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Do Not Call List Under Attack 599

Posted by Zonk
from the reach-out-and-annoy-someone dept.
smooth wombat writes "Do Not Call. Those words are music to millions of Americans who have signed up for the list so they're not bothered by telemarketers. Not content to let things as they are telemarketers are now lobbying the FCC to have state laws which regulate the practice overturned. In April an ad-hoc group of firms ranging from the Direct Marketing Association to the National Children's Cancer Society filed a joint petition asking the FCC to declare that it has 'exclusive jurisdiction over interstate telemarketing calls.' The issue revolves around some states whose Do Not Call laws are more strict than Federal law and which prohibit telemarketers from calling anyone on a Do Not Call, regardless of an existing business relationship." Update: 07/21 18:42 GMT by Z : Official EPIC page, with contact info and background.
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Do Not Call List Under Attack

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  • Worse than if the DNC list was never introduced, because now they have all of our numbers!
  • I wonder.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kjuib (584451) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:51AM (#13125643) Homepage Journal
    What part of DO NOT CALL dont they understand? I do not want people calling me trying to sell me stuff.. so DO NOT CALL me! hard to get much simpler.
    • Re:I wonder.. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HiddenCamper (811539)
      Somehow i was getting calls on my cell phone for a period of time, it all stopped though. seriously, if telemarketers want to call people, then telemarketers should give out "Telemarket phones" that they can call people on. Im pretty sure no one would take them.
      • Re:I wonder.. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pete6677 (681676)
        On that note, perhaps someone could set up a form of subsidized phone service where people get a discounted/free phone in exchange for listening to a certain number of sales calls. That way, a telemarketer would not just be using your phone as a free marketing tool for themselves. That's what irked me the most about telemarketing; it's a phone that I pay for so that I can use, not to provide advertisers with a free medium. Perhaps some people would not find the advertising offensive, and with Americans' des
        • Re:I wonder.. (Score:5, Informative)

          by networkBoy (774728) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @01:01PM (#13126683) Homepage Journal
          Dunno about phone service but I use them as subsedised entertainment:
          http://www.xs4all.nl/~egbg/counterscript.html [xs4all.nl]
          I keep a copy at the phone. If I don't have time for it I just hang up on them instead.

          Really is fun. Two memorable calls:
          1) I got yelled at by a super about wasting their time.
          2) Some girl broke down at the "why are you doing it then" and started crying. I got uncomfortable and hung up on her :P
          -nB
    • Re:I wonder.. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The same thing with spammers...

      They send me emails that are barely legible, so that they can try to get around the spam filters I have set up. Do they really think, that if I've gone to that much trouble to block them, that if they do manage to get through, I will even give the spam a second glance?

      These people need to get hit with the clue stick, and hard.
      • Re:I wonder.. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by MysteriousPreacher (702266) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:17PM (#13125993) Journal
        Those emails are painful to read. I was wondering how they are meant to work.

        Let's say I'm a tech-novice. To me, those emails look like the work of a semi-literate. Would I really want to buy medicine from them?

        As a techie, I can see that they are dliberately trying to bypass spam filters which means that I instantly disregard their email.

        Funny email arrived recently claiming to be from Wells Fargo. Of course I don't even have a Wells Fargo account but even if I did, would I really be tricked since they spelt their own company name as 'Wells Forgo'?
        • I am a legit customer of Wells Fargo, and all their emails say to visit their web site instead of providing links.

          It seems they want people in the habit of going to the web site instead of following links - thus fake emails with fake links won't work (one hopes, but many people, even with online banking, are clueless t00ls).

      • Re:I wonder.. (Score:2, Interesting)

        I wonder about the spam mails I get in Chinese and Cyrillic... And the ones trying to sell me breast-enlargment creams/patches/pills/magic spells and stop-smoking-now miracles in conjunction with ads for cheap cigarettes, then mentioning at the bottom that they are all about "focused marketing". I don't speak Russian or Chinese, I'm male, and I don't smoke. Obviously, I'm the target audience. :P
      • Re:I wonder.. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Golias (176380)
        The thing is, the person who is spamming you is not the same person as the one who is tryint to sell you "h_erbal V1AGRA."

        Some guy has some crap to sell.

        A spammer offers to reach "3,000,000" e-mail addresses with e-mail marketing for a single flat fee. No promises are made about who is getting it, or if they are at all receptive.

        The spammer could chose to write in a way which doesn't duck around word filters or pretend to be a "Re: Dinner tonight" message from some hottie... and that would mean that the
    • Re:I wonder.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jayhawk88 (160512) <jayhawk88@gmail.com> on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:02PM (#13125788)
      Oh but see, you have an "existing business relationship" with them, since this one time you bought batteries at Target with your Bank of America Visa credit card, Bank of America sold your student loan and personal information to Wells Fargo, who sold it to Sallie Mae, who sold it's list of customers to Fannie Mae, who shares a database with several mortage companies, some of whom use cold calling to drum up business during the winter months.

      How dare you not recognize the legitimate and in no way phony "existing business relationship". How do you expect Bruno's Mortgage and High Interest Loans to not communicate with you, their (possible, potential, maybe if they're drunk when we call, three times removed) customer?
    • by JonasH (183422) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:11PM (#13125929) Homepage
      What part of DO NOT CALL dont they understand?

      I think it's the "NOT". They seem to have no problems at all with "DO CALL".
    • Re:I wonder.. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Alex P Keaton in da (882660) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:13PM (#13125947) Homepage
      The best part of the the whole Do Not Call registry- Not only are non-profits exempt.... But so are Political candidates! Those self serving a##holes. This may not be a problem for those of you in a state like NY or Maryland where everyone knows exactly which candidate is going to win, but in swing states like Ohio (where I am) it means we get tons of calls every four years....
      Perhaps my logic is wrong- but wouldn't telemarketers like the DNC because it would save them wasted calls? I mean, if people sign up for the DNC, doesn't it mean that they hate getting these calls and would never buy anything from them?
      It is like spam- if no one bought anything from these "tele-spammers," maybe they would go away....
      My solution- one of those air horns people have at sporting events. My grandmother had one for obscene callers (Those over 25 remember obscene callers, in the days before caller ID when tracing a call meant "pulling the Logs"), she would toot the horn into the reciever- this really would hurt someone's ear drums....
      • Re:I wonder.. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by iamplasma (189832)
        The best part of the the whole Do Not Call registry- Not only are non-profits exempt.... But so are Political candidates! Those self serving a##holes.

        Whoa, politicians may be self serving assholes, but that exception makes 100% perfect sense, for legal reasons. Quite simply, it'd almost undoubtably be a huge violation of the first amendment in the US to pass a law which says "you can't phone people and promote your political views", and I can certainly understand it. Yes, politicians are assholes, but ba

        • Re:I wonder.. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by phallstrom (69697) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:40PM (#13126350)
          "Quite simply, it'd almost undoubtably be a huge violation of the first amendment in the US to pass a law which says "you can't phone people and promote your political views","

          How so? While they certainly have every right to stand on a street corner and state their views (provided they don't violate any noise ordinances) they have *NO* right to interrupt me, use my phone's electricity, etc...

          Just because they have a right to talk, doesn't mean I *have* to listen. And by calling me, they are forcing me to do that. Even if it's just long enough for me to realize who they are and hang up on them.
          • Re:I wonder.. (Score:3, Interesting)

            by zxnos (813588)
            right, just hang up... ...what i want to know:

            when will telemarketers try to slip in a 'Vote Bob' at the intro then go into their pitch? is that then political speech?

      • Re:I wonder.. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by walt-sjc (145127)
        The worst offendor I saw was a pre-recorded automated call from a senator that had forged callerID.

        I just configured my Asterisk phone system to filter all toll free numbers (800,888, etc.), unknown and blocked numbers, and obviously fake numbers (000-000-0000) where the caller has to "press 5" to get through.

        In addition, I have a blacklist of annoying callers that just get a recorded message, and calls outside normal hours just go direct to voicemail unless it's a known family member.

        This has reduced my
        • by Anonymous Cowpat (788193) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @02:03PM (#13127500) Journal
          perhaps you should have a "if you are a telemarketer press 1" message (and all the other ones for various other call destinations). Then, when they press "1" you've got them!
          "Please hold while we transfer you to the call handling system"
          *cheesy music*
          "Please hold. You are in a queue. We value your call and it's potential to offer us a great deal.
          *cheesy music*
          "You are now connected to the incoming call system - please hold"
          *cheesy music*
          "If you would like to talk to a human being press 1"
          "Thankyou for you interest. Please hold while we transfer you to the call spooler"
          *cheesy music*
          "All call-lines are currently in use, please hold until one becomes open. We value your call"
          *cheesy music*
          "You have been transferred to the call spooling system. Please hold"
          *cheesy music*
          "You have been indentified as a telemarketer. Calls from telemarketers are prevented from direct contact to prevent abuse. Press 1 to leave a message"
          "Thankyou for opting to leave a message. We will now transfer you to the messaging system. Please hold."
          *cheesy music*
          "Welcome to the messaging system. To record your message press 1"
          "Please hold while we format the message-space"
          *cheesy music*
          "Please leave your message after the fifteenth beep"
          beep.beep.beep.beep.beep.beep.beep.beep.beep.bee p.beep.beep.beep.beep.beep
          (1 second pause)
          beep.
          "You didn't leave a a message. We are now transferring you to the call handling system"

          ad infinitum. If you can get a premium rate number, all the better.
    • Re:I wonder.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eaolson (153849) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:18PM (#13125998)
      What part of DO NOT CALL dont they understand?

      You're the one that has it wrong. They understand perfectly. They don't want to obey your wishes.

    • Re:I wonder.. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fatcatman (800350) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:30PM (#13126170)
      I do not want people calling me trying to sell me stuff.. so DO NOT CALL me!

      Well, here's the thing, why do they even WANT to call you? If I were a telemarketer, I'd love do not call lists. Those lists would save me an awful lot of money calling people who are virtually guaranteed to not buy anything.

      It's like, "Here, these people don't want to be your customers. They won't buy anything from you. If you call them, you will be wasting time and money." And the idiots whine, "Noooo! But I WANT to call them!!! Surely my slick salesmen can talk them into SOMETHING!!"

      Man, I'd love a list like that. Talk about targeted marketing. These dorks don't seem to get it...
  • by Apreche (239272) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:52AM (#13125651) Homepage Journal
    I used to care about this, but now not so much. I just got rid of the landline phone. Actually I moved and did not get a landline phone in my new abode. It's illegal for marketing types to call my cellular phone. I win. If you really don't want anyone calling you throw out your busted old landline.
    • IIRC, if a cell phone is your only phone then it is no longer illegal for marketing to call on it.
    • If you really don't want anyone calling you throw out your busted old landline.

      Tough shit if the only acceptable broadband Internet option is DSL, right?

      While I use my mobile phone for long distance calling and only have the landline as required for DSL service I should still have to suffer with telemarketing calls because they whined to the FCC?

      The American public whined far longer to get the DNC lists enacted. Now that we are comfortable we should lose them and have to move to mobile phones and no br
      • by eln (21727) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:59AM (#13125749) Homepage
        If the only reason you have the landline is so you can get DSL, then just don't hook up a regular telephone to it. The phone can't ring if the phone doesn't exist.
        • If the only reason you have the landline is so you can get DSL, then just don't hook up a regular telephone to it. The phone can't ring if the phone doesn't exist.

          That probably wouldn't change the fact that you'd still have to pay for a residential land-line you never used.
          • That probably wouldn't change the fact that you'd still have to pay for a residential land-line you never used.

            I agree, but that's the fault of the greedy phone companies who force you to buy residential service to get DSL, although there's no technical reason you need a full fledged residential phone line just to use DSL on it.

            I currently use Cable Internet instead of DSL for exactly this reason.
        • Or, hook up a fax machine to it. It'll provide a nice friendly greeting. :)
      • Get yourself a telephone answering machine. You can use this to screen calls, and as it always answers, it guarantees the telemarketer will have to pay something, however small, for the privilege of not talking to you.

        It's one of those tools that always works but nobody ever uses. It also works in that it prevents telemarketing calls from companies you have a prior business relationship with, which unfortunately the FTC DNCL and most state anti-telemarketing systems do not cover.

      • I actually keep a landline for the sole purpose of sending marketers to it.

        Anything I fill out, that requires a phone number, I use the landline number. The only thing on the line is an answering machine (that doesn't have a phone, so no ringer) and a fax machine. I am never bothered, and amazingly get very few messages. ;) I didn't even bother registering the number with the DNC list.

      • Speakeasy provides DSL without a phone line. It's $5/month extra.
    • I moved and did not get a landline phone in my new abode. It's illegal for marketing types to call my cellular phone

      If these bottom-feeders manage to get the DNC laws overturned, what makes you think they won't then start whining^Wlobbying about how unfair it is that they can't call cell phones?

      • They can whine all they want, but the issue is entirely different. The days are long gone when land lines were measured rate for inbound calls. In the case of cell phones, that is still reality. Until cell phones become uniformly flat-rate, all the lobbying in the world will not grant marketers the right to call cell phones.

        (and this is perhaps a good argument for why cell phones should remain measured rate indefinitely)

    • t's illegal for marketing types to call my cellular phone. I win. If you really don't want anyone calling you throw out your busted old landline.

      You know that the telemarketing industry is trying very hard to "fix" this "loophole". With out being able to contact people on cellphones, how can they do proper political opinion (and push) polls? How can legitimate companies keep in contact with their customers? This is all very damaging to the US economy. You can't trample on the people's rights to polit

      • You know that the telemarketing industry is trying very hard to "fix" this "loophole". With out being able to contact people on cellphones, how can they do proper political opinion (and push) polls? How can legitimate companies keep in contact with their customers? This is all very damaging to the US economy. You can't trample on the people's rights to political and economic speech like that, just because you have chosen to only have a cell phone.

        No, it'll be "Only terrorists would want to hide like that.
      • They don't believe it, but that won't stop them. They'll say these things, but they know very well that it has nothing to do with helping the consumer. In fact, it's very much the opposite.

        Are you familiar with the concept of targeted marketing? The "customer" is very much considered a victim to be attacked from the marketing perspective. The goal of targeted marketing is to maximize the body count. You're a wallet with their money as far as they're concerned.
      • This is quite solvable, just don't answer any call that you don't recognize the number or the number doesn't come through. If it's important they will leave a message.
  • Stay off my phone! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by garcia (6573) * on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:53AM (#13125669)
    The issue revolves around some states whose Do Not Call laws are more strict than Federal law and which prohibit telemarketers from calling anyone on a Do Not Call, regardless of an existing business relationship.

    Wah! I can't bother people and piss them off during dinner, quiet evenings, and fill up their answering machines with partial recordings not knowing how long the machine's message was.

    Businesses are busy scrambling to create new and interesting ways to get your phone number so that they, and their subsidiaries and sister companies, can contact you with their telemarketers. Companies telling me that they cannot process an order without my telephone number, companies telling their employees that they must take a telephone number down for pickup orders placed over the phone, and requiring a phone number to ship a package [lazylightning.org]. Most employees are doing their job and refuse you service (which is a company's right to do at any time) but I find it increasingly annoying. I'll do anything to not give out my phone number including asking for a supervisor, giving out a phone number with the area code and all zeroes, or just giving the switch board number out at work.

    I really have no sympathy for companies that are crying to the FCC about this. The public had been whining to the FCC for how many years to get telemarketers to stop? They finally did, creating a list that the telemarketers can reference to narrow their endless search of a customer to people that might be interested in their products, and they still complain?

    Give me a break and stay off my phone.
    • My personal favorite number to give out is 8675309. If they don't like it, tough. Also, I don't think people understand that it isn't going away totally, its just going to be limited in some states that have stronger laws.
    • by Shalda (560388)
      The issue revolves around some states whose Do Not Call laws are more strict than Federal law and which prohibit telemarketers from calling anyone on a Do Not Call, regardless of an existing business relationship.

      Actually, I think this is a very reasonable question that needs to be addressed. If I have a company (and calling center) operating out of Minnesota and we have customers/former customers scattered around the country, I don't want to have to keep up on the particulars of laws in 49 other states
  • by Gamingboy (901447) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:56AM (#13125710)
    "There is no evidence that (a favorable FCC ruling) will lead to large increases in telemarketing calls," he said. He, obviously, does not consider the fact that the large amount of telemarketing calls before the DNC list took effect is evidence that, without a list, that they would once again reach their old levels.
  • More Feds (Score:5, Insightful)

    by magarity (164372) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:56AM (#13125711)
    Just what the USA needs. More Federal involvment instead of state by state.
    /sarcasm.
  • 8:00am wakeup (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Hachey (809077) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:56AM (#13125716)
    I don't CARE if they never call me again, regardless if I have dealt with them in the past. Thats what the DO NOT CALL list is for! I'm sick of getting up in the early early morning to hear a recording about home loans. My aunt and her kids are all in the hospital after getting hit by a drunk driver this week, and I can't just 'unplug the phone'. I bolt out of bed, thinking she's out of surgery or something and it's someone trying to sell me ticket's to the Policemen's Ball.


    --
    Check out the Uncyclopedia.org [uncyclopedia.org]:
    The only wiki source for politically incorrect non-information about things like Kitten Huffing [uncyclopedia.org] and Pong! the Movie [uncyclopedia.org]!
  • by Duke Machesne (453316) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:56AM (#13125717)
    My name is Duke, and I'm calling from the Great American Do-Not-Call-List Giveaway to let you know that you're a winner in our one million dollar sweepstakes entry sweepstakes, and are already automatically entered to win! Isn't that great?

    On top of that, as one of our lucky winners, you're eligible to recieve outrageous discounts on subscriptions to all your favorite magazines! Exciting, huh? Which magazines do you like to read? Entertainment Weekly? Sports Digest? TV Guide?
  • by sterno (16320) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:57AM (#13125721) Homepage
    This law makes perfect sense being a federal law. Why? Because almost all telemarketing calls are crossing state or possibly national borders. Thus there's a natural complication when you have different laws in different states with different abilities to enforce those laws on others.

    Better to have one federal law to simplify things.

    And I still wonder, why do those telemarketers want to call me if I'm on this list. Seems like they are being done a service here. I'm not going to buy their crap so no sense wasting time on a call.
    • that is what will end this problem. international treaties. until then, we should not have any laws regulating marketing calls.

      the marketing firms will find arguments to postpone laws that make it harder for them to harrass customers. when the do not call list went into law, all the dish and satellite calls stopped comming from new york, and started comming from Canada. who do i sue to stop those calls? do i sue AT&T?

      i can appreciate the argument for a federal law regulating telemarketing. but mayb

    • Better to have one federal law to simplify things.
      Many people feel the federal law is inadequate - it doesn't affect charities, political organizations, or surveys, and any company you have an "existing business relationship" with. Many state laws take care of these gaps, but elminating them at the federal level would be an easy way to nullify their effects.

      And I still wonder, why do those telemarketers want to call me if I'm on this list. Seems like they are being done a service here. I'm not going to
    • You're right, this would be easy to get around. If you're not doing business in a state, I don't see how they can sue you except in federal court anyways.

      Except telemarketers probably have POPs in each state (each area code even) to avoid long distance fees. Technically, they're doing business in every state. They just want it both ways.
      • If you're doing business in a state, then that state has jurisdiction over you, even if you're located in another state. So if a telemarketer calls someone in Ohio, that call comes under Ohio legislation, and they can be sued in Ohio court over it.
  • Incredible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rew190 (138940) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:58AM (#13125733)
    The worst thing about an action like this it is CLEARLY against the will of the people. The Do Not Call list is opt-in, it only applies to those who go out of their way to sign up. The only "victims" of something like this are the CORPORATIONS who are being denied the right to directly attack those who don't want to have their houses invaded by direct advertising. The people gain nothing from this sort of action, they only lose out.

    How is it possible that a democratic governing body, which is supposed to be looking out for the people, is taking a direct stance against them? Which American citizens are rallying against the DNC list?

    Yet more sad evidence that the government is more concerned with corporate interests than those of the people.
  • by John Seminal (698722) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:02PM (#13125789) Journal
    These marketing companies are run by evil dirty bastards who will do anything to make a penny.

    The law we need even more than "DO Not Call" is a law which says "You can not sell data about people unless that person gives you consent". There must be a way to opt out of having your information added to a sales list. For example, how can anyone opt out of the bank sales lists? Banks are well known for taking their clients data, and selling that information to credit card companies. Credit card companies use this information to mail solicitations for their services.

    Likewise, when I go buy a DVD from a store, why do they need my phone number? They want to sell that information to someone, here is a good lead for a guy who buys DVD's?

    The Do Not Call list is a great start, but consumers need more protection from harrasment. We need our information kept confidential. When we do buisness with a company, the company should not be allowed to sneak some fine print in the contract which allows data to be sold. God knows what rights I signed away when I applied for my grocery store shoppers card.

    And did anyone here about the lawsuit against the company that made the small gadget you connect to your phone line. When you get a call, the device lets out some small noises. These are noises the phone companies use to signify a line is disconnected. Marketing companies that use computerized auto-dialers recognize these noises and immediatly hang up. The marketing associations sued the company of this product saying it violated the marketing companies first amendment rights.

    And while we are making laws protecting consumers, lets do away with the mail in rebate.

    • The cat's already out of the bag with regards to who owns your personal data. Hint: it's not you.

      If you don't like these things, give them bad information. Memorize the address of a crack house and the phone number of your local police department's fraud bureau. Nobody checks this information before reselling it. The more the databases are poisoned, the less value the data will have.
  • Attention DMA.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:04PM (#13125814) Homepage Journal
    The FCC is NOT a law-making entity.

    The FCC has no power to overturn state laws or find them unconstitutional, this is the Supreme Court's job.

    The FCC is not the way to go. Lobby Congress.

    And watch how they laugh in your face as they think "I don't want these whiny bastards calling me everyday trying to get my money that I just weaseled from the taxpayers."
    • The FCC is NOT a law-making entity.


      They are an agency which is given power from Congress to pass and enforce regulations. So they can make "law" so long as it is within the restrictions Congress has placed on them.
      • Regulations is the key word here. Unless there's a real law passed by the federal government prohibiting people from telling businesses that they do not want to be bothered by their calls, (which will most likely never happen, less the telephone companies get a severe chewing-out by all of their customers for failing to help them keep these calls at bay, and therefore lose business,) the FCC is powerless. The DNC list came about because of the public complaining. If the FCC works around this, millions of pe
  • Although I have little sympathy for pesky telemarketers they do have a point. It is a burden to have to deal with 50 different state laws. Having a uniform national standard does have a lot of virtues.

    Rather than doing what the telemarketers are asking for and relaxing the rules to the lowest common denominator, I wonder if there isn't a straightforward technological solution: create a database containing all of the state rules that telemarketers can use to filter their call lists. When a telemarketer p

    • I wonder if there isn't a straightforward technological solution: create a database containing all of the state rules that telemarketers can use to filter their call lists.
      And there is the rub. If the telemarketers were looking to deal with this problem then they would go for the straight forward solution. But to be honest most of these companies are really looking to call as many people as possible in as little time possible to pitch products and services...and repeat.. Using this 'problem' as a leve
  • A lot of phones out there seem to only be programmable from the telecommunications company. Want a phone number blocked? The company will do it for a price. Where's the programmable consumer product that handles 1-800 numbers, or private numbers (all that's customizable by the end user) and takes them differently, whether it's to have them just ring once, or automatically pick it up to leave a message of no more than 10 second length (to give a call back number, name, and organization)...so basically spa
  • Uniform standards (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rick Zeman (15628) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:07PM (#13125850)
    ...they're right, there should be a uniform standard: NO ONE should be allowed to call anyone on the Do Not Call list at all.

    Re the automated dialing, back when I was a kid and you called a phone # and hung up it was called crank/prank calling and it was a crime. How is their machine dialling different (aside from the fact that kids don't contribute to politicians)?
    • Oi, I think that might be a little too restrictive there! Personally I rather think it'd be good for the hospital to call me if someone was in an accident, and them not having to worry about being sued because I'm on a DNC list to stop telemarketers.

      I'd be more than happy with a 'No Soliciting' sign to hang on my phone and let that be that. Its something you're allowed to do at private property physical locations, so why not electronic locations?
  • Clearly, anyone on a Do Not Call list does not want to be called. They went through the work of registering for the list, so they clearly are annoyed by people. If a company had an existing business relation, I'm sure the customer would not report the company for continuing to call on business related matter. For this reason, people should be able to register "Valid Business Associates" who are free from the stricter regulation.
  • by pair-a-noyd (594371) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:08PM (#13125857)
    "DO NOT CALL" do you not understand?
    Are these people so F-n brain dead that they can't take a hint? I think the list is way to lame. I think they should have a "will beat your ass if you call" list.
    That's right. If you call me to peddle bullshit I will come find you and beat your ass. Now that would be an effective list.

    Really, I don't understand why they don't flat out outlaw all telemarketing. It's intrusive and obnoxious at the very least.
  • by Hachey (809077) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:16PM (#13125987)
    At least my telemarker calls don't read like my inbox. I'd blush every time I picked up the phone if the person on the other end was trying to sell me dick pills.


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  • I remember a movie with Jim Carrey (he wasn't the main character, tho) about a guy who loved accepting cold calls.

    He would receive a call from an insurance salesman, and begin saying yes to most things until they arranged an appointment.

    Then, after making him waste 2 or more hours, when the insurance salesman was leaving, he'd say:
    "There's one little... problem.
    I'D RATHER... BE... DEAD!!!" (Then he shut the door on the poor salesman)

    Oh joy. How I loved that moment. I know it's cruel, but it vented my frustration towards spammers and the like.
  • Lobbying (Score:5, Funny)

    by loconet (415875) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:19PM (#13126030) Homepage
    Can someone start lobbying to make lobbying illegal?
  • Charities (Score:5, Informative)

    by Karma_fucker_sucker (898393) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:20PM (#13126032)
    If you're going to give to a charity, do it anonymously. Otherwise, you'll be put on a "sucker" list and you'll not only be continuously called by the original charity that you gave to, but also charities that they sold your name and number to.

    I have blown off PBS because of this!

    • Re:Charities (Score:5, Informative)

      by fatcatman (800350) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:54PM (#13126566)
      We donated to Samaritan's Purse one year. Our church was doing a "fill a shoebox with things for african children" deal, and we thought it would be nice. So we put some useful items and a couple of toys in a shoebox for the poor little 3rd world children, and included the required $5 to "help cover postage."

      Since then, Samaritan's Purse has spent a hell of a lot more than $5 sending me full color documents printed on nice glossy cardstock, begging for more money. Every couple of weeks I get another one of these in the mail. Now tell me why I'd donate anything more to them when they completely wasted the $5 I gave them? That was supposed to help get my package to the poor little african kid, not be spent begging me for more money.

      (yes, I know *my* $5 wasn't used to mail me, but the point is they're massively wasting money, and I'm not going to contribute to that. If I were out begging for money I'd be mailing cheap newsprint once or twice a year, so as to use the money given to me appropriately)
      • Re:Charities (Score:3, Informative)

        by GMFTatsujin (239569)
        I got the same treatement from the US Animal Humane Society. I sent in $50 one year as a proxy donation for a friend as a gift. Two years later I was still recieving letters every week, flyers, and tiny packages with branded trinkets desktop calculators or caldenards with "DON'T FORGET TO DONATE KTNX" written on the first day of every month. All accompanied, of course, with pleas of "THESE P00R PUPP13S OMG PLZ HELP WITH UR $$$".

        Sometimes they'd juxtapose the gift of a delightful teddy bear with a story
  • by p_conrad (118670) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:22PM (#13126063)
    I have to work with these lists, because part of my job is to support a telemarketing system. Nobody told me squat about that on the interview, nevertheless here I am. I've been here long enough to see the lists come into being. It's making telemarketing harder, and all that good stuff.

    I also have the misfortune to need to telemarket in two states, one of which has it's own state list. As it happens, we only call five small towns in this state. In order to get access to the State's DNC list we have to purchase it for the entire state. To make matters worse, this state has a very different set of rules.

    On a federal level, you are allowed to call customers you formerly did business with for 18 months after the termination of the business relationship. Not so in this other state. Apparently you aren't allowed to call even the day after the relationship ends. The federal system actually allows the people who get called some recourse. The state system I have to deal with makes it very clear in their fine print that you are allowed a certain amount of accidental calls. Because you are a paying list subscriber, they actually have a department to handle these situations. If you get caught calling people on the state DNC list, you had better have paid the man or else it's game on for lawsuits. What it ends up being is simply extortion. You want to call people of that state, you buy the list, which costs more annually than the entire federal list, for what that's worth.

    I really feel sorry for the people who live in that nameless state, because they are payin a ton of taxes to manage a list system that offers them no protection whatsoever. The federal list is a big pain for telemarketers, but at least it has and element of fairness, and really attempts to protect the people who want not to be called.

    I'm not interested in arguing the notion of whether the freedom not to be bothered should trump the freedom to call any phone number you want without fear of prosecution, but for the nerds out there, here's some technical details:

    The federal list can be downloaded in it's entirety or in updates by date selected once a day by any business who pays the fee. The list is numbers only, no names at all. The state list I have to work with is available by e-mail or on CD-ROM. I picked e-mail, and the updates are entirely at the discretion of the state. So every month or so, my office e-mail gets choked with the list in several parts, so I had to work a special deal with the MIS guys to get extra space on the server. When I first signed up for it, the state didn't send a file until the next scheduled update, but made it clear that we'd be covered in the event of accidentally calling somebody on the list we didn't have access to! Of course almost everybody in the state list is also on the federal list, so we never got a complaint.

    I imagine the only people on that state list that are not on the federal list are people looking to sue somebody. They are out there; we've encountered them before. I'm not a fan of telemarketing and would support it if I didn't have to. The federal list makes sense, and really does eliminate any reason for states to keep their own lists, except that grand-daddy of all reasons for government programs - the pork. It's all about the pork, folks. Always has been; always will be.
    • Good for them (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nuggz (69912)
      You want to call people of that state, you buy the list, which costs more annually than the entire federal list, for what that's worth.

      Cool, not only do they make it difficult to telemarket in their state, they're probably turning a profit on those that do call in their state.
      Looks win win for the citizens to me.
  • My Tactic (Score:3, Funny)

    by iammrjvo (597745) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:22PM (#13126064) Homepage Journal

    I always tell marketers to "hold on" and then I lie the phone down until they hang up. It usually takes about 60 seconds. I figure that if everybody would do that, then it would make the practice unprofitable and they'd stop.
  • by Telepathetic Man (237975) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:25PM (#13126090)
    Okay, so how would one terminate a "business relationship" if one were to opt to do so? I mean, if a person was getting harrassed by a business that he had interacted with prior, and learned to distrust or dislike for whatever reason, would the person have to get a restraining order of some kind to get them to stop?

    Could you state to one of the harrassing business' callers that you have "terminated the business relationship" and have that be enough? How can you create a "do not cross this line", after online purschase for example?

    • Tell them to put you on their internal DNC list. They are specifically required to do so, and to honor that list for several years. Prior relationship or no.

      You could also organize a protest outside their place of business, if you're feeling peckish.
  • oops (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sheepdot (211478) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:58PM (#13126635) Journal
    My dad was one of the first hundred people on the "list". He poked and chided me, saying, "Boy, I bet you Libertarians are stumped on this one, eh?" (Not Canadian, but he talks like one)

    I truly didn't have an answer for him. That is, until he started getting calls to donate for a firemans' ball in another county (where he once had a speeding ticket). Then it was a policemans' ticket raffle in our county, then there was the half dozen calls for the American Heart Association. I think it was the worst though when the CDC called on a "marketing study". Last but not least, I saw a paper survey from the US Postal service. Call it coincidence.

    Ironically, he still gets credit card calls, mostly from Puerto Rico or some other location where I suppose this doesn't apply. He told the last one he was on the do not call list, and the guy promptly took him off.

    I asked what the policeman said who called about the raffle, "We don't have a list to take you off of." That was last year.

    He got another call from the same officer last week. It's a small county/town too, so there really is no excusing it. He told me (over the phone) he was just going to buy a cell for my youngest sister and remove the phone.

    I told him he'd lose Internet, but he said the phone line would still be there, just not the phone.

    I guess drastic times call for ... well, maybe it's not so drastic, anymore.
  • Personal experience (Score:4, Interesting)

    by M trotsky (896746) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @01:30PM (#13127086)
    Back in high school, I used to work as a telemarketer part-time. This was for a pretty big and well known regional company, that had a good reputation and was on the BBB http://www.bbb.org/ [bbb.org] list.
    We were told to keep the customer on the line, interacting for as long as possible. If they were not interested, we were supposed to weasel more 'leads' out of them; meaning we asked them for the names/phone numbers of their friends that might be interested. This constitutes a business-relationship which we could exploit.

    Another business-relationship was when we'd call everyone within 20-25 miles of our recent customer. The sales pitch went like:
    Hello, this is X calling from Y. Your neighbor, Z, living at Z has recently purchased our product and since we're in the area, we're offering special discounts....
    We'd use their address and names to get their neighbors to start listening to us.

    When we got somebody that was obnoxious, or just didnt like that we disturbed them, we'd often set them up to be called back in the next few hours. Asking for a supervisor most often yields a hang-up as well. What we were supposed to do is fill out a form stating that the customer didnt want to be called back but since it takes a second to press the 'next' button and a lot longer to fill out a form, virtually nobody was taken off.

    Actually, even then I dont think it was possible to permanently remove yourself from our list - even with the form you'd get maybe a few months of respite but after a while, all these forms were just added back to our database. Although this was before the DNR, I cant imagine anything's changed.

  • by CristalShandaLear (762536) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @04:34PM (#13129490) Homepage Journal
    The issue revolves around some states whose Do Not Call ... prohibit telemarketers from calling anyone on a Do Not Call, regardless of an existing business relationship.

    I actually wandered into your store (online or otherwise) and bought something. You call it a business relationship. I call it a purchase.

    DO NOT CALL ME at me home because I bought cheetos from you. DO NOT START SPAMMING me left and right because I bought something from your online store AND for heaven's sake don't start sending junk mailto my house! And what's worse, don't give my name to all YOUR FRIENDS (people who paid for you to give up my info) and have them start calling me, spamming me, and sending me crap!

    You are not my business partner just because I bought something from you once or twice and you certainly aren't entitled to anything from me but fair payment for what I bought.

    If I want to buy something else from you, I'll find you or one of your "friends". Otherwise, LEAVE ME ALONE.

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