Do Not Call Registry

After receiving yet another phone call from Dish Network, I have begun thinking about the National Do Not Call Registry. I have been on the registry for a year, and the calls definitely seemed to go down after I got on there, except for the calls from Dish Network – at least eight in the last year.

I even confirmed with the registry that my number was listed there. Then I filed a complaint against Dish Network. My wife asked about all the calls we get from companies where we have accounts, like the phone company. They are allowed to call us unless we specifically ask them not to. If we even make an inquiry with a company they can call us for three months after the inquiry.

I called the phone company and they agreed to take me off their call list. I still need to call the one credit card that pesters us with phone calls (the other credit card companies don’t call us) but at least I know I can.

All of this led me to think about what it takes to make this registry work. Obviously it requires that people get themselves on the list. Their website even warns that if someone calls with an offer to get you on the registry for a fee it’s a scam. Registry is free and is the responsibility of anyone who wants their number listed. The second thing that is required to make this work is that people need to report violations. This is easy to do at the donotcall.gov site. Just make sure that you have the name of the company, or the phone number they called from. Also, you must list the date they called. If the call is not within 31 days of your registration with the registry, and it is not from:

  • a charity
  • a political organization
  • a poll (where they don’t offer to sell anything)
  • or a company where you are doing business

then it is a violation which will be investigated.

I guess it’s like every other aspect of a representative government – how well it works depends entirely upon the participation of the citizens.

UPDATE 1/11/2007: I just got another call from Dish Network. I filed another complaint.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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Comments

16 Responses to Do Not Call Registry

  1. What happens if we follow the personal responsibility road a little further?

    In the above example, personal responsibility has to be taken in order to get on the do-not-call registry. However, the program is still a government bureaucracy funded at taxpayer expense (unless of course fines for non-compliance fund the program). To take full responsibility, rather than leaning on the government for support, is rather simple, in this case.

    First, if unwanted sales calls are annoying to me, I can choose to not answer the phone unless I know who it’s from (caller ID is pretty cheap these days). I could also choose to unlist my phone number, as phone books are the primary source of numbers used by telemarketers. I could also buy an inexpensive device that blocks telemarketing calls – available all over the place – so that the phone doesn’t even ring when they call.

    To look further even than these avenues – if a large majority of individuals would refuse to do business with companies that engage in telemarketing (and spam, for that matter), their work would become less profitable, and they would find less intrusive ways to advertise. They only call and e-mail now because it’s working. If they stop making money at it, they’ll stop doing it.

    I’m not exactly complaining about the do-not-call list – I’m on it myself. I like what it does. However, I do recognize that so much of what we, as Americans complain about (such as unwanted phone solicitation), need not be brought before our local or federal government. We are big kids and can handle these things on our own.

    I sometimes wonder what great things could be accomplished by government if it weren’t constantly trying to placate the ever present, childish complaints of an overindulged public.

    Much, if not most, of what government does these days can be handled by private citizens taking personal responsibility, by private organizations working to improve society, and by private entrepreneurial businesses seeking to make a buck by providing a wanted service for pay.

    Now I can put away my soap box.

  2. Jason & Denise Black says:

    What happens if we follow the personal responsibility road a little further?

    In the above example, personal responsibility has to be taken in order to get on the do-not-call registry. However, the program is still a government bureaucracy funded at taxpayer expense (unless of course fines for non-compliance fund the program). To take full responsibility, rather than leaning on the government for support, is rather simple, in this case.

    First, if unwanted sales calls are annoying to me, I can choose to not answer the phone unless I know who it’s from (caller ID is pretty cheap these days). I could also choose to unlist my phone number, as phone books are the primary source of numbers used by telemarketers. I could also buy an inexpensive device that blocks telemarketing calls – available all over the place – so that the phone doesn’t even ring when they call.

    To look further even than these avenues – if a large majority of individuals would refuse to do business with companies that engage in telemarketing (and spam, for that matter), their work would become less profitable, and they would find less intrusive ways to advertise. They only call and e-mail now because it’s working. If they stop making money at it, they’ll stop doing it.

    I’m not exactly complaining about the do-not-call list – I’m on it myself. I like what it does. However, I do recognize that so much of what we, as Americans complain about (such as unwanted phone solicitation), need not be brought before our local or federal government. We are big kids and can handle these things on our own.

    I sometimes wonder what great things could be accomplished by government if it weren’t constantly trying to placate the ever present, childish complaints of an overindulged public.

    Much, if not most, of what government does these days can be handled by private citizens taking personal responsibility, by private organizations working to improve society, and by private entrepreneurial businesses seeking to make a buck by providing a wanted service for pay.

    Now I can put away my soap box.

  3. David says:

    You are absolutely right. Mind if I publish some of your comments on the front page of the blog?

  4. Jason & Denise Black says:

    Go for it.

  5. Pingback: David Miller » Blog Archive » Comments on Do Not Call

  6. In addition to contacting the Opt-Out directory, here are some addresses I’ve written letters to get off of direct marketing lists. Some of the links I’ve found helpful (with explanations of what each company does) are:

    http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs4-junk.htm
    http://www.fightidentitytheft.com/junkmail.html
    http://www.stopthejunkmail.com/

    Additionally, I’ve contacted my current credit card companies to get them to take me off their advertising lists. (Citi Cards is especially bad at this.) If you want to do this, the key phrases you want to include in your letters/phonecalls are:

    “remove me from your telemarketing lists”
    “limit information disclosed about me to your affiliates”
    “limit information disclosed about me to your non-affiliated third parties,” and the best one
    “remove me from all promotional Citigroup products mail, all statement inserts and all statement-attached convenience and balance transfer checks except where required by law”

    After doing this (and calling CitiCards twice to remind them to get me off their lists), they have listened, and now I only get my statements from them in the mail. Hooray!

  7. David says:

    Tufted One -thanks for that info. I would never have guessed that you could get a credit card company to stop sending convenience checks and balance transfer checks with their statements.

  8. imannoyed says:

    I’ve been on the DO NOT CALL list for a couple of years now, and recently I’ve gotten calls from 305-370-1211. (Google this number and you’ll see how many others have been bothered.) But it seems the more I report them to the DO NOT CALL registry site, the more calls I get. It went from one a month to 3 a day. How does this happen? It’s amazing that, with so many people being illegally called by this company, they can still be operating.

  9. David says:

    That is rather surprising. Any idea what company it is? I’d love to publicize their non-compliance and use the internet to enlighten people on their shady practices.

  10. mkland2 says:

    Over the past year and half we have received almost daily sales calls from the Dish Network (Echostar Communications Co) even though our home phone number has been listed on the National Do Not Call Registry and the Texas DO Not Call Registry for the past three years. We have told the Dish Network caller repeatedly that they have violated the do not call law. They seemed not to care at all. In fact they seemed to be foreign based (in China) and didn’t even know such a thing as a do not call list. For the first year, we reported each incident to the National Do Not Call Registry website. Nothing happened. We received no feedback or inquiry from the National Do Not Call Registry. The calls from the Dish Network kept on coming. In December of 2006, we filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau of Denver (BBB). Dish Network responded to this complaint. A woman from the TCPA department of the Echostar LLC called me and requested me to set up a sting operation to catch the caller. I agreed. The woman gave me a fake SS# and a Visa card#. I did the sting operation the next day on the new Dish Network caller. The Dish Network person sent a letter to me and BBB informing us that they did an investigation based upon the sting operation and was able to identify the caller as someone from a company based in Maryland called Total Marketing Solutions. In the letter Dish Network promised that no more calls starting February, 2007. Yet, right after this letter, the call kept on coming until today. I called the woman in the Dish Network headquarters and told her that there were new calls and I did additional sting operations on the new callers. I asked her to investigate. She never did. Apparently they did the investigation after the first sting operation just to be able to send that letter to BBB to close the case. Once the case was closed, they would do nothing to investigate the new calls even though they promised in writing of no new calls. After two months I couldn’t get any response from the woman in the Dish Network who set up the sting operation. I called another person in Dish Network whose name appeared in the letter to me and BBB. I was told that the woman I worked with had quit. I filed complaint with the Texas Department of Consumer Protection, the Colorado Department of Consumer Protection, the FTC, and the FCC. None of they seemed to be able to do or did anything to stop the Dish Network from violating the do not call list. In the middle of 2007, I had enough and filed a second BBB complaint. Again, Dish Network responded to the complaint by doing another trace on one of a dozen or more of the sting operations I did. They reported the caller as one company based in California in another letter to BBB and me. Again Dish Network promised to stop the calls after July of 2007. Yet the calls kept on coming. I refused to close the second BBB complaint and insisted that Dish Network explain what they had done and would do to these law breakers and what measures they would take to make sure the calls would stop. Dish Network ignored my requests. After a while BBB closed the case and informed me that there was nothing more they could do since BBB had no enforcement authority. It seems to me that the Do Not Call list has no teeth at all. A company like Dish Network can simply ignore it and get away with it with abandon. Recently, we are getting calls every evening from Dish Network at 7:10 PM CST like clockwork. I am pretty sure it is an automated calling setup that just cycling through a phone list. I don’t know what I can do to stop them.

  11. David says:

    That is just plain ridiculous. I guess we know why the law needs some teeth. I feel for you.

  12. Tom says:

    I have been on the do not call list from its beginning and it has stopped most of my unwanted calls. But for the last couple of years I have been getting automated calls from a company called “make it or break it videos”. I have never done business with any online video company. The calls always come between 10 and 11 pm eastern time. I have reported them several times but it does not seem to do any good. Last night at 10:30 pm I got another automated message by a man named andre with the phone number of 1-917-701-5823 and email address of andre@makeitorbreakit.com. I would say it is the same people as the ones from make it or break it videos. I have quit reporting them to the do not call registry because it is a waste of time. If I email them I am sure I will get flooded with spam so I am going to look in to other methods to stop their calls. Calling them will just verify that I am receiving their calls. It is a shame that we can not stop these calls and as one poster said the Do not call registry has no teeth and why should people have to paid for caller id to stop calls they do not want. I am retired and have to watch what I spend. I make a point to never buy any products from unwanted callers even if I might want the produce and always hang up on out sourced people even if they work for companies I do business with. I am tired of trying to talk to those who can not understand me and I can not understand them. Well thats it and thanks for a place to vent. Tom

  13. a says:

    Does anyone know how to get on the do not call registry?? i am so interested in having my business phone taken off the list…

  14. David says:

    Here’s the online form to register a phone number.

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