|Question: How do I stop those annoying telemarketing calls?|
How many times have you just sat down to dinner with your family when the phone rings? You think the call could be important, so you pick up the phone. But on the other end is Susie from the Abracadabra Corporation. She's calling to let you know that she has a great offer for you this evening. If you're like most people, you either hang up on Susie in the middle of her sales pitch or wait until she's finished to say, "I'm not interested."
But if you want telemarketers to stop calling you, you need to say that when they call. Once you tell a telemarketing firm to put you on its "do not call" list, it is required by law to do so. If a telemarketing company continues to call, you may be able to take that firm to court. If you find yourself in this situation, be sure to document the calls (e.g., dates, times, company name, the caller's name) and consult an attorney for more information.
Unfortunately, the effectiveness of this technique is limited. You may put an end to Susie's calls, but Betty, Joe, Lou, and Ben are standing by, waiting to call you. A better way to end telemarketing calls is to sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry. This free federal service, managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), makes it illegal for telemarketers to call you once your number is included on the registry. To sign up, visit www.donotcall.gov or call (888) 382-1222.
Many states that maintain "do not call" registries automatically transfer names from their lists to the national registry, so once you've signed up for your state's registry, you may not need to re-register for the national list. You won't receive any confirmation once your number has been added to the national registry, but you can verify your status by contacting the FTC through the website or phone number listed above.
Although you should receive far fewer dinnertime calls once you've signed up for the national registry, don't expect telemarketing calls to end completely. Because certain calls don't fall under federal rules, you may continue to receive calls from companies with which you have an established business relationship, from charities or political organizations soliciting donations, or from companies doing phone surveys. To end these calls, you'll have to ask these callers, one by one, to put you on their organization's "do not call" list.