It seemed like we were getting way too many telemarketing calls...usually right around 8 p.m. while struggling to get the kids bathed and into bed. And I thought we had signed up for the National Do Not Call Registry years ago. So here's a brief "refresher" on how the Do Not Call Registry works and what it can and cannot do.
What It Does
If you register your phone number in the National Do Not Call Registry, telemarketers must stop calling that number within 31 days. The Registry applies only to personal phone numbers, both home phone and cell phones. The law does not apply to business lines.
What it Doesn't Do
If you buy goods or services, they can call you up to 18 months even though your number is on the Registry. If you want them to stop calling you sooner, you must tell them in writing. The Registry does not apply to political, charity and survey calls. If you inquire or apply to a particular vendor, they can call you for up to 3 months, even if you are on the Registry.
How Do You Register?
Register at www.donotcall.gov. It only takes a minute and you can register up to 3 phone numbers at the same time. You must have email to confirm the registration. Or register by phone at 888.382.1222. You must call from the phone you wish to place on the Registry. You can't register your home phone from your work or cell phones.
Does the Registration Expire?
No. The Federal Trade Commission has committed not to drop numbers from the Registry unless they have been disconnected and reassigned. But if your number is disconnected and re-connected, you must re-register.
Did I Register?
Can't remember? Verify your status at donotcall.gov/confirm/conf.aspx. It only takes a minute.
Now I understand why I still get all these calls...charities, politics (before this month's elections) and an occasional survey call.
So if you really, really don't want phone calls from people you don't know:
Don't register to vote (not recommended!)
Don't give to charity (not recommended!)
Don't give your phone number to anyone you buy stuff from
Don't give out your phone number if you are inquiring about a product