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FTC Moves up "Do Not Call" List Registration 474

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the finally-phase-2-explained dept.
tbase writes "AdAge.com has an article about the new FTC "Do-Not-Call" List which will be opening for registrations earlier than previously announced. The FTC Press Release says online registration will be available "on or around July 1." and that "Companies will face an $11,000 fine for each telemarketing call that violates the FTC's new consumer-protection provisions.""
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FTC Moves up "Do Not Call" List Registration

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:41AM (#6105424)
    $11,000 per spam would be nice for me. I'd quit my job and just post my email address all over the intarweb.
    • by Rai (524476) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:46AM (#6106040) Homepage
      I'd prefer a no-spam list over a no-call list. I can always waste the telemarketer's time (let them go thru their entire pitch and then say something like "What's that? Could you speak up a little?") and cost the telemarketing company money. As I've said before, if enough people did this, there would be no need for a do-not-call list.

      Spam, however, offers little or no means of retaliation. So I just start praying...

      "Merciful Lord, look down upon your humble servant and strike down the heathen company which seeks to increase the size of my privates and undo your good work. Rain tumors and boils upon them and cause their Exchange servers to crash."
      • "I can always waste the telemarketer's time (let them go thru their entire pitch and then say something like "What's that? Could you speak up a little?") and cost the telemarketing company money."

        I save the time. I just put the phone down and let them talk to empty air, and then eventually hang up the phone when it starts making the "Hey stupid, you left your phone off the hook" sound.

  • Do-Not-Mail (Score:2, Funny)

    by Manic Ken (678260)
    Can I sign up on the Do-Not-Mail list?
    • Re:Do-Not-Mail (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SkArcher (676201)
      Heh, we all wish - unfortuanately, because e-mail is exactly the same accross borders, most e-mail spam could be sent from outside your country and would not have to comply

      What I would like to know is if it is possible to have your snail-mail address put on a no bulk mail list. I have enough coasters already thank you AOL.
    • Re:Do-Not-Mail (Score:5, Informative)

      by missing000 (602285) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:47AM (#6105469)
      Yes. [dmaconsumers.org]

      It will cost you 5$ however.
      Next time, google. [google.com]
    • try not going to the mail box. i don't think it's required to take your mail from the mail box.

      oh, i see. you only want mail that you've authorized, eh? and wal-mart only wants people in the door who will buy some crap too. perhaps they should have you leave a non refundable "deposit" at the door?
      • I dont know what to say.....it's so stupid.
        I dont want spam and neither does most people I know!
        • Re:Do-Not-Mail (Score:2, Interesting)

          by mark_lybarger (199098)
          yeah, if it were'nt a profitable business then it wouldn't exist.

          capitalism does work in practice if left to work. this freaking governement interference in the market just wacks everything up and gives the public the impression that the gov't does really do something for them while raping all other rights and freedoms outlined in the constiution.

          guess what, if you don't give people a channel to contact you, they won't. go home and stay inside. stay off the internet and don't get the mail. disconnect
          • by Lord Dimwit Flathead (668521) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:57AM (#6106126)
            hell dig a hole in the ground and crawl inside. it's your land you s/b free to do that. people won't come knocking on the entrance of your underground hole to "bother" you or steal your precious resources.

            I dunno, man. Those Jehova's Witnesses are pretty persistent.
          • Re:Do-Not-Mail (Score:3, Insightful)

            by acidrain69 (632468)

            capitalism does work in practice if left to work. this freaking governement interference in the market just wacks everything up and gives the public the impression that the gov't does really do something for them while raping all other rights and freedoms outlined in the constiution.

            You had barely started talking and already your point falls apart. Monopoly practices? Indentured Servitude? Anti-union practices? Environmental laws? These are all things that are in place because of government.

            guess what, if

          • Re:Do-Not-Mail (Score:5, Insightful)

            by maxpublic (450413) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @12:31PM (#6106465) Homepage
            Except that:

            - it's my phone and I'm paying for the service. With that in mind it's perfectly reasonable to assume that I get to decide who gets to call. If I tell someone to fuck off, then they better damn well fuck off.

            - it's my email and my internet access. I get to decide to can send me mail using the services *I* pay for. In a capitalist society this is a perfectly reasonable expectation. Only a communist motherfucker would insist that I give everyone equal time on *my* dime.

            - it's my mailbox and it's my postal service. The postal service does not belong to spammers, nor do I have any recognizable alternative to said post office. One would think, given no alternatives other than the government agency that I supposedly control as a citizen of the United States, I could dictate an end to spam. Funny, I can't.
            And, by the way, you are *required* to have a receptacle on your property for mail delivery. This is a *law*. Funny thing, that.

            - most of all, it's *my* time. Neither you nor anyone else has any business wasting it unless you're willing to pay whatever fee I set. This too is good capitalism; in fact, excellent capitalism.

            Unfortunately for all of us, capitalism has very little to do with 21st century America. It had little to do with America prior to the 21st century, but even less so now. If we lived in a truly capitalist society I'd actually have the rights I listed above, as a logical extension of the free market. If anything, I'd have even more rights, provided by the tooth-and-nail competition of competing services all tripping over themselves to steal away customers, with the elimination of harrassment by low-life scumbags as a selling point for those services.

            Max

  • by Jonsey (593310)
    Also, the US government reccomended that citizens begin using their phone-based registration system: Allowing the government to levy a $11,000 tax on all who wish to be added to the do not call list.
  • by DreadSpoon (653424) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:42AM (#6105433) Journal
    The gov't would call us up offering the service, to block telemarketers! /me deletes another "block unwanted spam" message from his INBOX...
  • Woo Hoo (Score:4, Interesting)

    by the_Bionic_lemming (446569) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:42AM (#6105439)
    Looking forward to saving 15 bucks a month getting rid of Privacy Manager and caller ID.

  • by huckda (398277) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:43AM (#6105441) Journal
    Would be nice if it went directly to the individual(s) they phoned instead of into some politician's pocket.

    • Hell I'll take just $500.00 of that $11,000. you know the "fee" charged by some company that will be involved and yet nobody can fully explain what they do or why they are even a part of the process....

      Like the $8.00 a month for intrastate access fees on your phone bill.. Huh? but I dont call out of the state...

      Or the "gas recovery fee" on your gas bill...
    • by gwernol (167574) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:02AM (#6105596)
      Would be nice if it went directly to the individual(s) they phoned instead of into some politician's pocket.

      But that would, sadly, create an enormous incentive for people to make false and misleading accusations against telemarketers in order to get the fine money - which is a significant amount. The last thing you want the legal system doing is encouraging illegal activity...
    • Maybe not... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PseudoThink (576121) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:06AM (#6105626)
      I think they'd be opening a nasty can of worms if the general public had a financial motive to get telemarketers to call them. Scenario: you and a friend get jobs as telemarketers, then purposely call each others houses 50 times a day just to rack up profits from the fines.

      Considering we want this system to actually work (creates potential for a similar anti-spam system in the future), it's probably best to keep the system well-designed.
      • by DiveX (322721)
        The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 already provides a private right of action where you can collect $500 per violation with there often being more than one violation per call.
    • by MongooseCN (139203) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:11AM (#6105677) Homepage
      That way the government is more likely to enforce the law. If it was up to an individual to enforce it, they would have to spend most of the 11,000$ as attorny fees bringing the telemarketer to court. Not to mention the waste of time and effort. The government on the other hand will go in an all out frenzy after these people, especially after Bush's tax cut, and the government has a lot more power behind it than the average Joe.
    • Here's the thing. You set up the list. Then you advertise the fact that you have the list. Then you set up a mechanism to have people report violations. Then set up an investigation team to investigate these reports. Hire a bunch of agents to make arrests and provide them with guns and bullet-proof vests. Now hire the lawyer to do the prosecution and all the appeals. Now hire another lawyer to get a garnishment or lien or whatever it takes to collect the money. Then you can have the $11,000.

      I don't

    • by Bake (2609) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:24AM (#6105801) Homepage
      You: *Ring*Ring* "Hello?"

      Telemarketer: "Good evening sir, would you be interested in a pre-approved credit card?"

      Y: "Listen, buddy, I'm on the FTC's Do-not-call list. The offense for calling someone on that list is an $11000 fine."

      T: "..... oh ..."

      Y: "Now, I might be able to let this one slide for a special fee of $5000, thus saving you and your company some $6000. Interested?"
      • Y: "Now, I might be able to let this one slide for a special fee of $5000, thus saving you and your company some $6000. Interested?"

        T: "Umm, that was expensive"

        Y: "Well, if you don't have the money right now you can pay it in ten _easy_ installments of only $500 at a miniscule interest rate of 1,25% per month plus fees"

        T: "I'll have to take it up with the manager"

        Y: "Deal now and I'll give you a special price worth $100, deducted from your charge. Special offer, just for you my friend!"

        T: "Oh, really.
  • Stunning (Score:5, Funny)

    by TopShelf (92521) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:43AM (#6105442) Homepage Journal
    Even if they are following in the footsteps of many state governments, this is an astoundingly good thing. The list here in Indiana has worked remarkably well.

    The only change I'd make would be to forgo the fines in favor of treating telemarketers as "enemy combatants."

  • by baloo914 (453950) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:46AM (#6105459)
    we encoutered several evolutionary steps in the last few hundred years. "age of reason", "industrial revolution", etc.

    with the dawn of spam email officially being attacked and now the phone solicitors, are we stumbling upon the "age of stop bugging me" or the "age of leave me alone, I don't need more sexual stamina"??
  • by teemu.s (677447)
    one false call .. you can afford lots telephone sex calls for that ..
  • Useless (Score:3, Insightful)

    by krray (605395) * on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:46AM (#6105463)
    There HAVE BEEN "Do not call" lists for many years.
    The phone still rings.

    There HAVE BEEN "Do not mail" lists for many years.
    I get more and more junk mail.

    We all know how many "Do not email" lists exists.
    Regardless of action the spam keeps coming.

    How about a "STAY OUT OF MY FACE AND GET A REAL JOB/LIFE" list to cover everything. Damn, my doorbell just rang, I bet somebody wants to witness with me something about their God...
    • yes, the lists will not keep people from buggin' you. how about get out of the freaking house and enjoy some of that limited life?

      i get messages left on my answering machine now telling me that i'm pre-approved for a visa. i really should just quit paying bills so my credit goes to hell. that'll stop the junk mail. or it'll be from a new source (HOW TO CLEAN YOUR CREDIT). i get messages on my machine saying i get a 99$ vacation to disney and kids are free. the messages really don't bother me much. the
    • by siskbc (598067) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:31AM (#6105866) Homepage
      Damn, my doorbell just rang, I bet somebody wants to witness with me something about their God...

      See, that's where you have fun, with the religious nuts. Have a knife covered with fake blood at the door. Tell them they're just in time to help sacrifice the virgin.

      Or open it wearing an outfit like The Gimp in Pulp Fiction. Tell them they're just in time for "Punishment Phase."

      Or, if you're bald, put on a white robe and try to convert THEM...very calmly.

      Or just point a watergun at them and shoot them every time they try to talk. The madder they get, the more you shoot!

      Or answer the door nude. See if they can look you in the eye as you converse about the finer points of being a Jehovah's Witness. Ask them if their religion bans nudity.

      See, there's lots you can do to get some enjoyment outta them!

  • Why $11,000? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dmomo (256005) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:47AM (#6105467) Homepage
    I am not complaining about a penalty. But why so much for EACH offense? Is $11,000 arbitrary, or is there some reasoning behind it? Where does the money go, and what is it used for? It just seems like a big contrast with the couple hundred dollar fine at the State level.
    • by mhore (582354) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:53AM (#6105521)
      11,000 shall be the number, and 11,000 shall the number be. 10,999 is too low, and not the number, and 11,001 is right out.

    • Re:Why $11,000? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cmburns69 (169686) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:56AM (#6105543) Homepage Journal
      In business and politics, money talks. When you fine a corporation, you have to get them to notice. If the fine were small, the law would be ignored.

      I believe a large part of this money is supposed to go back into keeping the DNC database running.

      And yes, I work for a business in the industry (well, teleresearch, but still annoying)
    • Re:Why $11,000? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mactov (131709) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:00AM (#6105575) Homepage
      How about spending the revenue from the fines on a series of public-service announcements and ads reminding people that the best prevention for these things is for them to produce no results? The big problem with spam, telemarketers, et al is that every now and then someone actually does buy something and encourages them.

      Aside from a few very lonesome shut-ins (who are victims of this sort of stuff, not genuine consumers) I don't know of anyone who likes getting spam or telemarketing calls.
      • How about spending the revenue from the fines on a series of public-service announcements and ads reminding people that the best prevention for these things is for them to produce no results?

        Please... Don't we have enough lies on the television. Smoking pot causes terrorism and signing up for free newspaper trials causes telephone solicitation! Maybe we should have a commercial about how staying with abusive husbands causes spousal abuse too.

        The best prevention is a strictly enforced law.

        The big pr

  • Happy Dude (Score:5, Funny)

    by hoopyfroodman (667019) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:48AM (#6105477)
    "Greetings, friends. Do you wish to look as happy as me? Well, you've got the power inside you right now. So use it and send one dollar to Happy Dude, 742 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield. Don't delay. Eternal happiness is just a dollar away." 'Happy Dude' Well, I guess Homer's marketing scam won't work anymore.... drats! There goes my retirement plan. :(
  • Nice! (Score:5, Informative)

    by nherc (530930) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:49AM (#6105484) Journal
    I can't wait for this to go live... then I can disable my $5/month Telemarketer block via the phone co. It's only about 90% effective.

    BTW, here is the FTC's current attempts at curtailing E-mail SPAM [ftc.gov] .

    It really is amazing the amount of trouble and money we all have to go through to rid ourselve of this plague of unwanted advertsing. Seems like it should be illegal, don't it?

    • Re:Nice! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Hellkitty (641842) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:01AM (#6105583) Journal
      Caller ID has been working 100% for me for the past few years, and it only costs $1 a month. It is quite simple - if you show up as "Out of Area" or "Unknown Caller", there is not possibly anything that we have to talk about. You know who I am when I pick up the phone - I need to have the same information on you before I determine if I choose to communicate with you or not.

      I'll sign up, but I doubt that it will work too well. I did a little bit of telemarketing work while in college for some beer money, and let's just say that the place I worked for would not give two shits about this fine. I think they really stretched the boundaries of the law, and they'll probably find a way to do so with this. Enforcement will be difficult. If they call me even though I'm on the list, they are banking on the fact that I don't care enough to follow up on it. And if one call gets through to you once every six months, are you really going to be enraged enough to file a complaint? And once you do file the complaint, you know it will be caught up in beauracratic BS for quite some time before any action comes out of it.

      • Re:Nice! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nherc (530930) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:14AM (#6105700) Journal
        Well, this is a sort of caller ID that spits the telemarketers a canned message if there number is on the phone companies list.

        I wouldn't feel safe not answering all of the "Out of Area" and "Unknown" calls... who knows maybe it's your wife from a pay phone after her car broke down. Shaite happens.

      • Re:Nice! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by feldsteins (313201) <<scott> <at> <scottfeldstein.net>> on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:45AM (#6106031) Homepage
        The main problem with caller ID is that it often works like this:

        1. Phone company charges you for a great new service allowing you to see who's calling, thus eliminating the need to speak with telemarketers.

        2. Phone company charges telemarketers for the ability to mask their number from the caller ID units.

        3. Phone company charges you for a new ANTI-anti-missle....

        and so on.
      • Re:Nice! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by smartin (942) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @12:19PM (#6106319)
        True, caller ID can give you a reasonable indication that the call is not worth answering. The problem is that you've already got up from what you are doing to go and answer the bloody phone only to find that it is not worth answering. Personally at that point i'm pissed enough to either answer and chew them out or answer and jerk their chain by wasting their time in some manner. My current fav is to just say hang on while i get the person whose name they ask for and leave the phone off the hook for a while.

        As for enforcement and getting people to report abusers, that's easy. The govt should just pay the victim a portion the fine. Give me $500 of the $11k and i will persue it every time.
    • Re:Nice! (Score:3, Informative)

      FTC's current attempts at curtailing E-mail SPAM.

      Please, don't refer to email spam in all caps. SPAM(tm) is a trademark of Hormel Foods, who have been quite good-natured [spam.com] about the use of the term to describe bulk email.
  • by Fallen Kell (165468) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:50AM (#6105498)
    Enforcement will still only begin in October, and even then with the way it is written, the telemarketers will not need to actually look at the list until January 2004, as they only need to check against the list once every 3 months.
  • A sigh of relief (Score:5, Interesting)

    by andyring (100627) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:51AM (#6105499) Homepage
    Finally, this idea is taking hold. I'll admit it does run a bit contrary to my conservative, smaller government, pro-business beliefs, but on this issue, I agree, this is the right thing to do. Of course, we'll hear a bunch of whining and moaning from the telemarketers about how it will hurt them. And, quite frankly, I don't care. Their calls harass me enough that I think it is worth it.

    I worked at RadioShack for six months a few years ago, and we were supposed to try and push additional things on our customers (cell phones, batteries, cables, more cell phones, and cell phones again). I hate suggestive selling. I hate doing it and I hate it being done to me. If I want it, I will buy it.

    If I want info on refinancing my home, new windows, fixing my credit, buying a coupon book, getting another credit card, etc., LET ME SEEK IT OUT. I despise the thought that others (aka telemarketers) believe they know what I want or need better than I do. I am perfectly capable of deciding what products or services I wish to purchase, so let me decide on my own without invasive selling.

    • by ebh (116526) *
      The worst suggestive sell: I went to one of the Big Three Burger Chains once, ordered my heart attack on a plate, and the poor sod behind the counter asked, as he was required to do, "Would you like HOT CRISPY FRIES with that?" No, I want COLD SOGGY FRIES, just like I got the last time I was here.
  • by L. VeGas (580015) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:51AM (#6105505) Homepage Journal
    It gets kind of lonely here in my basement playing Quake and massaging my mom's feet.
  • by moehoward (668736) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:51AM (#6105509)
    Telemarketers do not follow current law. Very rarely do I get them to tell me their name or company name, let alone a manager name or address. 80% of them hang up when I ask to be placed on their DNC list.

    If they don't follow the law now, why will they follow it in the future.

    And in terms of the phone companies, they see the law and fines as just another expense in a risk/reward scenario. Slamming has been illegal for many year, but they still do it because the fines do not match the profit they get from it.

    This sounds like a great opportunity, but put me down as a skeptic. If the courts don't swat it down, then it will be simply ignored. The governments (local/state/federal) won't/can't enforce existing law.

    I get up to 10 calls a day. I'm sick of it. My phone and my e-mail has been confiscated by marketers of crap that less then .05% of the population wants or needs.

    Also, beware of the following: After this law takes effect, people will be out to get you to put your phone number on all sorts of things (product registration, checks, etc.) because the fine print will say that by giving your phone number, you waive your DNC status with them and their partners. Guard your phone number and e-mail address like you (should) guard your SSN.
    • If they don't follow the law now, why will they follow it in the future.

      Because this law is much easier to enforce. Either your number is on the list, or it isn't. There's no "hang up before someone asks to be put on the list." There's no argument about whether or not you're on the list. There's no playing games with different companies selling information to each other. There's no questions of jurisdiction with calls made across state lines. All companies are affected.

      From an enforcement standpoi

    • by deblau (68023) <slashdot.25.flickboy@spamgourmet.com> on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:24AM (#6105803) Journal
      Also, beware of the following: After this law takes effect, people will be out to get you to put your phone number on all sorts of things (product registration, checks, etc.) because the fine print will say that by giving your phone number, you waive your DNC status with them and their partners.

      Sorry. I can't waive my First Amendment rights in a civil contract. I can't waive FCC law through a contract, either. Anyone dumb enough to think that their fine print will get them out of trouble with the FCC deserves the lawsuit I file against them.

  • by shodson (179450) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:52AM (#6105514) Homepage
    This new law probably won't matter because it seems like most of the telemarketing calls I've been getting lately have been coming from India. If MCI hires an Indian telemarketing company to call me did MCI break this law? How does this apply to overseas telemarketers?
  • Hello (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:52AM (#6105516)
    Hello, thank you for calling me. Pay $11,000. Goodbye, eat a dick, and have a nice day.
  • by cnmill (264918)
    Wonder how much this is being backed by large corporations with the desired effect of choking off smaller copetitors with smaller marketing budgets?
  • by SuperDuG (134989) <be@ec[ ].tk ['lec' in gap]> on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:58AM (#6105559) Homepage Journal
    Okay, is this going to be like every other governmental agency that comes up with a great idea that will have a three year backlog on complaints. And even if it's not, is there a set definition of "solicitced" phone call.

    If you want to get really technical about it, unless you request someone call you, every phone call is unsolicited. I understand the argument about how if you give someone your phone number then you are granting them basic permissions to call you, but unless you unlist your phone number it has to be assumed that your number is not only public, but an invitation for you to be called.

    For every policy/law/order/decree there is a loophole or a way to get around it. Just a matter or time before this becomes nullified.

    I am not going to be adding myself to this list for the main reason that I love telemarketers. I actually had a gentleman call me last week.

    Telemarketer: Yes may I please speak to Doug.

    ME: May I ask who's calling please?

    TM: This is bob calling about an offer Doug just can't refuse

    ME: I don't think he can, Doug killed himself yesterday , it was so sad he had gone to college and then dropped out to be a professional rollerblader and then after a horrible drunk driving accident he broke his left leg, needless to say his skating career was over. He needed money to pay off all the medical bills so he got a job as a telemarketer selling the stupidest things over the phone and trying his best to make his quota for the night so that he could make it home to shoot up and stop the pain. Day after day he would go to work and realize how low he had sunk and truly began to question his worthiness to society as a whole. I guess he finally realized he was worthless and ate a 12 gauge shotgun shell. Messy as hell, but effective, we're still actually trying to figure out how to clean it all up. And all that just because he had a lousy job as a telemarketer.

    *click*

    Don't know how effective it is, but think of it like as an invited prank phone call where you can fuck with them all day long. Tell them you want to buy all there stuff and give the credit card number of 8888-8888-8888-8888, which you know is your number because you ordered one off of the TV and that's the number that was on it. Or just really play with their heads, tell them you want them to seduce you into buying their product or role play with them, have them call you mr moneybags or something. Ask them out on a date or something, have some real fun, these people abosultely hate their job, trust me, and you can only make it worse for them.

    Don't feel guilty, they called you ... remember?

    • by xTown (94562)
      It can backfire. I got a call once from a magazine salesman and when he asked me what magazines I liked to read, I said "I don't read too much...since the accident. I just can't get used to using Braille." He said, "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that" and ended the call.

      I now receive solicitations from blindness organizations.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:58AM (#6105561)
    Speaking of telemarketers, I got a pre-recorded call last night on my answering maching while I was out. It said to call an 877 number to get more info on this alarm system they were pitching. So I decided to call to inform the person that my state has a do-not-call list that they are obviously ignoring. Funny thing is, I could never get through. For over an hour, all I got was a fast busy signal. You'd think that the morons would at least want to make sure that the marks can actually call in so they can get suckered. Idiots!

    But perhaps some other folks would like to check and see if they can get through. Their number is 1-877-723-3872. If you call, feel free to tell them about the legality (or lack thereof) of leaving messages on answering machines and ignoring do-not-call lists.
  • How.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:59AM (#6105566)
    ....accessable is this system?

    Let's say I'm a business that calls people for a living....SLOMINS SHIELD SECURITY SYSTEMS come to mind, I get bothered by them EVERY MONTH.

    I'f I'm SLOMIN, how do I get access to the DO NOT CALL LIST? Is it an internet resource that I have to check on before I call someone on my cold-calling list?

    Or are the lists that I buy going to be censored with the DNC people taken off of it?

    This makes it difficult to see just who the responsibility falls on. Is it the job of SLOMIN to check who they're calling against the DNC list? Or is it the responsibility of the LIST PROVIDOR to take all of the DNC names off of the list?

    Now I know my company has bought a mailing list to do snail-mail mailings, and we keep that same list around for about a year, and mail to sections of it at different times of the year. Is there now going to be a mandatory refresh time for these lists? Can I only assume a list is good to use without liability for x amount of time?

    For these myriad reasons, I think that prosecution for calling people that are on the DNC list will be next to impossible.

    "well, I got the list from XYZ list co. and they shouldn't have put people on this list that are on the DNC list." - Lawyer A, ANYTOWN USA representing Acme Cold Calling Co.

    "I just gather information, I can't be responsible for filtering out people that are on the DNC list. This is the responsibility of the people using the list" - Owner of XYZ List Co.

    "Let's sue both of them, AND the DNC list providor, one of them is bound to pay up or settle. And this won't cost you anything unless we actually get paid a settlement" -Scummy Lawyer B, of firm Ambulance Chasers Inc.

    Ultimately, I think that this will spell the end of telemarketing (because of COURSE the phone company is going to realize that this is a great opportunity to charge $10 when you activate new service to automatically get put on the list) and more SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM.....(trails off into Monty Python jingle)

  • Hmm... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GreyOrange (458961) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:04AM (#6105610) Journal
    I'm just glad to know that the telemarkers are not powerfull enough to overide such legistation(plus they probably ticked off quite a few politictions) and that they will be under more control. The one thing that realy ticks me off though is "Some businesses are exempt from the TSR and can still call you even if you place your number on the registry. These include common carriers (such as long-distance phone companies and airlines), banks and credit unions, and the business of insurance, to the extent that it is regulated by state law..."(from ftc webpage)
    and those are the people I am getting spammed by all the time, lousy phone company, I give them money and they harrass me with advertisements of services. I'm not paying to be bothered, just to use the phone. Oh well.
  • State's lists... (Score:3, Informative)

    by pergamon (4359) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:05AM (#6105615) Homepage
    I sure hope this is as effective as the one that Indiana has had in place for a couple years now, which apparently will go away when the federal list becomes active. I haven't gotten a single telemarketing call since I was put on the Indiana list...
  • by pubjames (468013) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:10AM (#6105666)
    Here's an idea:

    1) Buy a big block of telephone numbers and direct them all to a single telephone
    2) Put them all on the "do not call" list
    3) But phone by swimming pool. Sit in pool with cool drink.
    4) Wait...
    5) Profit!
  • by Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:17AM (#6105726)
    How does this affect someone like myself who owns a small business and makes cold calls as a part of the marketing? I cold call other business people, usually at there place of work, and don't sell anything over the phone, I simply try to get an appointment to meet with the person to talk about their productivity and see how my consulting service might help them. Is there any risk to what I do now? Should I even bother with the DNC list, or is it cool since I'm only calling them at work (doubtful number is on the list) and I'm not selling anything during the call?

  • by dbavirt (543160) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:18AM (#6105746)
    I don't understand why we need a law about this. If somebody calls you and you don't want to talk to them, just *hang up*. Easy. Simple. No legislation. No arguments over who got the 11k for the offense. No tax payer dollars wasted. And really, you aren't offending the sales drone on the other end of the line. I screen my calls with an answering machine. This technology has been around for, I would guess, decades, and cost me about $50. I have a very short message on it, and everyone who we want to talk to knows that they need to leave a message. I incur ZERO annoyance from telemarketers, unless you count the amusement at having them try to have a conversation with my answering machine.
    • The problem with a lot of telemarketers is that they call at all kinds of odd hours. I mean, if you have friends and family that live carboard cut-out lives and there are never emergencies, you can screen all your calls and be sure to not be woken up. However, I have friends all aroudn the world, and once in a while, they need me at 2 am or so.

      The big issue for me has been the recycling of numbers and fax spammers calling them at any time of night. Combine that with telemarketing calls that are at bad hour

  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:20AM (#6105761) Homepage Journal
    When they call & ask to speak with Mr. Stevens, I explain they want the "other Mr. Stevens". As I hand the phone to my son, I tell him to explain all the fun things he did that day, from the detailed slimey booger he picked & where he wiped it, to his favorite & most proud stories about "pooping in the toilet." He is so proud of the shapes he can make. Usually after a few minutes of running around on the cordless phone explaining how proud he was with the details of his day, he comes back & says" they hung up". Imagine the rudeness of some people.....Go figure. More here [geocities.com]
  • hmm... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Cynikal (513328) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:22AM (#6105780) Homepage
    "Companies will face an $11,000 fine for each telemarketing call that violates the FTC's new consumer-protection provisions."

    now i wonder if theres any way to extend that to inlaws and ex-girlfriends?
  • by Tsali (594389) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:22AM (#6105781)
    Yeah, but in a similar bill passed by the House of Representatives this week, the companies get a $12,000 tax break for each offense.

    (Fiction can be fun...)
  • by djh101010 (656795) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:23AM (#6105797) Homepage Journal
    In our state, we recently had a no-call list instituted state wide. The telemarketing groups, of course, fought it tooth and nail.

    What I don't understand, is how they think that they are losing business. If I sign up for the list (which I did), I am stating an unwillingness to deal with a telemarketer already - they haven't lost a potential sale, because there is no way I'd buy from one anyway, and if anything they've saved their call center a bit of time and abuse.

    Even more puzzling are those who choose to ignore the state law and call anyway - like they think I maybe forgot I signed up, or that I'll be so happy to hear about the new windows or whatever they're selling that I'll change my mind.

    Why do telemarketing groups fight something which keeps them from wasting time calling folks who identify themselves as "not interested"?
    • Why do telemarketing groups fight something which keeps them from wasting time calling folks who identify themselves as "not interested"?

      Probably because there are people out there who can't say "no". Some people can be talked into spending money on pretty much anything. These are the people the telemarketers really want to go after. If a person knows they have this tendency, they would be sure to put themselves on the do-not-call list.

      The people who don't end up on the list probably don't know about
  • Just Imagin (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hrieke (126185) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:38AM (#6105952) Homepage
    Someone doing the US a favor by writing a program that would use the web to solve this issue by signing up everyone!
    By using the phone company's tools against them- maybe using a PHP program, we could lookup a number in an area code on the online Whitepages, screen scrape the data to fill out the form for the FTC & States.

    • Please do not. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by autechre (121980)
      If you abuse this system, then you will be giving ammunition to the telemarketing companies, possibly resulting in the list going away. I, for one, will be more than happy to simply add my own number to this list and be done with it. Let everyone see that it works exactly as intended.

  • Gigantic Loopholes (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mr. No Skills (591753) <lskywalker.hotmail@com> on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:54AM (#6106100) Journal

    There are several groups that don't have to abide:

    Long Distance, Airlines, and Insurance companies that are regulated by states and not Fed.

    Organizations you have an "established business relationship" with.

    Companies you've made an inquiry to or sent an application to (for three months).

    Charities

    Political parties.

    Between the shake down by the local Police charities, all those contractors with some nebulous relationship to Sears or my mortgage company, the annual cycles of recorded messages by political candidates, and the phone companies checking to see if I want to switch, its unlikely that I will see any reduction in calls.

  • by RPI Geek (640282) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:57AM (#6106132) Journal
    ... does all the work for me. Here it is:
    Machine: "Hello?"
    I just let the people talk until they realize I'm not actually on the phone. One time this telemarketer called - one of the ones that just start talking at full speed and don't let you interrupt - and talked for 3 or 4 minutes to the machine whlie we sat and listened while eating dinner. After she had finished talking she asked, "so all I need at this point is to verify that you are over the age of 18... Hello?.. If you don't want to talk just f***ing hang up!" - click.
    I only wish I had saved the message to call them back and tell them how their foul-mouthed representative had raped my virgin ears and that I would never buy anything from them :)
  • by Torqued (91619) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @12:01PM (#6106164) Journal
    I've started doing this lately when I've gotten a telemarketing call.. A few of them were really caught off guard by it. Most have just hung up the phone.. no one has said "yes" yet! :)
  • Who isn't covered? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Skjellifetti (561341) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @12:06PM (#6106205) Journal
    What effect will this have on academic research in the social sciences that uses telephone surveys? Will these still be legal? How about market research calls such as the call I got yesterday about my radio listening habits? Are these still legal? I do know that the list does not cover political calls or calls from non-profit groups, but what else is not covered?
  • by LinuxInDallas (73952) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @01:31PM (#6106994)
    I get phone calls daily from people trying to get me to sign up for trade journals and people trying to get me to sign up for their credit cards. It's a big time waster. Questions is, would this do-not-call list work for a business? Or would that somehow mean that other legitimate but unsolicited calls would not be allowed? For instance, a semiconductor company rep that is just calling to check up on things.
  • by lawaetf1 (613291) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @02:00PM (#6107243)
    Seriously, I can't think of a single thing that the government has done in the last year to improve quality of life as much as this new reg. The only sad part is that there are going to be those who won't hear about this for years to come. Any millionaires want to sponsor The Last Call to inform Americans about this new option? It'd be an ironic gesture, sure, but it'd also be the noose around the neck for these irritating parasites, may their stomachs roast in Hell forever!!
  • by kaltkalt (620110) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @02:09PM (#6107303)
    And ban the rest.

    We should only allow advertising to be done in certain places/manners. For example print ads in publications of general circulation, television commercials, product placement in places that consent (presumably for a fee), billboards, vehicular ads (bumper stickers, airplanes towing signs), banner (but not popup) ads on websites, and... that's all. All other forms of advertising, especially "direct marketing," should be illegal, and punishable by prison terms. Their annoyance outweighs the value they provide society. I yearn for the day that the Direct Marketing Association is a criminal organization, delegated to the likes of NABLA.

    Commercial speech can be highly regulated, so as long as the message (buy my product!) can get out, there's no first amendment problem per se.

    If I have not asked you about your product, you have no right to tell me about it. If it's good and I want it, I'll find out about it and possibly buy it. Word of mouth is the only truly legitimate form of advertising.

    I concede that I'm quite radical on this issue. I despise all marketing. As Bill Hicks said... if you are in marketing, kill yourself. ("ooh, he's going for the anti-marketing dollar, clever!")
  • by stinky wizzleteats (552063) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @02:32PM (#6107552) Homepage Journal

    Section 310.6 in the original rule has a page or so of exception clauses, and they are cross-referencing and unclear, but charitible organizations such as religions and your local FoP chapter will be exempt. If these exceptions are anything like the exceptions in my state's do-not-call list, signing up will just put you in EVERYONE's marketing database.

  • Telephone Terrorism (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vudujava (614609) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:09PM (#6107935) Homepage
    I wish I had seen this story earlier.

    I honestly don't believe that this will work simply because telemarketers are getting more and more agressive already and will break other rules in order to conceal their identity.

    For the past two months, my wife and I have literally been terrorized by someone soliciting something. They call our home phone hourly from the hours of 5:00pm to 10:00pm, 7 days a week AND hammer her cell phone as many as 20 times a day. They are always in search of my wife (no, she doesn't have any outstanding bills). She bailed and changed her cell number despite the fact I begged her to work with me to get these bastards. Now they only call my home number and hang up whenever I answer. The always refuse to identify themselves until I verify (or my wife verifies) that I'm the person they're looking for (they want my wife's last four), of course, we've continually refused. These ass-clowns only give first names, claiming under the law that's all they're required to do. They refuse to identify their organization. Refuse to verify or decline whether they have prior business with my wife, and finally, they refuse to say where they got our number. I have repeatedly told them to put my number on their do not call list, and they laugh and often get abusive. It's gotten to the point where I sexually harrass them when they call, until they hang up. Of course, as I've said, they won't talk to me now.

    I'm filing a complaint with my local police department this week (as instructed by SBC who refuses to help me without police intervention - bastards). I'm sure that this won't be the end of this, or telemarketers. I'm dumping my land line once this is over and blocking all unknown numbers coming in on my cellphone (I think there's a service from my provider). Fuck it, I'm white listing everyone and everything. The only phone number I'll put down on any ap going forward will be my local police department.

  • Ironic Banner Ads (Score:5, Informative)

    by BigT (70780) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:28PM (#6108111)
    The banner ad I received at the top of the comments page was for telemarketing services and lists. I find this highly amusing.
  • by zakezuke (229119) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @08:15PM (#6110804)
    We would like to give you a free edition of the newspaper
    no thanks, get a free one online please remove me from your list

    We would like to replace your auto glass on your windshild
    No thanks, I down own a car. Please remove me from your list.

    We would like to replace your existing windows with vinyl ones
    No thanks I prefer glass. Please remove me from your list.

    But vinyl windows make your home look pretty
    I don't own a home. Please remove me from your list.

    We notice that you recently refinanced your home
    I don't own home. Please remove me from your list

    We are accepting donations for this organization household items
    This is isn't a house, it's a tiki hut. Please remove me from your list.

    We would like to save you on auto insurance
    Don't own a car. Please remove me from your list

    We are accepting donations for this worthy cause
    I don't donate over the phone [isolated cases they get my moolah already] Please remove me from your list

    We want to offer you a free home security system
    Don't own a home, please remove me from the list

    But we can install it in your apartment
    no you can't, I won't let you please remove me from your list

    But there have been alot of break ins in your area, you need one
    Yes, and those breakins those people who purchaced your system

    But why would anyone turn down our free home security system
    Because some people actually make their purchacing choices based on product research rather then impulse buying. Accepting your free product locks the person into a service contract and no one with one gram of sence would do that without doing any form of research. Additional, i'm not going to give license to some guy who I don't know to drill holes in my walls without there being a legit contract for the install. If I choose your service, and you guys fuck up, I want you to pay to have it fixed. You are not qualified to answer any logical question because the company you work for doesn't even give you paperwork or a model number of what you are selling. Your sales staff who will knock on my door are not welcome, I don't want to speak to them. Please remove me from your list, I have not accepted your free product for 7 years. Please give up and find someone else to bug

    I would THINK after repeated failures they would take the hint and actually remove me from the list. I'm not profitable to telemarketers, I don't buy crap sold to me over the phone.

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