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FTC Announces Crackdown on Do Not Call Violators 162

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-means-no dept.
Tech.Luver writes "The Federal Trade Commission today announced a law enforcement crackdown on companies and individuals accused of violating the requirements of the National Do Not Call Registry, resulting in six settlements collectively imposing nearly $7.7 million in civil penalties, along with an additional complaint that will be filed in federal district court. The actions, brought by the Department of Justice on the FTC's behalf, are against companies ranging from adjustable bed seller Craftmatic Industries, to alarm-monitoring provider ADT Security Services and lender Ameriquest Mortgage Company. To date, consumers have put more than 145 million numbers on the Registry, indicating they do not want to receive calls from telemarketers at home."
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FTC Announces Crackdown on Do Not Call Violators

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  • Yeah!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jaster82 (222181) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @05:30AM (#21279063) Homepage
    Maybe the took that complaint I lodged 3 years ago seriously... It's about time this type of thing started happening.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by magarity (164372)
      3 years seems a little excessive. OTOH, they wait for enough people to complain about a given source to make a large case before they bother to chase after the offenders. There's this number that sources from Ohio that calls my cell (that I put on the do not call list) every couple of months with a recording trying to sell me insurance, timeshares, etc. I report it every time but they haven't been shut down yet. sigh
    • by Fred_A (10934)

      Maybe the took that complaint I lodged 3 years ago seriously... It's about time this type of thing started happening.
      I thought this was heading in the right direction as well until I noticed I had missed the word "collectively".
      Also I was a bit disappointed at the lack of mention of thumbscrews.
  • 5 Year Limit (Score:5, Informative)

    by Misanthrope (49269) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @05:31AM (#21279071)
    http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2007/10/dnctestimony.shtm [ftc.gov]
    Make sure you contact your congress critter about the permanency of the DNC list.
    Either that or just make sure to register again in 5 years.
    • Re:5 Year Limit (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Jaster82 (222181) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @05:41AM (#21279113) Homepage
      Thanks for the heads up! I'll have to actually write a good old fashioned snail mail letter to my senator here in Colorado... Stick it to 'em! Remember people, if you want to be taken seriously, snail mail is the only way to go.
      • by goddidit (988396) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @09:21AM (#21280123)

        Remember people, if you want to be taken seriously, snail mail is the only way to go.
        I think that in this case it could be actually better to call them. Repeatedly.
      • Remember people, if you want to be taken seriously, snail mail is the only way to go.

        No, not anymore, unfortunately. Snail mail now just takes forever to get through because they have to process it all for hazardous materials after all the anthrax and white powder scares. The turnaround time is usually longer than Washington's attention span.

        Email and phone is the way to get the point across in any reasonable amount of time, or take them out to an expensive dinner.

    • by Toutatis (652446) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @06:13AM (#21279237)
      There is no need to register again. Someone will call you to remember you are unregistered.
      • by KlomDark (6370)
        Not true, I signed up the first or second day of the DNC being available, and found recently that my name was no longer registered.
    • They should change it to an opt-in list, rather than an opt-out list.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Prior restraint issues, among others, would appear. If companies were preemptively prevented from calling people, that amounts to a prior restraint without sufficient justification. However, with an opt-out list, companies are only prevented from calling those people who have explicitly requested such treatment. This way, the government hasn't restrained the companies a priori.
        • by Todd Knarr (15451)

          Why would it be prior restraint? It's not the company's phone line they're using, they're not paying for it, why should they get any right to use that line without the owner's prior authorization?

          • (a) It is the company's line; what are you talking about?

            (b) It's prior restraint because that's the term we use when the government restrains speech before it occurs.
            • by Todd Knarr (15451)

              It is? I was under the impression that I was the one footing the bill for my phone line. Nice to know it's the telemarketers, I'm sure they'll have no problem paying up when I send them the bill for the last 5 years of payments I've been making for their phone line, right? ... right? ... thought so. No, it's my phone line after all, I guess, since they aren't paying for it.

              And telling them they can't use my phone line without authorization first isn't any sort of restraint on their speech. They can speak a

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      Make sure you also tell your congress critter to extend the DNC list to include congress critters and charities, as those were 90% of the problem ( and now thanks to the DNC list, are 100% minus iota of the problem).
    • The same link you refer also states that the FTC will not drop registrations pending the decision whether to extend the 5 year limit. I cannot imagine the FTC extending 5 year deadlines if there is no intend to actually extend the list. Keep up the public pressure.

      "...the Commission now commits that it will not drop any telephone numbers from the Registry based on the five-year expiration period pending final Congressional or agency action on whether to make registration permanent."

      Source: http://www.ft [ftc.gov]

    • by Z00L00K (682162)
      Actually - there shouldn't be a "Do Not Call" list. There should be a "You May Call" list. And numbers not on that list may not be called for any purpose involving money.

      An idea I have is that the phone providers should offer a service that allows the called party to bill the caller for $100 by pressing a certain code during the call. That would probably be most effective.

      And if you run your own switch through Asterisk it's also possible to add functionality where the caller is directed to an automatic

      • by operagost (62405)

        An idea I have is that the phone providers should offer a service that allows the called party to bill the caller for $100 by pressing a certain code during the call.

        That would make it a lot easier for college students to borrow money from Dad.

        Dad: Hey son, just checking in on you to make sure...
        Student: *beep*
        Dad: Why you little...!

        On the other hand, now when I call one of my stupid vendors for support, they can auto-bill me for the privilege of waiting on hold.

  • Just think about it: "If you think you have been affected, fill this form with your name, phone number and availability and we will gladly contact you with more information about ... "
  • To File a Complaint (Score:5, Informative)

    by wildsurf (535389) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @05:56AM (#21279181) Homepage
    Go here. [donotcall.gov]
    • by garcia (6573)
      And remember that it doesn't mean that anything will get done, especially Justice just for Girls [lazylightning.org] likes to call repeatedly and then when you complain, claim that you put their number there or that someone else did.

      My other favorite are the automated carpet cleaning calls that you get, number unavailable, that don't leave their number, name or otherwise and I'm not sure what purpose they serve other than to annoy.
      • I get those. If I'm in the mood, I'll do the "push 1 to setup an appointment". Then I'll sound interested, ask the rep for company info, etc... and then inform them that I'm filing a DNC violation with the FCC.
  • by eniac42 (1144799) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @06:29AM (#21279295) Journal
    Have one important drawback - they tend to apply only within the host country. Some of these scam^h^h^h^h telesales-marketing companies operate from oversees (ie. from Canada calling EU countries)..
    • by MollyB (162595) * on Thursday November 08, 2007 @06:46AM (#21279353) Journal
      Another bummer: these registries only apply to marketers. Charities use the same tactics (Out of Area in CallerID, call more-or-less daily, and won't leave a message). I don't care who is bothering me for cash. All they get is a request to be removed from the call list.
      (I have nothing against NGOs/charities. If I wish to donate, I can find my own suitable organization without prodding.)
      • by irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @07:44AM (#21279605) Journal

        If I wish to donate, I can find my own suitable organization without prodding


        I'd take that a step further. If I wish to donate, its to a charity that won't be spending my money paying someone to coldcall people to whore for donations.
        • This is a good time to mention Child's Play [childsplaycharity.org], a charity that won't ever call you and where 100% of what you donate goes to the kids.
        • I'm not asking this question to justify telemarketing but can I ask how you envision a non-evil charity should raise funds?

          I was thinking about a project someone could do where they amass all charities on a website, and sort them by several metrics (admin cost ratio, independent review, reputation ranking, volunteer satsifaction, area of expertise, etc.) and then you'd be able to allocate optimally, and easily find new charities. This would be better than the hap-hazard system of people donating to whoever
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by penix1 (722987)

        I have nothing against NGOs/charities. If I wish to donate, I can find my own suitable organization without prodding.

        NGO/charities aren't the only exemption in the law. The thing is so full of loopholes it looks like Swiss Cheese. For example, the DNC list has an exemption for anyone a company has dome business with in the past year or so. Of course, doing business hasn't been defined but that's just a technicality. In short, they tried to make opt-out the default for telemarketing just like they did with s

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by cjb-nc (887319)

          The Do-Not-Call list is one of the biggest publicity stunt Congress has pulled in a decade.
          The second being this event here. Look everyone, we caught *FIVE* big ticket offenders. See? It works! Really. We're doing our job. Never mind that each and every one of you has probably had to report five different companies for ignoring the list. They just weren't big enough to bother to go after.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by AuMatar (183847)
            Actually, no. In the years since the DNC list, I have had 1 and only 1 telemarketer call. It works.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by thejynxed (831517)
          And you know how they get you with that loophole? Every go into a Wallmart, Best Buy, or shop online at any number of random sites (Apple iTunes or Amazon for instance)? Now you have a good idea of why they ask you for your phone number when you pay by credit card or otherwise ask you for your phone number as part of account registry or the final sale information.

          Convenient way to not only harvest your purchasing history, but it also gives them implicit permission to call your home and to allow their "partn
          • by dbc001 (541033)

            Now you have a good idea of why they ask you for your phone number when you pay by credit card or otherwise ask you for your phone number as part of account registry or the final sale information.
            Is this really true? I once heard that they ask for your phone number because they need your phone number to get your mailing address from the credit card companies. Which is it?
        • I won't say that I don't get any calls anymore, but the situation is vastly improved. A few years ago, I was working out of state, and I'd come home on the weekends to find over a hundred calls recorded on my caller ID. This was before I had voice mail, and the volume of calls I was getting literally broke my answering machine!

          Now, yeah, I still get several calls a day from "Toll Free Number", but it's easy enough to just not answer those, and at least the phone isn't ringing constantly. This is one of the
        • For example, the DNC list has an exemption for anyone a company has dome business with in the past year or so. Of course, doing business hasn't been defined but that's just a technicality.

          I have a sneaking suspicion that there's an extremely loose "affiliates" clause in the definition of "business". Something along the lines of "Apple "affiliate" AT&T, sells an iPhone that uses "affiliate" AT&T's services, which can access "affiliate" GE's holdings, which includes "affiliates" NBC and the SCi-F

      • I read an opinion piece* a few years ago (not too long after the DNC registry went into effect) that said that most of those charity calls you get now are actually telemarketering firms who give a small fraction (less than half) of the money to the charities. I suppose the charities often don't mind, they're getting money for, it appears, free. But it's bad news. I'd like to see the law amended to say that you can only use the charity exemption to the DNC registry if you're giving, say, 80% or more of th
        • by MollyB (162595) *
          Interesting. I've been on the list for four years, but knew little of the back-story on the DNC Registry [wikipedia.org] until just now. The section(s) in the link appear to illuminate the mechanism by which changes in implementation of the law are made:

          The Do-Not-Call Implementation Act of 2003 (Public Law No. 108-10, was H.R. 395 of the 108th Congress) was sponsored by Representatives Billy Tauzin and John Dingell and signed into law by President George W. Bush on March 11, 2003. This law establishes the FTC's National Do Not Call Registry in order to facilitate compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991."
          Complaints concerning telemarketing calls to homes and personal cell phones can be made to the Federal Communications Commission[6] and the Federal Trade Commission[7]. Note that both of these federal agencies are agencies of limited resources; the more succinct, specific, and complete a complaint, the greater the chance that it will be acted upon.

          The Federal Communications Commission has created rules implementing the National Do-Not-Call Implementation Act. These rules are codified at the Code of Federal Regulations, title 47, Section 64.1200.[8] The rules should be consulted in order to determine whether a particular incident violated the rules and can result in enforcement.

          In order to create an actionable complaint pursuant to FCC rules, an individual with a home phone or a personal cell phone is required to specify details of the infraction to the FCC. Typically this includes facts such as when the call occurred, the phone number called, the calling organization, the goods or services being marketed, whether the caller has any exemption status. Details of these rules can be found on the FCC's complaint form.[9]

          As I see it, the devil is in the details; Congress Acts, and the FCC makes the rules. Who's running the show? The FTC or FCC? I'm too lazy to go read Section 64.1200, title 47 at the Code of Federal Regulations. I realize all are sock-puppets of Darth Cheney... I just don

      • by brjndr (313083)
        I'm of Indian descent, and my parents get calls to subscribe to Dish Networks almost daily, because Dish offers channels from India. The calls come from a call center in India, and always at dinner time. they won't stop calling even when we ask. The worst part is we ALREADY have Dish with those channels. The callers always say they are calling on behalf of Dish, but it's some third party installer.

        The only way that we can get them to stop it so punish the company that hired them here in the US, because we
    • by Silver Sloth (770927) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @06:49AM (#21279365)
      I don't know about anywhere else but, here in the UK [tpsonline.org.uk], I've found it to be very effective. Before I registered I was getting 2-3 calls a night, now I get none, yep, none at all.
      • by Drathos (1092)
        The US DNC has been an utter failure for me. I went from 4-5 telemarketer calls per week to 10-15 calls per day - occasionally as early as 6am. Most are autodialers (with forged caller-id) without anything on the other end of the line with several 'political survey' calls and a few charities mixed in. Of the times where there's something on the other end of the line, 99% of the time it's a pre-recorded message. I've come home from an afternoon with friends and found 15 messages on my answering machine o
    • by digitig (1056110)
      I often respond to telemarketers by asking "Are you incompetents who don't know the regulations relating to your business, or crooks who ignore it?", but as more and more are operating from overseas, and so from outside the coverage of the regulations that isn't working as well as it used to, and the TPS (the UK equivalent of the DNC list) is looking increasingly irrelevant.
    • Exactly right. The future of telemarketing is this: telemarketers in country A ring suckers in country B, and telemarketers in country B ring suckers in country A, thus evading Do Not Call laws in both countries.
      • by Steve001 (955086)

        aeschenkarnos wrote:

        Exactly right. The future of telemarketing is this: telemarketers in country A ring suckers in country B, and telemarketers in country B ring suckers in country A, thus evading Do Not Call laws in both countries.

        This could lead to the following: people turn their phone ringer off, allow voice mail/answering machines to screen their calls, and have an alternate system in place for people who need to contact them immediately (such as a pager). End result: telemarketers are completely

    • "Have one important drawback - they tend to apply only within the host country. Some of these scam^h^h^h^h telesales-marketing companies operate from oversees (ie. from Canada calling EU countries).."

      In the USA, the company that stands to benefit from breaking the law is liable for the actions of their agents, the marketers, no matter where the call center might be located. Ameriquest Mortgage, for example, had a horde of "resellers" making the calls for them, but that didn't keep them from getting fined.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2007 @06:53AM (#21279385)
    Unless one specifically indicates to -one- firm at a time that they don't mind and might even like to be called about their latest news/offers (ala email/newsletters)?

    NO ONE wants to be called by -random- telemarketers at home, selling what usually amounts to nothing but a flat out scam. It's preposterous we continue to accept it as a 'part of the market' or whatever it is that makes us keep allowing it to happen at all.
    • by mpe (36238)
      Unless one specifically indicates to -one- firm at a time that they don't mind and might even like to be called about their latest news/offers (ala email/newsletters)?

      Probably by something a little more explicit than ticking/not ticking a tiny box. It also needs to be made clear that giving a business a telephone number so that they can respond to a specific query does not give them any cause to call that number for something completely unrelated.
    • or whatever it is that makes us keep allowing it to happen at all.

      That would be the First Amendment. It protects commercial speech. (See e.g. Central Hudson v. Public Service)

      As with door-to-door soliciting, telemarketing relies on your implied consent, but that consent is presumed by default in our society. You can expressly withdraw it on an individual basis (e.g. telling a specific marketer to not call you / go to your door again) or by posting adequate notice (e.g. a do-not-solicit sign on the lawn). Th
  • Almost there... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pla (258480) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @07:03AM (#21279439) Journal
    To date, consumers have put more than 145 million numbers on the Registry, indicating they do not want to receive calls from telemarketers at home.

    Now if only they'd remove the exemptions for charities and politicians, I'd call this a job well done.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by JasonEngel (757582)
      While I would rather not get unsolicited calls, I do actually approve of the allowances for charities to call. I get about one charitable call per week, they've never happened after 5pm or on weekends, and they are almost always for material donations rather than money (ie clothes, food, etc). It's turned out on a few occasions that I've actually had a very good personal benefit from such calls, ending up with a good way to eliminate a lot of old clothes, especially the kids' old stuff.

      However, with that
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Overzeetop (214511)
        You clearly don't get the 4x year call from the Fraternal Order Troopers Society calling "on behalf" of the local police organization asking for cash for policemen retirement benefits, or some such. You know, I have established business relationships with all the charities I donate to. Being on the DNC list doesn't prevent them from calling me (that whole prior relationship thing). If necessary, get a 2 bit identifier attached to the DNC list; set bit zero as charities and bit one as political action. Wit
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Kraegar (565221)
      Now if only they'd remove the exemptions for charities and politicians, I'd call this a job well done.

      I regularly got calls from the Dove Foundation. Like one or two a month. Then I started doing this...

      Telemarketer: This is calling on behalf of the Dove Foundation...

      Me: (Interrupting) Oh, is that where I can buy some freshly killed dove to cook, and you donate the cost to help out some charity?

      Telemarketer: Ack! Uh, no! (etc)

      Me: (hang up) They've never called again.

  • by Morky (577776) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @07:39AM (#21279593)
    The government saw telemarketing was a growing problem, and for all intents and purposes, fixed it. Taking a decision that results in lost jobs is usually antithetical to US politicians, but they did it anyway. Thanks for representing the people!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ucblockhead (63650)
      I don't know that I'd say "fixed it". I know I still get annoying calls, especially from "charities" or people "doing surveys". More like they took a stabbing pain and turned it into a dull ache. This is typical government: mediocre half-action which is, at least, better than nothing.
    • All these call center jobs are being offshored to India. Its tedious, boring work, with a low success rate and plenty of abuse from the people you call. Why pay Americans to do this when you can hire 4 Indians for the price of one?

      I doubt putting Americans out of work was much of a concern for the politicians. The jobs would be gone in another 5 years anyway.
  • Charity exemption (Score:3, Informative)

    by ortholattice (175065) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @07:51AM (#21279651)
    For me, the do-not-call registry has worked pretty well in the sense that I'm getting many fewer calls from commercial companies.

    The problem now is the charity exemption. Years ago I don't recall receiving anywhere near the charity solicitations that I do now. Charities seem to be popping up out of the woodwork.

    For example, it used to be you'd get a call from a real local police person once a year, asking to donate to their fund, and receive tickets to their annual comedy show or some such where you could meet the actual people. Now there's the police safety education fund, the police widows fund, the police families fund, the police community fund, the state police fund, etc. etc. (I'm making up some of these names since I don't remember them, but you get the idea), most of which seem to have nothing to do with the local police dept and are obviously being made from telemarketing centers. Some of them offer official stickers to put on your house door or your car, with the unstated implication that it might be good to have them if you're stopped, or worse it might be bad not to have them... And double all this for the firemen's funds. Never mind the innumerable "special olympics".

    I'm all for helping my local police, but this is ridiculous. I know some people have no trouble brushing them off, and I force myself to do that too, but with that twinge of guilt that some widow may now starve because of me (even though rationally I suspect it's a scam) - and I imagine many nice aunts and grandmothers are easily sucked into their pitches.

    I know, call screening and all that. Unfortunately I'm an old-fashioned person who tends to answer the phone when it rings. On the other hand, I've come to recognize the few seconds of silence after I say "hello", and then the sudden telemarketing background noise when their computer switches me into the next free telemarketer. *Plonk*.

    • by Firethorn (177587)
      My standard response is 'I don't respond to telephone solicitations. Period. You call me, I don't donate to you or buy your product/service. Don not call me again'.

      Keep track of the information; I'm not a lawyer, but I remember reading at some time that while Charities/Politics/surveys don't have to follow the DNCL, they do have to respect individual DNC requests.
  • by Aladrin (926209) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @07:57AM (#21279677)
    Yesterday, I got my first call in years that wasn't from a wrong number or someone I knew.

    They started off asking for me by name, and I asked why. They said they wanted to do a survey. I said, 'Do you not know I'm on the Do Not Call list?' 'We're not trying to sell anything.' After about 2 minutes of nastily telling him that he was profiting from me, and therefore WAS selling something, he said 'We'll call back tomorrow.' and hung up before I could reply. That was at 5pm... Yeah, dinner time. Another 'Unknown' number called at 8pm, but I hung up before they could talk.

    I'm hoping they do call back again today so I can yell at another one of them and waste their time. I'm asking for a manager straight off this time.

    It's kind of nice to have someone to yell at again... It's almost a shame the DNC list works so well.
    • I get calls from surveys all the time, and I sometimes participate if I have a few minutes. All of them have been legit, and legitimate surveyors *are* allowed to call you (along with charities and politicians).

      If they call, just demand to be placed on their do not call list, simple as that.

      The real problem that I'm having is telemarketers who shamelessly break the law and use caller id blocking and such. And I noticed that the FTC didn't go after any of them.

      Actually, I'm let down by this action, as most
  • A clasic response: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ubrgeek (679399) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @08:33AM (#21279837)
    TM: Hi, would you be interested in switching over to TMI long distance service.

    Jerry Seinfeld: Gee, I can't talk right now. Why don't you give me your home number and I'll call you later.

    TM: Uh, I'm sorry we're not allowed to do that.

    Jerry Seinfeld: Oh, I guess you don't want people calling you at home.

    TM: No.

    Jerry Seinfeld: Well now you know how I feel.
  • by clickety6 (141178) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @08:50AM (#21279933)

    I'm sure lots of lonely people out there would like to sign up to such a registry!

     
  • Is it just me, or doesn't the Do Not Call List seem extremely uncharacteristic of the US Government?

    It is *literally* the only bit of significant legislation I can think of in the last 15 years solely designed to protect consumers, and punish abusive corporations.
    • by gad_zuki! (70830)
      Well, the telesale industry has been in decline for a long time, its usually scammy, and doesnt provide any real employment. It pisses people off and they dont really have a powerful lobby. The lobby of pissed of constitieunts eventually beat them. Considering that scammy sales have migrated to the web/email, I dont think anyone is taking a real loss. Its just more cost effective for these scammers to move to spam anyway.
  • 1. Corporations do not make the decision to call and harass me, individuals within the corporation do. If you were to fine the person who authorized those calls even fifty cents the calls would stop. Forever.

    2. The phone companies should be forced to provide - at no charge - an option to reject calls with blocked or out of area caller ID. Even for those customers who don't subscribe to caller ID. Such calls are invariably sales or other solicitation pitches and, as they are always unwanted, harassing a

  • Everyone is calling (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mhollis (727905) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @09:54AM (#21280459) Journal

    Yesterday, I got called by "Asia," saying she was from a local Chiropractor's office and wanted me to come in for a "Free" Spinal Analysis.

    I reported the call to the State licensing board, saying that if he is hiring "fly-by-night" telemarketing companies, it was possible that he is doing questionable practice. I also reported the call to the FTC and called my Chiropractor (who went to the same, very respected, College) to complain.

    Usually, whenever I inform the caller that my phone is on a "Do Not Call" registry, they hang up and try not to give me any information about their company or whereabouts.

    I used to live in an illegal sublet in NYC and all calls were for a "Mr. or Mrs SomeotherLastname." I would very calmly inform the caller that I was "Mr. SomeotherLastname's" brother from the midwest and that they had just passed away. I would very politely enquire if they had an open account with them or some other business with them. This was before the Do Not Call Registry was set up and it was very amusing to hear the reactions.

  • I've been getting the really annoying phone call for last 2 months or more now on a weekly basis. The gist is, you pick up and an automated recording lasting more than 2 minutes begins to play. The call display sometimes shows a phone number but most often does not. It then asks to press 1 to speak to someone or "2" to be placed on do-not call list. I hang up incase its a scam for long-distance calls.

    The volume on these calls alone is deafening. The phone volume alone makes me feel like I'd really like to
    • The asterisk system on my landline prevents all sorts of stuff from getting through. My computer's connected to my landline with a linksys SIP-to-phone line converter so all the calls that come in are digital data. You immediately get dropped into a voice menu system that tells you to press 1 if you're a telemarketer and 2 otherwise. Since telemarketers inevitably are on automated systems that's as far as they get. Most wrong numbers don't get past this point, either. In fact, I don't actually remember gett
  • by ehaggis (879721) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @10:23AM (#21280749) Homepage Journal
    Answering in another language or gibberish is fun. Speak Java or C++ to them. Klingon is good.
  • Missionary Work (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mulhollandj (807571)
    I try to engage in conversations with these people, when they are people, and try to convince them to let the missionaries from my church come and visit them. You would be surprised with how receptive these people are. I guess that is the risk for calling Utah.
  • I don't want no blasted settlements. I want them to fine the companies involved for the full amount under the law. If that drives them out of business, I say Good Riddance!
  • They've been doing that for years. I think they've gotten sued for it on multiple occasions. I also seem to recall hearing that they're disintegrating and shrinking due to the collapse of the sub-prime market, but I could be wrong there.
  • This is from just before Do Not Call went into action, but ADT is really awful about telemarketing calls.

    When we bought our home, we started receiving calls from ADT trying to sell us a security system. When I say that, I mean several calls every day: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, etc. I always followed the procedure of "No I do not want your service. Remove me from your calling list." This continued for months. After 2 months I was pretty darn angry with them. I started contacting ADT direct, each time be
  • by He Who Waits (1102491) on Thursday November 08, 2007 @02:15PM (#21283839)
    Over the past couple of years, the vast majority of telemarketing spam calls to my house have been through Predictive Dialing systems.

    When answering a call from one of these systems, you typically hear a pause while the system alerts the telemarketers that it has found a live human for them to speak to.

    Upon hearing that characteristic pause, I now simply dial 25 to instruct my Canon ImageClass multifunction laser printer to accept an incoming fax and hang up, leaving the caller to be bombarded with shrill fax tones.

    In the two months I've been doing this, the number of spam calls I get has dropped by 2/3.

    • by toddestan (632714)
      You might want to be careful with that technique, because if someone recognizes it as a fax machine and puts you onto a junk faxer's list, you could end up getting a whole lot of calls at all hours of the day and night.

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