Dealing with unsolicited calls can become extremely frustrating. You may think your only defence is just to ignore the calls, but that is the furthest from the truth. You can stop unwanted calls by understanding your rights and becoming knowledgeable of the cold calling process.
National Do Not Call Registry
Any phone numbers that can be found in directories or a public phone book are in the National Directory Database, which is used by telemarketers. Founded by the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) the National Do Not Call Registry is a solution to most telemarketing phone calls.
You can add either your mobile or home phone number to the registry free of charge. Joining the Do Not Call registry can be done online if you have an available email because you will receive a confirmation email that you must respond to within 72 hours to complete the registration process.
Another alternative is adding your number to the registry by calling the toll-free number 1-888-382-1222. Your number will be on the list for five years. After five years, you will need to follow the same instructions.
Will All Unsolicited Calls Stop?
Joining the Do Not Call Registry won’t stop all telemarketing calls. You could still receive calls from the following:
- A business where you had already established a business relationship. These companies are permitted to call you for up to 18 months after making a purchase or three months if you made an inquiry or submitted an application.
- Individuals conducting surveys, political organizations or charities.
After the specified time frames, any calls placed to you by the person or entities are considered telephone solicitations and subject to the Do Not Call regulations.
Blocking the Numbers Yourself
For many of us the only phone calls we receive on our landlines are from marketers. I am sure we have all been in that situation of running towards the ringing phone only to pick up and here the rattling’s of a pre-recorded message, banging on about PPI.
However many of us are reluctant to give up our handsets and rely totally on mobile phones. With this in mind many phones today have built in blocking functions, which allow you to effortlessly block unwanted and irritating phone calls. Handsets like the Siemens Gigaset S795 Twin for example have a simple “Anonymous call silencing” which takes private numbers straight to voice-mail.
This is a handy little tip that will save you the hassle of that momentary panic which ends with a pre-recorded nightmare.
Beware of Your Rights
Once your number has been added to the Do Not Call list telemarketers have 31 days to exclude your number. Federal law mandates telemarketers to search the Do Not Call Registry every 31 days so these numbers won’t be called. If you continue to receive calls from entities or individuals who meet the rules for the registry, you can make a complaint at donotcall.gov. The FCC will enforce fines and warning citations for violators.
Requirements of Cold Calling
Telemarketers are mandated to display their phone number and name when they call you. The number must be one that can be called during business hours. This rule is also applicable to companies that you already have established a business relationship regardless of if your number has been added to the Do Not Call list.
Calls from telemarketers are only allowed between 8:00am-9: 00pm This rule doesn’t apply to an already established business relationship or if you have given permission for alternative hours. Cold calls on your job don’t have any specific time frames.
When telemarketers call your home, they must immediately identify their name, entity name, and the purpose of the call. At all times telemarketers should treat you with respect. Cold callers aren’t allowed to bully, use profane language, or threaten.
Many telemarketers often try to warm up you up with flattery. Some telemarketers may suggest they’ve spoken with you before. Don’t succumb to this strategy; don’t feel forced to be polite or stay on the line. You don’t have to stay on the phone if you don’t want to, you can easily respond by saying, “no, thanks” or “I’m not interested” and then hang up. Always remain in control and can hang up at any time.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you from Ligo