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Privacy Communications United States

Do Not Call Listings to Expire in 2008 247

Posted by Zonk
from the we-have-forgotten dept.
Ant writes "Yahoo! News report that the cherished dinner hour void of telemarketers could vanish next year for millions of people when phone numbers begin dropping off the national/United States (U.S.)'s Do Not Call list. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which oversees the list, says there is a simple fix. But some lawmakers think it is a hassle to expect people to re-register their phone numbers every five years. Numbers placed on the registry, begun in June 2003, are valid for five years. For the millions of people who signed onto the list in its early days, their numbers will automatically drop off beginning next June if they do not enroll again."
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Do Not Call Listings to Expire in 2008

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 21, 2007 @01:40PM (#20699063)
    My mobile # is on the DNC list and I still get calls. I have filed complaints with them and still get the same people calling over and over again. Emperion Marketing (505 647 9618)is my worst offender. I keep getting calls from these asshats, though I have called them and told them to take me off the list. I have filed 4 complaints about them and it hasn't done a thing.

    BTW, register your number here https://www.donotcall.gov/register/Reg.aspx [donotcall.gov]
    • by GreyPoopon (411036) <gpoopon@@@gmail...com> on Friday September 21, 2007 @01:50PM (#20699237)

      keep getting calls from these asshats, though I have called them and told them to take me off the list. I have filed 4 complaints about them and it hasn't done a thing.

      You do realize that you can take them to small claims court yourself, right? I strongly suggest that you keep a log of their calls and anything you tell them.
      • by drspliff (652992) <harry.roberts@NOSPAM.midnight-labs.org> on Friday September 21, 2007 @02:16PM (#20699723)
        I had a call today from a company trying to offer me a loan, did the usual stuff asking them to remove me from whatever list I was on and to stop calling - they said to call back on a number (national rate, about 10p a min) only to get transferred to the "customer relations" department which never picked up.

        Then 3 hours later I get an advertisment SMS from the same company, call back up, get transferred again, and the "customer relations" department never picked up - again.

        I've been on the UK TPS (Telephone Preference Service, the UK do not call list) for several years, but still get these stupid companies calling up that I have no idea who they are (so obviously they cant have a previous "relationship" with me).

        I finally got through to the customer relations department after 20 minutes on hold, explained to them that they can be fined upto £5000 for every offence only to be told I have to write in to their marketing department to get it removed.

        I mean seriously, WTF! I've spent about £5 on phone calls today just trying to sort it out with this asshole company, only to be flogged off with a standard excuse and a PObox address.
        • Two words: Private Prosecution.

          Even if the prosecution fails because only the Attorney General is allowed to file, it might shame the government into taking the action that it was supposed to in the first place. (and make sure that the phone company saves the logs of your calls).

    • by nurb432 (527695)
      If you have ever done business with them, or a subsidiary, then the DNC doesn't even apply. ( which i think is bogus, but its how it works in my state anyway )
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Stripe7 (571267)
        Anyone telemarketer or charity who calls me loses any chance business with me. I hang up take note of who called and never do business with them again.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hedwards (940851)
        True, but with commercial ventures you can opt out if you have a business relationship with them. although what that actually is tends to be somewhat vague.

        Nonprofits tend to be the worst, and they are left completely unregulated. During the campaign season it gets really bad, with 7 or 8 calls a night from a computer program to deliver a message. I usually hang up on them.

        Even during the rest of the year we frequently get calls from somebody that isn't on the other end of the phone, usually all I get is a
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by nurb432 (527695)
          Those 'dead lines' are often automated dialer's. Once they get a connection they notify the first available person.

          I think they are banned here in my area. If you are going to bug me, you have to do it yourself :)
        • by mhall119 (1035984) on Friday September 21, 2007 @03:16PM (#20700743) Homepage Journal

          Even during the rest of the year we frequently get calls from somebody that isn't on the other end of the phone, usually all I get is a click and several seconds of silence. Those I just hang up on, if they can't be bothered to be present when I answer, I'm certainly not going to consider it important enough to wait for them to come to the phone.
          A better solution is to _not_ hang up, because once you hang up it frees a phone line for them to call someone else, every second you keep the line open reduces their call rate, which reduces the money they make. I frequently ask telemarketers to "hold on just a second" and put the phone on the table for like 5 minutes. Amusingly, sometimes the telemarketer is still there waiting, in which case I tell them "sorry, I'll be just one more second" and go about whatever I was doing for another 5-10 minutes.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by QMO (836285)
            I've done a couple of things like that.

            Once I asked to speak to a manager, which meant that I was using the phone line and 2 people. When the mnanager got on, I explained that I was just trying to make that business model a little less profitable.

            Once I offered to sell the telemarketer something (a doorstop-oblolete computer for $3000), and got pretty insistent about it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Drathos (1092)

          During the campaign season it gets really bad, with 7 or 8 calls a night from a computer program to deliver a message. I usually hang up on them.

          You think that's bad? Last fall, I came home from spending a half day with some friends to find 34 messages on my machine. Almost all of them were a recording: 'This was a political survey call. We'll try again later.'

          Then there was 'The Battle of the Answering Machine.' Opposing candidates were leaving pre-recorded messages on my machine smearing each other. Final tally was 178 messages (nearly 50-50 split) over the span of 3 weeks. Gotta love Virginia campaigning..

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dwarfking (95773)

        This is supposed to be true, but I keep getting hit with a loophole that I can't get anyone to do anything about.

        I moved 2 years ago and got a new number, which had previously been assigned to some woman who apparently bought all kinds of pharmaceuticals by phone. To this day we get calls 3 - 4 times a week from a call center manned by folks that speak accented English trying to sell us drugs. We tell them over and over to remove the number from their list.

        Once I finally got the idiot to put a superviso

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Lord Apathy (584315)

          Fuck the DNC list. When I had a land line, don't have this problem anymore, a few years ago. I figured there was only one way to handle it and build myself a call screening box. Here's how it worked. I got a modem that did the caller id thing. Then I sniffed around and found a program that would screen my calls. There where tons of them but the links I had to the free one are no longer any good. Do a google search I guess to find them now.

          Here is how it worked. I had two lists a fuck off list and

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            I have a fancy Caller ID box that does the same thing. In addition to Caller ID and a phone directory, it has two additional lists - a Pager list and a Block list. Numbers you add to the Pager list will cause the box to dial your pager when you receive a call, and the Block list will pick up, wait a half second and then hang up - the phone does ring the one time which is still a bit annoying, but if you make it a point to wait for a second ring then you know that it's not one of the phone numbers you have
    • My mobile # is on the DNC list and I still get calls.

      My landlines ditto lately - especially on/near the Labor Day holiday. Two of the callers I remember claimed to be Sears and a car dealership I'd never heard of.

      I've been assuming these calls were not actually from the companies claimed, but instead either phishing scams or crooks looking for unoccupied houses to rob.
  • by PlatyPaul (690601) on Friday September 21, 2007 @01:41PM (#20699089) Homepage Journal
    Signing up on a web form every 5 years - 10 minutes Avoiding telemarketing phone calls during dinner, sex, and sleep - Priceless.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by generica1 (193760)
      That's what I was thinking - "so what, it takes only a few minutes to sign back up again."

      Well worth the effort, compared to the alternative. At least there is a mechanism in place to get your number(s) off the list, because that was once not the case.

      • I just signed up for it (for my new phone) and it took exactly 22 minutes from the time I loaded DoNotCall.gov [donotcall.gov] to the time that I got the confirmation email and clicked the corresponding link.

        Here's hoping the /. effect doesn't bog it down too much today....
      • by Duhavid (677874)
        It's the remembering to re-register that is the problem.

        I would like it if the number just stayed on till I removed it ( fat chance ).
    • by antifoidulus (807088) on Friday September 21, 2007 @01:45PM (#20699155) Homepage Journal
      Man, you have a regular eating schedule, get laid, and actually have time to sleep instead of spending all nighters at the office? I have to call your geek credentials into question.....

      Just out of curiosity, have you tried doing all 3 of those at the same time?
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by maxwell demon (590494)

        Man, you have a regular eating schedule, get laid, and actually have time to sleep instead of spending all nighters at the office? I have to call your geek credentials into question.....

        He didn't say how he gets dinner, sex and sleep. It's entirely possible that his way of getting those is:
        * dinner: Pizza eaten in front of the computer at some random time after 4pm.
        * sex: One-handed surfing.
        * sleep: When he dreams of the great new stuff he'll write soon ...

      • by Chineseyes (691744) on Friday September 21, 2007 @02:35PM (#20700051)
        Man, you have a regular eating schedule, get laid, and actually have time to sleep...........

        Don't be too jealous of the parent his regular meals are a step above pig feed, he gets laid(raped) by his his cellmate bubba, and his cries himself to sleep.
      • by mcpkaaos (449561)
        Just out of curiosity, have you tried doing all 3 of those at the same time?

        Costanza tried it. Didn't work out so well. Better than the crib notes, though.
      • Just out of curiosity, have you tried doing all 3 of those at the same time?
        No, but I have fallen asleep during sex (I probably would have gotten away with it if I hadn't started snoring).
    • Signing up on a web form every 5 years - 10 minutes Avoiding telemarketing phone calls during dinner, sex, and sleep - Priceless.

      That's some messed up priorities. If the kids are asleep and I'm having 'relations' with my wife...well, there ain't anybody important enough to be calling me that won't be waiting. That phone can ring all it wants.

    • by sumdumass (711423)
      Well, there are other things you can do to stop th calls. Firmly telling them to take you off the list and any lists they have you associated with and not calling back again works. In some areas, it is the law.

      You can also do so by checking the stuff you sign and put your phone number too. I started getting calls about some free vacation and all I had to do was pay for a guest to show up. Interestingly enough, I told them to not call back and they explained they had a working relationship with me so I asked
    • by alta (1263)
      He said sex. He's not really one of us! Or he's lying about the sex part ;)
    • It's been a while since I signed up at the very beginning, but IIRC it took a couple of months for my signup to go into effect, as they can't just ask telemarketers to just stop on the net day.

      The week before it was to go into effect, I got calls nonstop. I worked from home at the time so I got them all day and night. MCI was the worst, I got 4 calls in 24 hours. I even told them to put me on their do-not-call list, but they said it would take a week for that to work. Go figure. I got pretty mad on the last
  • Simple (Score:5, Funny)

    by awkScooby (741257) on Friday September 21, 2007 @01:43PM (#20699101)
    They should just hire some telemarketers to call people during dinner, to see if they would like to re-register for the do not call list...
  • by Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) on Friday September 21, 2007 @01:44PM (#20699119)
    I'm lonely
  • by OrangeTide (124937) on Friday September 21, 2007 @01:44PM (#20699125) Homepage Journal
    It's only fair that the enrollment is not permanent otherwise one day the list would include nearly every number. Even if some people who originally registered have switched numbers (moved to a different area code for example) or are deceased.

    An everlasting list would be equivalent to a soft ban on telemarketing. If you really want to do that, just do that instead. For now 5 years seems perfectly reasonable for me to re-register.

    How will I know when to enroll again? When I start getting annoying calls after 5pm.
    • by belmolis (702863) <billposer&alum,mit,edu> on Friday September 21, 2007 @01:46PM (#20699163) Homepage

      No, there's another mechanism for dealing with this. Numbers are automatically removed from the do-not-call list when they are disconnected or reassigned.

    • by geekoid (135745)
      Then people could just take their new number off.

      Or even better the phone company should put you on or take you off for you.
      Hell, that makes the most sense.

      • by pete-classic (75983) <hutnick@gmail.com> on Friday September 21, 2007 @01:53PM (#20699299) Homepage Journal
        Actually, opt-in makes the most sense.

        -Peter
        • i'm surprised it's taken so long for someone to point this out.

          (In this thread, i mean, not in meatspace.)
        • by geekoid (135745)
          I have no idea how the relates to my post at all.

          I was just saying that the telco could sign me up if I requested to be signed up on the list.

          What should be opt-in? the do not call list? or should you opt in to get calls?

          regardless of which kind of list it is, it should be done through the telcos because they can remove the number from the list when it is reassigned.

          • regardless of which kind of list it is, it should be done through the telcos because they can remove the number from the list when it is reassigned.

            Which is why getting calls from telemarketers should be opt-in. It should be assumed that people don't want to get calls, unless they go out of their way to get them.
    • by PlatyPaul (690601)
      To play devil's advocate, consider how you don't have to change your number [fcc.gov] when you switch cell or telephone providers. Unless you really want a local number (which a lot of people don't care about these days, due to the free long distance provided with most cell plans), you really don't have any incentive to switch numbers. Forcing them to die out, then, could seem arbitrary.
    • I have yet to receive a telemarketing call that I actually wanted to hear from. I don't want to hear from them... ever. I'm pretty sure the american population can go without hearing from a telemarketer... ever.

      The shit telemarketers sell is crap, they use high pressure tactics that are rude, they ignore requests to take you off their do not call list, and they don't care that they bother you at odd times.

      There is nothing redeeming about their antics and the reason why this is a law now is because, of all
    • by garcia (6573)
      It's only fair that the enrollment is not permanent otherwise one day the list would include nearly every number.

      *Shrug*, the fucking assholes like Justice Just for Girls [lazylightning.org] clothing store just call you and call you and couldn't give a fuck less if you're on the DNC list (among others that use pre-recorded messages that end up on your answering machine even if you aren't home/don't answer). When you call to complain they just tell you that someone else put your number on their list. My argument is that if I'
      • by blantonl (784786)
        Businesses need to realize that cold call telemarketing is a dead business and they really should divert their money and attention

        Sorry buddy, but if this were really true then telemarketing would be dead and you would not be receiving calls. People only piss in the wind once. The reality is that there ARE a lot of people that not only accept the telemarketing calls, but they purchase items and fall for the sales tactics, especially the elderly.

        Your post is analogous to saying that SPAM is a dead business
        • Spam doesn't need to work. The spammers just need to convince a bunch of clueless manager, of which there seem to be no shortage, that it works.

          Of course these same clueless managers probably _do_ buy from spam.
    • An everlasting list would be equivalent to a soft ban on telemarketing. If you really want to do that, just do that instead. For now 5 years seems perfectly reasonable for me to re-register.
      You say that as if it were a bad thing.
    • by pheared (446683)
      You could also find out when your registration will expire by using this:
      https://www.donotcall.gov/confirm/Conf.aspx [donotcall.gov]

      We registered the number on 10/4/2004 and it says it's good until 6/13/2012.
  • Thanks (Score:5, Funny)

    by jtroutman (121577) on Friday September 21, 2007 @01:44PM (#20699129)
    Thanks for the reminder, I just re-signed up. Can you post this story again in five years so I'll remember to do it then to?
    • by mmeister (862972)
      Isn't the better option to just make it permanent?

      Even if I don't keep the number, I'm betting there is a 99.99% chance the next guy who gets the number doesn't want to be bothered with telemarketing calls either.
    • Knowing Slashdot, it will be posted again in 5 minutes. If you're lucky, kdwason will wait until next week. Then you have to remember whether or not you signed up again. Maybe a Firefox extension that hits the website monthly (just to be sure)is in order?
  • by packetmon (977047) on Friday September 21, 2007 @01:45PM (#20699153) Homepage
    So I tried to call my local representative to have a word in with him about this and he hung up claiming he was on some form of Do Not Call list. Can you imagine that?
  • How many? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Generic Guy (678542)

    I'd say five years is a pretty good amount of time. What percent of the population keep a number for that long, anyway?

    If the Do-Not-Call list were to never expire, eventually it will fill to all available U.S. phone numbers. We might as well simply impose a Telemarketer Banning Law in that case.

    • Re:How many? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RedSteve (690399) on Friday September 21, 2007 @01:50PM (#20699233)

      If the Do-Not-Call list were to never expire, eventually it will fill to all available U.S. phone numbers.

      Um...so what would the problem be with that?

    • by Raul654 (453029)
      If the Do-Not-Call list were to never expire, eventually it will fill to all available U.S. phone numbers.

      Except the people who intentionally remove their numbers. In other words, instead of being an opt-out system, it's opt-in. This is the way it should be.
    • by pthor1231 (885423)
      I've had my cell number for almost 6 years, and my landline for about 21. Plenty of people keep them for over 5 years.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DragonWriter (970822)

      What percent of the population keep a number for that long, anyway?

      Probably almost everyone who doesn't move outside of a local exchange (that is, excluding people that rotate numbers because they are repeated targets of harrassment); I'd expect probably a sizable majority of people and a slightly smaller majority of phone numbers (as second and additional lines may be more transitory.)

      If the Do-Not-Call list were to never expire, eventually it will fill to all available U.S. phone numbers.

      It would make so

    • I'd say five years is a pretty good amount of time. What percent of the population keep a number for that long, anyway?


      I've had mine for nearly 20 years!
    • From TFA:

      Doyle, however, points out that the list is purged each month of numbers that have been disconnected and reassigned to new customers. He called the FTC's position on the need for an expiration date "completely bogus."

      Ergo, flushing the list == telemarketing lobby paying for it.

      - Roach
  • > But some lawmakers think it is a hassle to expect people to re-register their phone numbers every five years

    I'd like to know who seriously thinks re-registering every five years is a hassle. I registered five years ago and I'll renew the registration before it expires soon. Big f**king deal. I saw this story several weeks ago with a similar sensational headline which implies the whole system will auto-destruct soon. Both times I felt misled by the reporters, not by the governments list.
  • Not re-registering (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Drathos (1092) on Friday September 21, 2007 @01:53PM (#20699283)
    I for one will not be re-registering my number. Hopefully it will get me fewer calls. The DNC has been a nightmare for me as my call volume has increased at least ten fold since it started. I'd rather get four or five calls a week with people who I can tell to take me off their list (what I used to get) than the 10+ calls a day from autodialers with forged Caller ID and noone on the other end of the line (so they can't be reported).

    Knowing my luck, however, I will get both..
    • by kasperd (592156)

      autodialers with forged Caller ID
      Why have that not been blocked yet? I think the operators should be required by law to block any calls with forged caller ID. And if they don't, they should be held liable for the calls they let through.
  • by Slashdot Parent (995749) on Friday September 21, 2007 @01:56PM (#20699351)
    They have an email address associated with each phone number. Why can't they send out a reminder 6 months before your number's expiration so you can renew?

    FYI- You can renew your Do Not Call registrations at any time, even if they are not about to expie. I renewed all my numbers today, despite some of them not expiring for over a year.
    • My email of 5 years ago is dead,dead,dead. They'd have to phone me to remind me to renew my DNC.
  • by jnguy (683993)
    It looks like they transfered entries from the New York State do not call registry to the federal one... dang. I was hoping the New York State one doesn't expire.

    • by PlatyPaul (690601)
      You mean this one [state.ny.us]?

      One big advantage here is that they make it easy to file complaints right off the do-not-call-list webpage.
  • I registered, not right away, but a few years ago. At the time, once I had jumped through all the hoops, I was presented with an additional option: "Now, that you've registered, you can print request this other form which will be (snail) mailed to you. Fill it out, mail it in, and you'll be permanently removed."

    Oh no, wait, I'M TOTALLY WRONG. That was for the "quit sending me pre-approved loan offers" thing. However, that did cut down my junk mail greatly--I used to get an average of more than one offer per
  • I think that 5 years is an adequate time period to require a re-enrollment! Phone numbers Do change sometimes, and they could never support a system that automatically takes a number off the rolls if you cancel your phone service.

    If people keep making mountains out of mole hills it just continues to divert attention from more important issues like , oh, the subversion of our democracy, net neutrality, patenet reform, health care...

    • I guess you couldn't be bothered to RTFA, so I'll point out the part that makes your post completely moot:

      Doyle, however, points out that the list is purged each month of numbers that have been disconnected and reassigned to new customers. He called the FTC's position on the need for an expiration date "completely bogus."

      So ... they already support "a system that automatically takes a number off the rolls if you cancel your phone service." as you put it.

      I asked that telemarketers not call me. I shouldn't ha
  • Reminder (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dmala (752610) on Friday September 21, 2007 @02:04PM (#20699535)
    It's not a big deal to have to renew, but it would be nice if you could opt in for an e-mail reminder or something. There's pretty much zero chance I could remember on my own before it expired. I dropped off the list temporarily when I moved recently and had to change my phone number. My phone pretty much rang non-stop from the moment it was connected to the moment (a week later) when it got added to the list. I had kind of forgotten how irritating the constant harassment could be.
  • Simple Fix (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Joebert (946227) on Friday September 21, 2007 @02:06PM (#20699553) Homepage
    Why not just leave the numbers on the list untill the number changes hands or is disconnected ?

    This 5 year bit sounds like somthing to keep lobbyists from crying.
  • by giminy (94188) on Friday September 21, 2007 @02:07PM (#20699577) Homepage Journal
    0 0 1 1 * wget --post-data 'ctlACPH1:txtAreaCode=<your area code>&ctlACPH1:txtPhone=<your phone number>&ctlEmail:txtEmail=<your email>&txtConfirmEmail=<your email again>' https://www.donotcall.gov/Register/Reg.aspx [donotcall.gov]

    You could wrap the wget in an if-block to see if the year is divisible by 5, but I'm lazy.

    Reid
  • by AnalogDiehard (199128) on Friday September 21, 2007 @02:11PM (#20699629)
    Then get an unpublished (not unlisted) phone number.

    I've moved twice in the past six years, both times I got an unpublished number. When a telemarketer called, they were informed that this was an unpublished number and to please put it on their DNC list. That brought all telemarketing calls to a screeching halt.

    When I started my new job last year I moved to a new city and ordered a second land line phone number with distinctive ring for off duty support for work emergencies. Both numbers are unpublished. After the first couple of false alarms with telemarketers calling the "hot line", they stopped real fast.

    It does not cost much more for unpublished numbers.


    • Somehow I fail to see how having an unpublished number stops auto-dialers from hitting your number in sequence. Or from someone you deal with legitimately from selling your number to someone else (Don't ever give out your actual phone number for those grocery store discount cards, for example).

      I've been on the DNC list since its inception (and put down 555-1212 for things like the aforementioned grocery store cards). THAT works. We receive *zero* telemarketing calls. The only ones we do get are the stupid
    • You say use an unpublished number to stay off a telemarketers list but then give examples of telemarketers calling your unpublished number and on more than one occasion at that. So what's the difference?

      There is nothing magic about an unpublished number. It's simply a number that the phone company has agreed not to reveal details about. But not all telemarketers get their phone numbers from 'published' sources such as phone company records as your own examples clearly indicate. An unpublished number has jus
    • Going to an unlisted number WORKS. Why? You can speed up ht eprocess by going thru the places like Zabasearch and the other reverse phone number lookups and having your number removed from them too. I did this after I moved back around 2000. I think we have gotten 5-10 TOTAL telemarketers since then.

      Now that doesn't stop the stupid phone company calling and trying to upsell THEIR service every so often. But then the DNC won't stop that either.

      And this also stops some places like banks who are looking f
  • That the Do Not Call list provides telemarketers with a list of names and numbers to call, for those of us who might forget to re-register. Isn't it convenient that the Federal Government has actually assisted telemarketers by providing them with a list of confirmed names and numbers, which they will be legally allowed to call after the expiration date?

    A lot of us signed up for the Do Not Call list hoping that we wouldn't receive these kinds of calls. Instead, we were betrayed by both the Feds and the

  • by ttapper04 (955370) on Friday September 21, 2007 @02:20PM (#20699799) Journal
    We have to make all the calls through a "filter" of sorts, it references "the list." We also had the ability to add people to the list, and were mandated to do so upon request. Our company faced stiff penalties for calling people on the list as well.

    Bottom line:Tell the first telemarketer who calls you to add you to the list.

    A quick side note: The bank of phone numbers my company would call could be sorted by name, age, race, income, marital status, and sexual preference. I recall a time when we payed another company $1100 for a list of gay people in Illinois. No kidding.
  • Last night (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dunbal (464142) on Friday September 21, 2007 @02:23PM (#20699831)
    Funny, I got a call last night from a telemarketer that went something like this:

          "Hi Mr. So and so? I wonder if you had a minute so I could remind you that your telephone number will be off the "Do Not Call list" next year, and to offer you our automatic "Do Not Call" list renewal service. For just $1.95 a month our company will track your telephone number and automatically renew your status on this list for you every five years..."

          I'm joking, of course. But how far away are we from this? :)
  • by y86 (111726)
    I wish there was a product that just automatically -- never rang and just hung up on a large swath of numbers.

    Kind of like Spam Assassin does for email -- it's like the message was never sent.

    I see an IPO, a little black box that gets a list of telemarketers numbers from the net and blocks them all!

    Any takers?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sricetx (806767)
      Why not a product that whitelists numbers that will ring through? Why should I answer calls from random numbers? Those can go straight to voicemail. You would think the telcos would sell a service like this, but I've never seen it. I suppose one could route all calls through an Asterisk box and have rules set up for this...
  • by maxchaote (796339)
    I'm surprised noone's made a script to automatically start registering every US number. I just re-entered my phone numbers and was surprised that you only have to enter your phone number and click on a confirmation link in an email to register. There's no verification that the number is yours or even a captcha. It would be very easy for someone to game this system.

    Then again, that might be the perfect excuse for the telemarketing industry to call for a lengthy and expensive overhaul of the system and win
  • Buy stock in telemarketing and phn research companies now. Then dump it about 6 months after the renewal date. Costa RIca here I come!
  • Do Not Call -- Ha.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 21, 2007 @02:39PM (#20700109)
    I added all my numbers, phone and fax, to the do not call list, back when do-not-call started,
    and it was the first thing I did after establishing a new phone whenever I moved, and I still
    get about two calls a day to the voice line, and one or two junk faxes a day. Sometimes more.

    I have a two inch pile of junk faxes from 2006; I kept them all, just to see
    how many I get. I also get regular automated voice calls for the same crap over and over;
    credit card debt relief and to clean my rugs (I have hardwood floors, and no credit card debt).
    At least it's easy to tell it's a recording and just hang up.. but the same thing over and over?
    Someone's wasting their junk advertising dollars.

    The automated calls give an option at the end to either 'press 1 to make an appointment,
    or press 2 to remove you from our call list', and of course when you press '2' it says
    it's an invalid option, likely some kind of loophole in the law..

    I've searched the web for the caller-ids, and it seems this happens all over
    the country.. some folks were successful at tracking down who actually makes the calls
    (often a Florida address), and some interrogated the people who picked up when you
    'press 1' finding they're just working for some unknown entity out of their basement.
    The caller-id numbers are from all over, sometimes local, sometimes from other states,
    and others 'Blocked', but often it's the same message.

    And if I ever give money to a police or goodwill charity, for the next three months
    I get calls from every police and charity organization asking for money at dinner,
    lunch and breakfast. After a few cycles of this, I've simply stopped giving to charities..
    screw 'em all.

    I don't know how many calls do-not-call is preventing, maybe a lot, maybe a few,
    but there's obviously some kind of loopholes..
  • by jbeaupre (752124) on Friday September 21, 2007 @03:13PM (#20700701)
    I kind of miss telemarketer calls.

    Would you like to subscribe to our newspaper? No, I'm illiterate!

    Would you like new windows? No, this house is so run down I'm abandoning it.

    Would you like to donate to the children? No, I don't like children.

    Would you like to donate to the police fund? Will you let my brother out of jail?

    and so on. Come up with a response that is not on their list and it's comedy gold.
  • Already renewed (Score:2, Informative)

    by amigabill (146897)
    I started getting telemarketing calls again a couple months ago and reregistered all my numbers. I'd rather not have to, but it's worth the couple minutes involved. I get very little phone spam, mostly mortgage offers which I turn down by saying "It's illegal for you to be talking to me right now".

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten

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