Good news! The coolest thing the government has done since Roth IRA's :) is team up with the FTC to start something called the National Do Not Call Registry. Here is how it works- Most telemarketers cannot call your telephone number if it is in the National Do Not Call Registry. You can register your home and mobile phone numbers for free. Your registration will be effective for five years. All you have to do is call this number:
You must be calling from the number you wish to register. by registering with the National Do Not Call service, you will limit the telemarketing calls you receive. On October 1, 2003, when the National Do Not Call Registry will be enforced, most telemarketers will be required to remove the numbers on the registry from their call lists. The registry was created to offer consumers a choice regarding telemarketing calls. The FTC's decision to create the National Do Not Call Registry was the culmination of a comprehensive, three year review of the Telemarketing Sales Rule, as well as the Commission's extensive experience enforcing the Rule over seven years. The FTC held numerous workshops, meetings and briefings to solicit feedback from interested parties and considered over 64,000 public comments, most of which favored creating the registry. You can review the entire record of the Rule review by copying and pasting this address into your browser: www.ftc.gov/bcp/rulemaking/tsr/tsrrulemaking/index.htm. The National Do Not Call Registry is managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency. It will be enforced by the FTC and state law enforcement officials.
Telemarketers and sellers will be required to search the registry at least every three months and drop from their call lists the phone numbers of consumers who have registered. The dedicated, fully automated and secure Web site at telemarketing.donotcall.gov (available September 1, 2003) will provide this information to telemarketers and sellers. On October 1, 2003, a consumer who receives a telemarketing call despite being on the registry will be able to file a complaint with the FTC, either online or by calling a toll-free number. Violators could be fined up to $11,000 per incident.
If you register by August 31, 2003, you will start receiving fewer telemarketing calls by October 1, 2003. If you register after September 1, 2003, telemarketers covered by the National Do Not Call Registry will have up to three months from the date you register to stop calling you.
As of Wednesday, July 9, a total of 23 million telephone numbers have been registered and accounted for with the National Do Not Call Registry. 84% of those numbers have been registeres via the Internet. Since Monday, July 7 (the first day that the 800 number service was available to consumers residing east of the Mississippi River), consumers registered over 3.8 million telephone numbers - 1.8 million via the telephone and 2 million via the Internet.1 (Please review our article here regarding the ways people have already begun to use this service as a way to possible take advantage of you).
If you receive telemarketing
calls, simply ask this question- "is this a telemarketing call- or
Telemarketing is governed primarily by two statutes:
First: The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), 47 U.S.C. § 227.
The TCPA's prohibitions and regulations include:
SECOND: The Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud Abuse Prevention Act empowers the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to implement the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), 16 C.F.R. Part 310. At this time, the TSR restrictions on telemarketers include:
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST TELEMARKETERS?
Include the following in your complaint:
JUNK FAXES ARE ALSO ILLEGAL! Under 47 U.S. Code 227 United States law, it is unlawful "to use any telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other device to send an unsolicited advertisement" to any "equipment which has the capacity (A) to transcribe text or images (or both) from an electronic signal received over a regular telephone line onto paper." The law allows individuals to sue the sender of such illegal "junk fax" or (arguably) "junk email" for $500 per copy. Small Claims Court is generally a conclusive means when tyring to sue companies for violating such laws. Following is an excerpt of this law. Please visit our downloads sectin for a .pdf of the full text for this law.
TITLE 47--TELEGRAPHS, TELEPHONES, AND RADIOTELEGRAPHS
Restrictions on use of telephone equipment
(2) The term ``telephone facsimile machine'' means equipment which has
the capacity (A) to transcribe text or images, or both, from paper into
an electronic signal and to transmit that signal over a regular telephone
line, or (B) to transcribe text or images (or both) from an electronic
signal received over a regular telephone line onto paper. * * *