It is quite irritating when your phone rings, just when you are doing some hard work, or relaxing after a long day. And then to find an unwanted telemarketer on the other end is the last straw! Through the 90s and the first few years of the current decade, telemarketing grew to be big business and a massive irritant to the general populace at the same time. To combat this, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act was enacted in 1991, but it was implemented only in 2003. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) instituted the National Do-Not-Call Register, as a joint effort in the same year. In this article, you will find out how you can stop telemarketers from disturbing you, by using this DNC Register and a few other means.
National DNC List. This list protects your home number(s) and personal wireless numbers from receiving telemarketing calls. The list does not cover business telephone numbers, home or office fax numbers. Also not covered under the scope of this list are calls from established business relationships, calls from telemarketers if you've given them prior approval, but only they are on behalf of or from non-profit and tax-exempt organizations.
State Do-Not-Call Lists. Not all states have this list, so you need to check whether the state you live in, has such a list. The information can be obtained from the state Public Service Commission or Consumer Protection office.
Company-specific DNC Lists. Companies which engage in telephone solicitations are required to keep a list of all customers and their respective phone numbers, if the customers have asked specifically not to be disturbed with telephone calls or solicitations from the company or its affiliate services. Once your number is updated on this list, the company cannot make any such calls to you for a period of 5 years from the date of registration. You may need to register afresh at the end of this period; else the company is now free to make telemarketing calls.
Using Caller ID effectively. By law, telemarketers are required to provide identification details on the name of the caller, the company or organization the call is being placed from and the purpose of such calls. Should you receive calls that cannot be identified or the caller refuses to provide identification details, you can ask your telephone companies to block such numbers.
The above-mentioned methods will help you stop telemarketers pretty effectively. Also remember, these methods only provide for the blocking of unwanted calls to your personal numbers. The law provides consumers with only with a complaint redressal mechanism against companies which violate FCC norms; there is no scope for any individual relief by way of compensation. Such complaints are also not treated as criminal cases. The most you can hope for, by subscribing to any of the DNC lists, is relief from unwanted calls.