top) of your donation. Someone donates $50, the organization ends up with about $35 after all is said and done.

Re:Finally.... (1)

skuzzlebutt (177224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22342240)

What is their policy if you are extraordinarily rude? I've heard collectors and telemarketers will remove you by default, not sure about campaigners/pollsters.

Re:Finally.... (4, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341948)

Yes - But good luck persuading your "congresscritters" to add "political robo calls" to the list.

You misread the summary. The previous version of the legislation authorizing the DNC registry provided an exemption for non-profits, political calls, and surveys. The new one does not, so in effect, by not providing that exemption in this version, they did add those calls to the list of banned solicitation.

My feet are suddenly very cold. I think hell just became endothermic and is well on its way to a state transition.

How about a do not mail list? (4, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22340740)

I can just hang up on a phone call. I find junk mail to be far more annoying & damaging to the environment.

Re:How about a do not mail list? (5, Funny)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22340828)

I can just hang up on a phone call.

Or not answer it all... I realized long ago just because some contraption starts making noise, nothing is forcing me to address it. Same with the front door and annoying friends, just because they can make some noise by hitting their meat clubs against some wood, doesn't mean I'm forced to get out of my E-Z chair...

Re:How about a do not mail list? (2, Interesting)

Safety Cap (253500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341194)

Or not answer it all...

Exactly. We have trained all of our family, friends, etc., to start talking when the answering machine engages.

We do not answer the phone at all before this unless we're expecting a call at a specific time. We may pick up the phone if we want to talk at that time; otherwise we'll call 'em back.

When we lived in a newly-built house, we were always getting the little entrepreneurs (selling gas logs, house numbers painted on the curb, front yard gas lamps, etc.) banging on the door or ringing the doorbell in the middle of the day. Those would go unanswered, too.

Re:How about a do not mail list? (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#22342112)

For the first time in my life I actually understand what answering machines are really for.

In my country, practically no-one uses them, and if anybody has one, most people just hang up when it answers the call anyway.

On the other hand, spam calls aren't nearly as prevalent here...

A better solution... (4, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341202)

Or not answer it all...

I answer the phone and tell them "yes, just hold on a second". Then I leave the phone on the table, wondering how long will it take them to hang up this time.

Re:A better solution... (2, Funny)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341342)

Thats a good idea, sometimes when I'm feeling froggy I'll answer 'em and say the most disturbing things that can come to mind... Some hang up, but every once in a while someone will just try and play it off and continue the discourse... F'ing hilarious.

Re:A better solution... (2, Funny)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22342206)

Or you could drag it out as long as possible... http://www.ahajokes.com/off06.html [ahajokes.com]

Re:A better solution... (1)

holden caufield (111364) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341386)

Actually, I've noticed most have some sort of voice-activated thing that kicks in the second time you say "hello" (or, possibly make some other noise).

Therefore, when I answer the phone, I say "hello" once, and only once, and wait. If I don't hear a response in a few seconds, I simply hang up because most normal people calling will eventually say "hello?" again if they don't hear anything back. If it's a friend/family member with a bad connection, they'll eventually get that point across.

Re:A better solution... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341862)

It actually listens for speech followed by silence. It's part of the anti-answering-machine detection. If it hears continuous talking, it assumes it got an answering machine and either leaves a prerecorded message or hangs up. If it hears "hello" followed by a pause, it transfers you to a person. That two second delay is just part of that detection time.

If you want to break it, say, "Hi, this is [insert your name] speaking. How may I direct your call." That should be sufficient to make it think it is an answering machine, and it will generally hang up or at least give you a prerecorded message that won't make you feel so bad when you hang up on it.

You could also do what I do. Look at the Caller ID. If you don't recognize it, pick up the phone, say hello, wait one second, and hit the off button. This will cause somebody to get stuck talking to an empty line....

Re:A better solution... (1)

ctd600ftlb (1210574) | more than 6 years ago | (#22342098)

I guess that's probably why I get a lot of hang-ups when I answer unknown calls at work, I say more than just 'Hello?' since I'm answering for a business, and I usually hear a click after a second and a dead line. Unfortunately, I don't have the option to just ignore them, since some of our clients and even an employee call from unknown numbers.

I always tell people calling from phone companies that we don't have a phone. They never quite know what to say to that. Other annoying salesmen get directed to the warehouse cat, who never seems available for a phone call.

The main problem I see, even with the do not call list, is enforcement of it. When I answer without looking at the caller ID first, and it's a telemarketer, they just hang up when you ask for their information, so it's hard to turn them in. I suppose I could play along to get their info, but hanging up is just easier.

Re:How about a do not mail list? (5, Funny)

Sabz5150 (1230938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341346)

I realized long ago just because some contraption starts making noise, nothing is forcing me to address it.
Get married. Watch that change.

Re:How about a do not mail list? (0, Offtopic)

skuzzlebutt (177224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22342270)

...and me, fresh out of mod points.

Re:How about a do not mail list? (2, Interesting)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22340846)

I agree. You have to actually pay to get off of some mailing lists now. The law should allow a single repository where you can request to not get any junk mail except from companies you already are doing business with and even then only when you opt-in. And no, affiliates of businesses you do business with DON'T count.

Re:How about a do not mail list? (1)

CallFinalClass (801589) | more than 6 years ago | (#22340902)

Yes, there's an opt-out list, yes it's effective but not 100%, no you don't have to pay to get on it.

Re:How about a do not mail list? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22340966)

Well got a link, I mean you can't tell us there is one without a link

Re:How about a do not mail list? (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341008)

The mailing list I'm talking about you do have to pay if you mail in the form. Online is free but you have to provide a credit card number for verification. https://www.dmachoice.org/MPS/mps_consumer_description.php [dmachoice.org]

mail pref. service didn't help me (3, Funny)

mbius (890083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341460)

They've had my dollar a few years now, and my mailbox hasn't seen any difference.

Just this morning I was pondering an amazing coupon for two $0.79 Taco Bell tacos for only $1.59. Or ten for $7.99!

Re:mail pref. service didn't help me (1)

CallFinalClass (801589) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341866)

It's not 100% effective, anyone can send email to Occupant.

The entire "Opt Out" paradigm is wrong. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22341574)

Businesses like to make themselves sound so privacy sensitive and friendly by offering an "opt-out" option. This is bullshit. Opt-out should be the default. Unless you have a bonafide business relationship with an organization (not their affiliates, partners, etc.), you should have to OPT-IN to be subject to direct mail, email, phone, and fax solicitations.

Some don't even offer that - among the most egregious collectors and wholesalers of private, personal data is ChoicePoint. Check out this "Opt-Out" page: http://www.privacyatchoicepoint.com/optout_ext_pfg.html [privacyatchoicepoint.com]

See the "Reason for your request" dropdown? (Note that you have to choose a state to see any options here.). Notice that there is no "It's none of your fvcking business" choice available. You typically have to be a public elected official or law enforcement (they take care of their own of course), victim of identity theft (err ... maybe a little late to be opting out of this eh?) or at risk of physical harm.

And it's not as simple as simply making that statement - you have to actually upload supporting documentation for your claim.

Re:The entire "Opt Out" paradigm is wrong. (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341752)

I wholeheartedly agree with everything you just said.

Re:How about a do not mail list? (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 6 years ago | (#22340894)

I find unsolicited phone calls *FAR* more annoying that any other type of junk communication. It forces me to take action- to look, or to shut the phone up from reminding me of a missed call or junk voicemail. Junk Email doesn't do that. Junk Snailmail doesn't do that.

I think all such calls should be illegal as an invasion of privacy. Robot or human. And enforcement should be swift and severe.... set up a system where you can dial a special number and it automatically reports the last call you got as an illegal junk call.

And while on the topic, I wonder if putting you number on such a list does nothing but GUARANTEE junk calls by less-reputable places who just take the do not call list as a wonderful, free list of phone numbers?

Re:How about a do not mail list? (1)

gotzero (1177159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341218)

I wish the list would include political candidates. There should also be a far easier way to turn people in who are violating. I would be happy to turn in specific parts of my logs to get the calls to stop for good. The mail is annoying too, and I hate the wasted paper,but at least it all comes at once. Plus, whenever I have people over and just completely ignore the phone, it usually inspires at least one, "well, aren't you going to answer it?". The "no" reply is usually taken with offense, even if I mention that I always take calls on the numbers they use to get to me...

Re:How about a do not mail list? (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341452)

The stupid part is what on earth makes these idiots think that by annoying me I'll want to go vote for them?

I mean it's pointless to even try to talk to anyone that's made up their minds already. So what you have left is people who are borderline between two candidates. One of the two annoyingly robo-calls the voter. Voter gets annoyed, votes for the other candidate...

I'd be willing to bet many more are turned away than persuaded to vote for the candidate that annoyed them.

Re:How about a do not mail list? (2, Interesting)

rewinn (647614) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341882)

Some have claimed [usatoday.com] that at least some robo calls are specifically designed to discourage you from voting, either by annoying you or by giving misleading conversation.

Re:How about a do not mail list? (2, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341548)

It forces me to take action- to look, or to shut the phone up from reminding me of a missed call or junk voicemail.

No. That's your crappy ass phone.

It *should* feature call management features to allow you to do stuff like:

I only want the missed call notifier to beep if:
  a) its my wife or immediate family
  b) the emergency number from the alarm company
  c) its someone in my address book between 9 and 5
  d) unless its -that guy- in which case don't ever beep. Hell don't even ring.
otherwise, if I miss the call, don't beep, ill see the notification when i check the phone.

Me, I want the missed call beeps during the day. But after 5pm, no. After midnight... HELL NO.

Similiarly I should be able to set ring rules in the same way.

Why don't we have features like this? I can say that my Primus VOIP service actually does... but why not my cellphone? My only theory is that the network desperately wants me to use my phone... although since I have unlimited incoming calls on my package, really, better screening would save them money. Not me.

Instead what do we get? The ability to assign different ring tones (purchased at $3+/each) to different contacts. Hurrah. Just another indicator of how fucked up it is to have the device provided by the network.

Its always: "What can the phone do to make you consume more services?" Instead of "What does the consumer actually want?"

Re:How about a do not mail list? (2, Interesting)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22340958)


I went one further.

I received a call from a politician running for mayor or some jazz, an automated type. I patiently listened to this spiel, did a google lookup for his business number, called him and left HIM a message stating:

"Dear Sir, I have called to inform you that I am not voting for you, not because of your stand on certain positions, but because you have resorted to an automatic phone dialer. I will also recommend my friends, acquaintances, and co-workers do the same. Good day."

Special note: I would not do it for any other sales pitch, as then they would know "I was there".

Joe Job? (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 6 years ago | (#22342092)

Sometimes those calls are Joe Jobs launched by the opposition, so be careful.

Re:Joe Job? (1)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22342124)


Odd little games politicians play. I never thought of that though, thanks for the heads-up :)

Re:How about a do not mail list? (1)

thePsychologist (1062886) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341394)

Put up a sign on your door - "no flyers or pennysavers".

Re:How about a do not mail list? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341912)

and have crap recorded in my voicemail? no thanks. we need call management, ability to block numbers and caller id with wildcards. I'm paying for service, not a conduit for any asshole on the planet to bother me.

Re:How about a do not mail list? (2, Informative)

vtscott (1089271) | more than 6 years ago | (#22342086)

The junkmail thing is definitely a pet peeve of mine, and it bothers me more than the telemarketing as well. At the last place I lived, we got junkmail from comcast about their internet service and comcast didn't even service our apartment complex. WTF? Where I live now I can't even remember the last day I went to the mailbox and there wasn't junk there. We recycle what we can, but I can't imagine how many trees die to bring us pizza coupons. And those trees would come in handy to offset the carbon emissions created when carting around that extra mail in the back of a mail truck... From wikipedia: [wikipedia.org]

* Each year, 100 million trees are used to produce junk mail. * 250,000 homes could be heated with one day's supply of junk mail. * Americans receive almost 4 million tons of junk mail every year. [3] * The yearly production and disposal of junk mail consumes more energy than 2.8 million cars.


But it's big business for the postal service, which is why it stays. Again from wikipedia: [wikipedia.org]

In the United States, the United States Postal Service maintains that direct marketers pay the majority of the costs of mail. Bulk mail thereby subsidizes low cost stamps for letter, magazine, and book mailing.


So the difference is that telemarketers aren't as lucrative for phone companies as spammers are for the postal service. Which is why it's much harder to stop the junkmail.

Re:How about a do not mail list? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22342262)

Start here for options to opt out of some junk mail offers (USA link)

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/prescreen.shtm [ftc.gov]

Does it matter? (2, Informative)

overshoot (39700) | more than 6 years ago | (#22340760)

The telemarketers have had the time now to engineer systems around the loopholes built into the law, so that we're pretty much back where we were before.

Don't think so? How many prosecutions have there been under the law in the last year?

Re:Does it matter? (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341244)

Indeed. I usually get a handful of marketing calls on my cell phone every day. They come from telemarketers who are generally outside the USA using VOIP and whatever caller-id they want. They are practically immune to the do not call list.

It got so bad I started using google's Grandcentral to screen all calls - now if the caller-id doesn't say it is my GrandCentral number calling, I refuse to answer the phone. And if it is GC, they have to verbally identify themselves before I accept the call.

Re:Does it matter? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22342068)

How do you set up this Grandcentral thing? I looked up some info but blah blah private beta etc....sounds pretty awesome, overall.

Re:Does it matter? (1)

Veinor (871770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22342272)

The telemarketers have had the time now to engineer systems around the loopholes built into the law, so that we're pretty much back where we were before.



Don't think so? How many prosecutions have there been under the law in the last year?

And how many telemarketing calls have been made, compared with before the law was passed? You can't prosecute something that doesn't happen.

Re:Does it matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22342276)

The telemarketers have had the time now to engineer systems around the loopholes built into the law, so that we're pretty much back where we were before. Don't think so? How many prosecutions have there been under the law in the last year?
Right, just like those segregation laws have failed. After all, how many segregation cases have we seen in the last year?

Re:Does it matter? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 6 years ago | (#22342360)

My telemarketing calls went from 1-3/day before I registered on the list, to about 0.05 - 0.1 per day now. I might get a survey call every few weeks.
Just my two cents.

Ehh (2, Insightful)

Eric(b0mb)Dennis (629047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22340778)

How about no robo-calls PERIOD?

Do you know they leave messags on your answering machine now?

I was sitting here, minding my own business.. phone rings, 1-800 number..no way i'm picking that up.

So my machine gets it, to my horrow i suddenly hear a text-book RADIO AD blaring through my answeing machine!

HI THIS IS GOTTSCHALKS BLQAGH BLAH BLAH in my own #($&*%& house, an ad! NO TV, NO RADIO!

I immediately threw my empty beer bottle at the blast machine, I'm getting answering service through the phone company now!

Re:Ehh (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 6 years ago | (#22340880)

If you're on the Do-Not-Call list, and this was a commercial, then it's illegal, and Gottschalks whatever can be prosecuted.

On the other hand, if that's some guy running for mayor, that's arguably protected under the First Amendment. That's probably why political calls got left out of the bill.

Re:Ehh (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341032)

Yeah, but what can you really do about it. They probably forged the Caller-ID anyway. There's no way of knowing who actually called. Good luck calling your phone company and getting them to trace it. They have better things to do with their time.

Re:Ehh (1)

Eric(b0mb)Dennis (629047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341392)

Yeah exactly.

I mean, the amount of time it would take me to do anything about it (and I am on the Do Not call list) is worth more to me than the simple satisfaction of sticking it to one company.

Re:Ehh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22341730)

"They probably forged the Caller-ID anyway."

Exactly. "What? No way. That must have been somebody else trying to lower our A+++ reputation!"

(CAPTCHA: parasite)

Re:Ehh (1, Insightful)

longacre (1090157) | more than 6 years ago | (#22340920)

How about no robo-calls PERIOD?

Why do you hate freedom?

Re:Ehh (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341334)

Why do you hate freedom?

I hate being called by the Salvation Army at 12:30 PM on a vacation day to listen to back-to-back identical messages (I suppose one is in case your answering machine picked up) about a new drop-off center in Burnsville, MN. I gave money every year but that stops as of Tuesday afternoon because they are using it to flood me with phone spam. Fuck em.

Then, I hang up from that, mildly annoyed and the phone rings again. Figuring I can't be getting back-to-back douchebag calls, I pick it up to get a message that I should hit "1" to leave a message for the carpet cleaning fuckers. They hide their number, name, etc so I can't even file a formal complaint. I whistle into the message and tell them to fuck themselves with a rusty iron pipe. Even that didn't make me feel better :(

Re:Ehh (1)

tknd (979052) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341910)

I wish there was something like spam filters or adblock for telephones and snail mail but unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case or will be for quite a while.

So I think the only way is to take things into your own hands and come up with a clever or "home" solution. For example many support desks put you through an automated system or if you call a company an employee might have an extension. Well why not make your own little home automated telephone system that would require say a special key combination before your home phone actually rings? Otherwise it would just push you through to the voice mail. So now when you tell your buddies your home number, you give them the phone number and a special extension to dial to bypass the automated system.

Snail mail is much trickier. I've thought about opening a PO Box to route all legitimate mail to but even then people still send you junk somehow. So the only solution I could come up with is putting down a fake name like "Joe Mama" anytime you are forced to write down your address to a non-critical service. Now when the junk comes in and says "Joe Mama" it immediately goes to the trash, no need to open it.

Autum? (0)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22340812)

Been awhile since I've heard that word. I forget, is it the transition from summer to fall or just a synonym for fall? Either way, I hope the list does become permanent and remain outraged that the politicians still give themselves the exemption.

Re:Autum? (0, Troll)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 6 years ago | (#22340954)

Autum isn't a word, but Autumn is the same as Fall.

Re:Autum? (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341128)

Oops... *hehe* Lousy handwriting recognition software. I was too distracted by bigger foul-ups.

Re:Autum? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22340994)

Autumn = fall. No clue what Autum is...

Re:Autum? (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341066)

Its actually Autumn and its what that insignificant (since they are not American) huge majority of English speakers in the world call Fall.

Re:Autum? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22341226)

Nice troll, man. Is it fun being a prejudiced clown?

I'm utterly suprised (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22340818)

I'm suprised they had the opportunity to FIT this in between steroids in baseball and cheating in the NFL. Wow. I'm still going to try to vote every one of them out, but when I do it, I imagine I might do it with a little less malice.

The problem with an opt out list... (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 6 years ago | (#22340986)

Is that telemarketers outside its jurisdiction have no obligation to honour it, but they can access it and use it to seed their auto dialers.

Why not simply require telcos to ask their customers whether or not they want to be on an opt in list when setting up a new account?

Isn't stopping all calls (1)

ktappe (747125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341000)

For the past half year, I've been getting calls "For any credit card holder with outstanding balances, press 9 for more information." So once I pressed 9 to tell the person they were breaking the law by calling me. The lady on the other end denied that their activities were illegal because I agreed to the call by pressing 9. Seems like circular logic to me, but they keep calling.

Re:Isn't stopping all calls (5, Interesting)

DanQuixote (945427) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341498)


Here is an effective (though laborious) way to deal with that.

1. Register on National Do-Not-Call list.
2. Wait 3 month beginning period.
3. Get caller ID.
4. Wait for another call.
5. Be pleasant to the person, if you can order something cheap, say $10, do it.
6. Get their address and phone number as you place the order.
7. Photograph the Caller ID display as evidence.
8. Take good notes including date, time, person talked to, company name, as more evidence.
9. Copy the bill you receive for $10 as conclusive evidence of marketing intent.
10. Go to your county courthouse, lodge a small claim for $500 for a telemarketing violation.
11. Send them proper notice they are being sued.
12. Since they are often out of state, they won't show and you get default judgment.
13. If they do show, you have proof of listing, notice, call, and call purpose.
14. For bonus dollars, ($500 per item) look into whether they have, train to, practice and publish upon demand the required company calling policies.
15. Profit!!!

I've tried it, it works.

Caller ID is your friend (2, Interesting)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341052)

Caller ID along with an answering machine is a great combination. My home phone/answering machin also lets me set up custom ring tones for numbers in its address list. If a family member of friend calls I hear one type of ring so I always answer it. If the Caller ID says something like "blocked" or "unknown" or shows a phone number like 000-000-0000 then I just let my answering machine pick it up. It sure saves me a lot of hassle.

Re:Caller ID is your friend (1)

DanQuixote (945427) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341528)


That's a sweet machine! What's the make and model?

Or did you go for extra geek points and build your own out of an old desktop?

Re:Caller ID is your friend (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341776)

It's a Motorola 5.8 GHz phone system. I believe this [amazon.com] is the base station. I also have a couple remotes around the house.

Welcome to 2008? (0, Redundant)

Itninja (937614) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341054)

In this amazing future there is a thing called Caller ID. I use it to see who is calling me before I answer the phone. When is says 'unavailable' or 'anonymous' I just ignore it. Sure I waste precious seconds looking to see the name, but I think I can handle it.

A real solution (1)

Message (303377) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341092)

How about we have a real solution and make it illegal to solicit people at all. Why should I have to sign up for a special list so that someone I don't know can call me on a service I pay for about something I care nothing about. And while we are at it, include the charity folks in there, if I want to donate, I'll find you.

How About (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22341118)


a DO NOT GET OUT OF JAIL FREE Card for this War Criminal [whitehouse.org] ?

However, given most Slashdotters' preoccupation with their subprime hovel mortages, SUVs, and "software engineering" jobs, I don't expect
democracy to arrive in the United Gulags Of America in this century,

PatRIOTically Forever,
K. Trout

Next step (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341170)

Now what we need is Do Not Mail Registry (anybody knows a good reason why this doesn't exist already?) and Do Not Email Registry (a bit harder to enforce :)

What happens when numbers are reassigned? (4, Interesting)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341220)

What happens to the status of the number when someone discontinues usage of the telephone number, say by moving or canceling your service and moving to VoIP? IF the number is then at some point reassigned to another person, does that number remain on the Do-Not-Call list? If it does, is that legitimate, as an individual can only vouch for their own phone numbers, and not that of a third-party?

Re:What happens when numbers are reassigned? (2, Interesting)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341432)

When the number is de-activated or moved by the phone company, your name and number and come off the list. I guess the phone company notifies the FTC, or something like that.

See http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt107.shtm [ftc.gov] for more info. Note that the fucktards at the FTC refer to people as "consumers," despite the fact that a person is probably registering on the Do Not Call list because they aren't consumers.

Re:What happens when numbers are reassigned? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22342248)

People with working telephones consume telephone services.

Re:What happens when numbers are reassigned? (1)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22342330)

Note that the fucktards at the FTC refer to people as "consumers," despite the fact that a person is probably registering on the Do Not Call list because they aren't consumers.

Are you denying the fact that you consume? Perhaps you are a producer who has evolved beyond the point of needing to consume anything?

I, for one welcome, our new over-production overlord, WK2. May his DNA defeat my own consumer DNA in the evolutionary battle for galactic supremacy.

Since 150 million are on the list... (1)

Peter Simpson (112887) | more than 6 years ago | (#22342174)

...the odds are about 50/50 that whoever gets your old number will want to be on the list anyway.

I see a huge problem here. (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341264)

How about people who have their number on the list, but then, GASP, move, and their number changes. That number is now on the list forever, despite its owner changing, no?

Re:I see a huge problem here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22341338)

Nowadays, at least for moves within the same area code, many people take their numbers with them.

That's not a problem, that's a feature (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341348)

That's not a Problem, that's a feature. Since that's the way it should be already. I'd be happy to get a number already on the DNC list. If I wanted to get removed I could do that. Not what I would call a deal breaker.

Re:That's not a problem, that's a feature (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341488)

Sorry, I'm thinking about this from the other end. You know, the "Everyone has rights, not just individuals" one.

Re:That's not a problem, that's a feature (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341678)

Sorry, I'm thinking about this from the other end. You know, the "Everyone has rights, not just individuals" one.
There are so many things wrong with that I don't even know where to start. Rights belong to individuals. Corporations are not individuals as much as the people running them would like them to be. I'm not anti-corporation but I am anti-gettingproductsandservicesshooveddownmythroat. If I want something I should be able to go to a marketplace (physical or virtual) and choose which company I want to purchase it from. Simple as that. I don't need advertising shoved in my face. I don't think people were born with the right to shove things into other people's faces. Especially when the person (corporation backed or otherwise) is shoving a product or service in my face. Screaming about a real issue (emergency, political, charity) is one thing but verbally molesting me everytime I pass the ATT or Verizon both at the local mall is bullshit!

Re:That's not a problem, that's a feature (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341908)

Yes, the telemarketers have rights. In this case specifically, the right to free speech. They're free to talk about their product all they want. Nobody disputes this (well, nobody sane anyway).

But that's not what they want. What they want is to use my phone line for their speech. And when they ask that, the question of their free-speech rights doesn't even come into it because they aren't asking for free speech. They're asking for the right to appropriate someone else's property without authorization or permission. And nowhere under law is anyone (except the government) given that right. In fact most laws that speak to the subject deny that as a right and classify it as one variety or another of crime or civil tort.

Yes, phone numbers are "public" in the sense that they're published in the phone directory. My address is "public" in the sense that it's clearly marked on my mailbox and house. That doesn't mean, though, that J. Random Passerby has permission to come barging into my house and make himself at home. The same with phone numbers.

If the telemarketers want the right to speak freely using a particular phone, they can foot the bill for it. As long as I'm footing the bill, though, they use it at my sufferance. And if I don't suffer them to use it, that's just tough for them.

Re:I see a huge problem here. (1)

DanQuixote (945427) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341666)


If you RTFA then you might notice that there are a whopping 150 megaphones (sorry) on that list. Even if that means everyone registered 2 numbers, there's still 75 megapeople who sufficiently hate those calls, that they went out of their way to get listed. That means we're talking 1/4 to 1/2 the people IN THE NATION went to the trouble to sign up.

So 1/4 to 1/2 of the people who get the new number are going to want it DNC listed anyway. Of the others who really WANT (gasp) to get the calls, only a small number will want it bad enough to go get delisted. (surely a form of insanity!)

In other words, this is not a bug, it's a feature!

Perl script... (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341290)

Ok, so once this becomes permanant, hopefully they just use a dumb form to add a number to the list.. in which case... I'll give a bag of cookies to whoever writes the first perlscript to add every single number in existance to the database. I mean, thats only what, 000-0000 to 999-9999?

Re:Perl script... (1)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341526)

It's not quite a dumb form. You have to give them your email address, and I think there is a limit to the number of numbers that can be connected to one email address. However, you could probably manage to script the process. Keep in mind that there are 10 ^ 10 (10 billion) possible 10-digit phone number combinations in the U.S, and probably about a billion or so are active.

Re:Perl script... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22341584)

No, you see, we have these new designations called area codes -- or NPA in telco speak. You are off by about 3 orders of magnitude in your calculations.

But hey, 8 billion or so iterations of a simple script is nothing. Now there's just that issue of paying a few dollars per submission. d0h!

Re:Perl script... (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#22342356)

No, you see, we have these new designations called area codes -- or NPA in telco speak. You are off by about 3 orders of magnitude in your calculations.

But hey, 8 billion or so iterations of a simple script is nothing. Now there's just that issue of paying a few dollars per submission. d0h!

Charge it to Bill Gates.

Oh look! (0, Offtopic)

CompMD (522020) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341304)

coondoggie writes in with a networkworld article! How about that!

Telemarketers for Non-Profits (2, Interesting)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341308)

Now we need to do something about the telemarketing firms calling "on behalf" of non-profit organizations. This is still legal under the law (it seemed like a good idea: who doesn't love non-profits?), but it's being abused. The telemarketing companies keep an extraordinary fraction of the donations (over 50%, from what a local newspaper investigation found) so little of your money goes to the organization you're trying to help.

One obvious solution is to only allow the non-profit exemption if more than, say, 90% of the donation goes right to the actual non-profit. That'll probably shut up the telemarketers because profit would no longer cover costs.

Political Calls are No Big Deal, Junk Mail Worse (4, Insightful)

Maltheus (248271) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341328)

The occasional person polling me for my opinions doesn't bother me at all. It's simple enough to hang up if I don't want to bother. But in the days before the Do Not Call List, I'd hardly ever bothered answering my phone if it got bad.

Junk mail is far worse, IMO. You still have to sort through it to make sure you're not throwing anything important out. It usually just ends up turning my house into a mess because I don't have the time to deal with it all. At the very least, they could put those newspaper adverts in a bag or something. It's too easy to get that crap mixed in with real mail. I don't want anything that doesn't have my name on it (resident mailings), nor do I want credit card offers that can fuck me up if I don't dispose of them properly. I wish I could direct a private company to deliver my mail that won't having a problem stripping this stuff out for me.

Re:Political Calls are No Big Deal, Junk Mail Wors (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341404)

I wish I could direct a private company to deliver my mail that won't having a problem stripping this stuff out for me.

I'll do it for you. My fee is $30 an hour and I need to be paid W-2 for a minimum of 40 hours a week and oh ya, I need Health Insurance. This is a legitimate offer.

The new telemarketers (2, Insightful)

Ender77 (551980) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341532)

The new telemarketers get around the do not call list by claiming they are taking surveys for products. I have been getting more and more calls for surveys lately for this or that product. I ask to be taken off the call list but they just say they are not telemarketers and ignore the request.

I just wish... (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341670)

... the DNC included charities, too. My wife doesn't like confrontations, doesn't like saying no, and can't bring herself to just say "Not interested" and hang up. We've also got a lot going on, what with our two-pound-six-ounce prematurely-born baby and all, so a lot of times the easiest way for her to get rid of them is to just say 'Yes.' In particular, the Florida Highway Patrol calls a lot. Actually, it's not really the FHP--any group that wants to collect money on their behalf can do so, so even if you ask them not to call, another group will call later. And it's just a waste--90% of the money they collect goes to overhead. Very little gets to whatever it's actually being collected for. (According to an actual state trooper we asked.)

Oh, and they usually block their caller ID too... scumsucking turds. We wouldn't answer blocked calls at all except her family and some business contacts are in Europe and those numbers sometimes show up as 'unknown' too. It should be an absolute law that no company, organization, charity, or political party should be allowed to call with a blocked caller ID. It's just as bad as forged FROM: headers in spam.

As for robo-calls, I don't mind those so much... I don't get many, and at least they're easy to hang up on. That doesn't mean they should be allowed, though. NO group should be able to waste your time, no matter what they're selling, be it a product or a point of view.

Re:I just wish... (2, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341998)

My wife doesn't like... saying no,

Tell me something I don't know.

Re:I just wish... (1)

conlaw (983784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22342290)

Oh, and they usually block their caller ID too... scumsucking turds. We wouldn't answer blocked calls at all except her family and some business contacts are in Europe and those numbers sometimes show up as 'unknown' too. It should be an absolute law that no company, organization, charity, or political party should be allowed to call with a blocked caller ID.

There's definitely a federal regulation that applies here:

47 CFR 64.1601 (e) and (e) (1)

Any telemarketer must transmit caller identification, which must include the calling party's telephone number and the name of the telemarketing company or of the company on whose behalf they are calling. The telephone number that is provided must be one that will permit the recipient of the call to make a do-not-call request.

Charities and Politicians exempt (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#22341826)

And that includes the charities that spend 97 percent of the money they fundraise on "executive compensation".

Sigh.

I'm not surprised politicians are exempting themselves from the Do Not Call list in a law they pass, though.

What about Do Not Poll? (1)

hackingbear (988354) | more than 6 years ago | (#22342130)

I don't know why my opinions are becoming so important lately after this "Do Not Call" list is up. I need a "Do Not Poll" list.
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