Three things you need to know about the 'Do Not Call Registry'
My cellphone is being invaded.
When my wife and I dropped our landline a few years ago, we thought our days of random sales calls were over. Wishful thinking!
Over the last month I’ve seen a dramatic increase in random sales calls to my cellphone, and I’ve decided to take action. So here are three things you need to know about the Do Not Call Registry.
It takes a month
Once you register your phone number (online at donotcall.gov or 888.382.1222), it’ll show up on the Registry the next day, says the FTC, and “most sales calls will stop once your number has been on the Registry for 31 days.” To verify that your number is on the Registry, visit donotcall.gov or call 888.382.1222.
It won’t block all calls
Once you’re on the Registry, sales calls should stop, but you can still receive “political calls, charitable calls, debt collection calls, informational calls and telephone survey calls,” explains the FTC, adding: “In addition, companies may still call if you’ve recently done business with the company, or if you’ve given the company written permission to call you. However, if you ask a company not to call you again, it must honor your request. Record the date of your request.”
If you’re still getting phone calls, recommends the FTC, “don’t interact in any way. Don’t press buttons to be taken off the call list or to talk to a live person. Doing so will probably lead to more unwanted calls. Instead, hang up and file a complaint with the FTC.”
Still getting calls?
If you’re on the Registry and calls just keep on coming, you can: 1. Ask the phone company to block that number (there may be a fee to do so); or 2. Explore a call blocking solution (e.g., blocking boxes, online services, smartphone apps).
The Do Not Call Registry was established in 2003, and the FTC notes that since 2009 there has been a steady increase in illegal sales calls. To combat the increase, the FTC continues to take legal action (over the years, they’ve sued hundreds of companies/individuals and collected more than a billion dollars in judgments) and explore a series of technology-based solutions (e.g., they’ve held robocall contests to encourage tech innovators to create new blocking tools).
What to do? I don’t know about you, but I’m signing up today!