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U.S. National Do-Not-Call Registry On the Way? 563

WinkyN writes "Yay! The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a measure that creates a national "do not call" list for telemarketers. Telemarketers are required to check the list every three months and can be fined up to $11,000 each time they violate the law. Now I won't have to ignore my telephone when it rings since more than 50 percent of my calls are from telemarketers." Congress is just getting around to passing a budget bill to run the government for fiscal year 2003 (started last October), and we're now in the time period when everything and the kitchen sink gets thrown into it just before it passes. Good to know that there's at least one useful piece of legislation.
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U.S. National Do-Not-Call Registry On the Way?

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  • Too bad (Score:5, Funny)

    by ouslush ( 535043 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:19PM (#5294788) Homepage
    I knew I shouldn't have spent $40 buying that damn Telezapper []
    • Re:Too bad (Score:4, Informative)

      by Jacer ( 574383 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:22PM (#5294816) Homepage
      Yeah, that thing screams false advertising. It sends no frequency over the telephone to delete your call. All it is is a recording that says the phone is disconnected. Have a friend mask his phone number from caller id, and then have him call. He'll hear it.
    • Re:Too bad (Score:5, Informative)

      by swordboy ( 472941 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:28PM (#5294891) Journal
      I knew I shouldn't have spent $40 buying that damn Telezapper.

      Actually, you can get the same effect by simply whistling loudly into the phone when you answer it. Recently, after signing up for a credit card, I started getting all sorts of telemarketing calls. My caller ID would be filled with dozens of 'NO ID' on a daily basis. Instead of ingoring them, I started picking up and whistling loudly. In several other events, I just picked up and answered (followed by the routing delay). When they asked for me by name, I simply asked them to put me on their do not call list.

      The calls subsided in less than two weeks.

      The problem with this new law is that the US legislature is for sale. The politicians have squeezed every last drop out of the telemarketing industry prior to making this law. Now, they will have new ground to bargain with. Loopholes around this new law will be the next big cash cow.
      • Re:Too bad (Score:5, Funny)

        by Psmylie ( 169236 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @01:14PM (#5295286) Homepage
        Whistling? I just scream loudly and continually until the telemarketer hangs up. Doesn't decrease my volume of calls, though... but why would I want it to? It's so fun!
      • Re:Too bad (Score:5, Informative)

        by angryrobot ( 223166 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @01:42PM (#5295593)

        This totally works.

        I actually wrote a letter to get on the Direct Marketing Association do-not-call list that exists right now. After about 2 months the number of calls was like a 1/4 of what they were. After that, I picked up every call and told them to put me on their do not call list. Oddly, almost every telemarketer that I said this to would politely say "OK, you can expect calls to cease within 3 weeks" or something like that.

        I get about 1 call every couple of months now from a telemarketer, and it's usually from like the local paper or something. It's a huge relief.

        Direct Marketing Association


        DMA Telephone Preference Service

        P.O. Box 1559

        Carmel, NY 10512

      • Re:Too bad (Score:5, Interesting)

        by bughunter ( 10093 ) <> on Thursday February 13, 2003 @01:45PM (#5295614) Journal
        My caller ID would be filled with dozens of 'NO ID' on a daily basis.

        Sounds familiar. I'm a Pac Bell customer in Southern CA. Two years ago a similar plague of automated calls started filling my answering machine memory with messages that were nothing but sequences of beeps, each lasting more than 3 minutes. Every day, a dozen or more times a day, these calls arrived exactly every seven minutes apart, with caller ID giving an "UNAVAILABLE" origin. It rendered my answering machine useless, and I was in the middle of an employment search!

        I finally got fed up and called my local PD, who set up a trap and trace with Pac Bell. Although it successfully identified the caller, the PD wouldn't identify them for me - something about potential for retaliation. The detective promised me that he sent the caller a warning, but since they were out of state there was little I could do. The calls continued. Month after month.

        Every month I set up another trap and trace, and eventually told the PD that I wanted recourse to civil court, and that I required the ID of the offensive caller in order to file suit. At this point the PD got the FBI involved, and finally, after more than a year, I got a call from a detective and found out the story:

        The calls were originating from Dallas. The caller was a SBC Long Distance telemarketer using an autodialer. That's right, SBC.

        My own phone company was jamming my answering machine with dozens of nuisance calls a day!

        Why it just beeped, no one could explain. My theory is that it was my 1970's era Radio Shack answering machine with a continuous loop outgoing message cassette. The beep is a metal splice strip. The beep tone must have triggered something in the autodialer. Anyway, the FBI got results. The calls stopped. They briefly resumed again, but this time there was an 800 number on my caller ID. I called it and it was SBC LD customer service. They denied calling me at all, but I spoke to a supervisor and made it clear that I did not want them calling me at all and if they did, they would be subject to fine and criminal prosecution for harassment, due to the frequency and duration of their PITA calls.

        I finally got peace.

        To this day I am still confounded by the irony - it was SBC, my own phone company. And I can't sit thru a SBC long distance ad on television without shuddering in revulsion.

  • by Joe the Lesser ( 533425 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:19PM (#5294789) Homepage Journal
    "Now I won't have to ignore my telephone when it rings since more than 50 percent of my calls are from telemarketers."

    I've been in the practice of avoiding my telephone regardless of the caller.
  • by jmacleod9975 ( 636205 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:19PM (#5294792)
    Yea, Now all they need to do is get around to a do not e-mail list, and fixing the patent office, and maybe even get their lips off of Mickey's ass, and allow copyrights to expire.
  • by Shant3030 ( 414048 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:19PM (#5294795)
    I signed up for the NY State "Do Not Call" registry, and it has been a success. I rarely receive telemarketing calls and when I do I love saying something like...

    "Excuse me, I am on the Do Not Call list and if you continue calling this number, I will be forced to contact the proper authorities who will prosecute your company to the fullest extent of the law".

    Might not make a whole lot of sense, but its fun to hear the scared telemarketers apologize and hang up.

  • Who will it be? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by silicon_synapse ( 145470 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:20PM (#5294797)
    My guess is that someone has a change of heart at the last minute that just happens to coincide with a large increase in their bank ballance. This will never go into effect.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:20PM (#5294803)
    Now I won't have to ignore my telephone when it rings since more than 50 percent of my calls are from telemarketers.


    2 CALLS- Telemarketers
    1 CALL- His Mom
    1 CALL- Wrong Number
    • Re:50 percent, huh? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Rary ( 566291 )
      Is this a regional thing or something? I'm stunned that someone would claim 50% of their calls are from telemarketers. On average, I would estimate that I get 2 or 3 telemarketing calls per year . Is it normal for people to receive that many telemarketing calls?
      • Re:50 percent, huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ArsonSmith ( 13997 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:55PM (#5295148) Journal
        my home phone rings several times a day. I use my cell phone exclusivly and have never given out my home phone number. I only have a home phone for my Tivo and for quick outgoing calls if my cell is dead. Every call that comes through is a telemarketer and it's not like my number is a hot ticket as I have completely stop answering it.

        100% of my 3-5 phone calls a day are telemarketers.

        regional or not, that is unreasonable.

      • by cgenman ( 325138 )
        ATT was the worst offender for a long time. Apparently they do respect do-not-call requests, but they also call with the same offer on average once per week. It makes you wonder why you would go with a company who burns money calling you every week, but can't adequately staff a help line.
    • I don't think his mom shouting down the stairs "Come on up from the basement now and brush your teeth before beddy time!" qualifies as a phone call.

  • by syntap ( 242090 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:21PM (#5294807)
    I heard a conflicting report on the radio today about this (surprising!) They said this would be paid for by the telemarketers themselves, then said it would take $16 million to operate in the first year and no additional money was added to the budget for it. So either it's an "unfunded madate" for the FTC, or they intend to collect money from the telemarketing community very quickly.
  • by FortKnox ( 169099 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:22PM (#5294818) Homepage Journal
    If you just interrupt the telemarketer with "Take me off your list", it'll take a week of calls... MAYBE two, and it'll ALL STOP.

    I haven't gotten a telemarketing call in years.
    • by LetterJ ( 3524 ) <> on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:31PM (#5294918) Homepage
      I've responded to EVERY telemarketer for the past 2 years with "add me to your do not call list". I've added myself to the MN statewide do not call list. I STILL get 4-5 telemarketing calls a week. They've just changed their tactics a bit to get through the loopholes in the MN law. Now, if they don't actually intend to complete the sale on the phone, they can get away with it. So, instead of being asked to sign up with a mortgage or buy siding on the phone, they just want me to set up an appointment with a friendly sales representative to discuss the matter in person.
    • bullshit (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Erris ( 531066 )
      My wife and I did that and the same people called right back the next day. Low budget callers simply give phone books to their $5/hour employees and tell them to call. Most other places just don't care.
    • take you off their "don't call" list?
    • by avi33 ( 116048 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:53PM (#5295129) Homepage
      Count yourself lucky. Fact is, I never used to get them either.

      If, however, you make a decent salary, open a new credit card account or two, buy and/or refinance your home, and cycle 10-30% in bohemian bourgeoisie charges (computers, vacations, fancy espresso machines) through your cards annually, you'd soon discover that you're considered ripe fruit.

      You'll get 10 calls a day, profiled according to when you're most likely to pick up the phone (i.e. home from work, reading your kids a story, or otherwise enjoying peace and quiet). Of course I can use the exercise but running through the house to check the caller ID isn't quite what I had in mind.

      While I generally don't need mommy and daddy government to tuck me in bed at night, the fact is, under the current system, there is no theoretical limit to the number of calls I could get. That is, I tell one company not to call me, but there could be 300 more out there buying or otherwise scavenging my number. A national DNC list establishes a single choke point, something that your suggestion does not.

      And before anyone starts in on me, I have followed advice from junkbusters and written 20+ letters to everyone from my bank to the credit agencies to the credit card companies instructing them not to share my address or phone number, and I still get 15 calls per week. Even my 2-year-old got junk mail from Disney and MSN (thanks to the bastards at zoobooks [] selling her name and address).

      Obviously the industry is incapable of regulating itself.
    • If only. I do this every time I get a telemarketing call, and it's only partially effective. The standard line I give it something like "where did you get my number? please have this number removed both from your list and from the list of whoever gave my number to you." The first one they have to comply with, the second is kind of a gamble but if they can do it then great.

      If the poor shmoe making the call gives me a hard time about taking my number off their list, I immediately switch to "may I please speak to your manager" and that usually gets them to either cooperate or, if they actually put the manager on the line, that person cooperates. Every now and then they've hung up on me for asking questions like this (they get paid by the number of calls made, so wasting time with an uppity customer that wants off the list is doubleplus ungood), but the company always seems to call back a day or two later and the second caller always seems to be more reasonable than the first one.

      When asking to be taken off the list, they invariably say that getting off the list "may take four to six weeks", which seems like total bullshit to me -- as others have noted, they legally have 30 days and I'm sure that is the constraint they go by, not any technical or procedural reason they can't get you off the list sooner. But whatever, I can deal with that -- like I say, I consistently do this with telemarketers, and it does consistently help.

      But it hasn't eliminated the problem. Not by a long shot. I dropped down from multiple calls per day to less than one a week (and almost none during the evening, which is nice) but they still keep coming through.

      It's like email spam. I think at this point "best practices" suggest that you should filter incoming mail with something like SpamAssassin, and you should report obvious UCE spam to, and doing these does make the problem less annoying. But it doesn't, and never will, eliminate it. Legislation will help, but it won't eliminate it either -- people can just go offshore, or find loopholes, or whatever. But it'll help.

      In the end though, the only way to really stop it is to disrupt the economics enough to make telemarketing & spam untenable. If you & your neighbors can all waste their time on the phone then they won't be able to make as many calls per hour, and if they can't make as many calls per hour then they have to work harder to make a profit, and if we can make them have to work hard enough then it won't be worthwhile to engage in telemarketing. If you & your neighbors can all waste the spammers time by filtering out the bulk (forcing them to test their spam against all the major filters to make sure things work, driving up their costs in the process) and if you can make sure that most of it is never seen and if you can get their ISP to give them a hard time, then it won't be worthwhile to engage in spamming.

      Filters & do not call lists & legislation won't by themselves end the telemarketing & spam problems, but cumulatively they can work to bring it under control, make it unprofitable, and hopefully convince these people to find some other way to make a living. Like selling popup ads... :)

  • by Lysol ( 11150 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:22PM (#5294821)
    I haven't had a land line for many years and enjoy the fact that I hardly ever get called by TMs- maybe once or twice in the past year and that from my bad behaving credit card companies. And if I receive a call on my cell, I specifically tell them this is my cell number and not to call it. I usually get a response akin to whipping out a cross or splashing some holy water on a vampire. ;) "Oh, well, we have it down as our main number. We'll remove it". Darn tootin!

    I'm not sure though, that it's illegal. or something like that, for TMs to call cells. If it is, and if people could afford it, it seems like the way to go. Just my opinion I guess.
    • I believe its illegal unless its considered your main phone. If you do have a landline that you use as a main line, they cannot call your cell. If you use your cell as your main, I think it's legal. I'm not 100% sure on this.
  • We can only hope... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:22PM (#5294823) Homepage Journal
    Here in Indiana, the Do Not Call List has been a major success. I'm tempted to say it's the single most effective piece of legislation I've seen come along in quite a while. The problem with this being done at the federal level is the amount of lobbying that will take place for special exemptions (political campaigns, charities, etc.). Hopefully these will be kept to an absolute minimum, but in Washington, I wouldn't count on it!
    • by silicon_synapse ( 145470 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:29PM (#5294904)
      There are already exemptions for political parties, charities, and businesses you have a preexisting relationship with. I believe businesses can contact you if you've done business with them within so many months/years or if you're currently doing business with them.
    • Here in Missouri, I haven't had as much luck. Our program has exemptions for politicians, telephone companies and charities. I get at least 4 calls a day from charities alone. I haven't given anyone money based on a phone call since before I got my current phone number. I don't know for sure, but I think they got my phone number from the no call list (I didn't have near as many problems before I added myself to the list).

      The federal law has the same exceptions.
  • by Adam Rightmann ( 609216 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:23PM (#5294829)
    Whenever they call me, I ask if they're willing to end their sinful ways and return to the True Church. []

    Of course, since telemarketers are a tool of Satan, they instantly hang up.

    • by qoncept ( 599709 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:39PM (#5294994) Homepage
      Maybe it would be better to instead ask them to add you to their do not call list. By law, they have 6 months to do it, but they've got to do it. (Aside: It's not a national do not call list, but that one company is required to remove you. Ask the name of the company representing whatever product it is -- there aren't that many.)

      I think people would benefit from an explanation of why telemarketers do what they do.

      Why do they take so long to talk??
      A telemarketer doesn't do any dialing. They sit at a dummy terminal and are presented with a contact's information as the contact picks up the phone. ie, they not only don't dial your number, they don't even hear the rings -- just you saying "LLO? HELLO???"

      Why do they keep calling me? I already said no!
      Each, I think it was called program or whatever (I only worked their for a few weeks, please forgive me) they call it lasts until the contacts are "exhausted." Exhausted doesn't mean everyone has been called, it means the sale rate drops below a certain percentage. When you call and say no, your name gets thrown at the end of the list. Right along side the people who had answering machines, the people who weren't home, and the people who said maybe later. You're going to be called until enough people stop saying "sure, I'll take one."

      Why are they still calling me?? I said take me off your list!
      It'll be done, just relax. When you do this, ask the name of their company and document it. I recommend keeping a little pad of paper with these things along with the time and date you request it. 6 months later, go ahead and talk to your lawyer.

      I know THAT guy won't call me again!
      That guy doesn't have a choice -- you'll either come up on his console randomly or you won't (most likely the latter; it'll be one of the other 10419 people he's sitting with). I'll encourage you to remember these are 14 year old kids trying to save up for a car when they turn 16, not the greedy businessmen that fabricated the annoyances. Sometimes that's not enough to curb the desire to be a dickhead, so also remember this: these 14 year olds don't care what you say to them. They're getting paid minimum wage to be there and make very little commision. They've been desensitised by 10000 callers before, and I guarentee you:

      You aren't that clever.

      Now, on with people's wit. Show me how great you got them, geniouses.

  • PA's works (Score:5, Funny)

    by jpsst34 ( 582349 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:23PM (#5294830) Journal
    I signed up in Pennsylvania on the first day it was available last August. In PA, they sell the list of blocked numbers to telemarketers on a quarterly basis. I was told that I would see a dramatic drop in telmarketing calls After Novermber 1, 2002. This is in fact what happened. It's been nearly 4 months, and I haven't received a single telemarketing call.
  • If Congress approves funds for this year, the do-not-call list could begin operation by summer.

    The perfect way to kill it. Don't fund it. "We've got a war to fight and taxes to cut. Plus if we fund this, telemarketers will be inconvenienced. And they have lobbyists, and you don't."

  • a small change (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xao gypsie ( 641755 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:23PM (#5294838)
    and can be fined up to $11,000 each time they violate the law.

    now, this law would be really impressive if we, the 'victims', get a cut of that 11 grand...

    • Actually I'd be just as happy if it went to support enforcement of the law - legal fees, court fees, international hitmen for those offshore spammers, things like that.
    • No it wouldn't... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MongooseCN ( 139203 )
      If the government knows they'll get 11,000$ for every illegal telemarketing call, you know they are going to spend every possible effort to collect it. They could hire people who's job is to hunt down these illegal phone calls. Just 4 calls in the entire nation each year would pull in 44,000$, enough to pay someone fulltime to track these calls.

      Just think of how much effort the government goes to get a few extra hundered dollars off your tax form, so what do you think they will do to get an extra 11,000$ for a bad phonecall?
  • Finally (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Thorin_ ( 164014 )
    All I can say is its about time something like this is passed. I'm sick of getting tons of phone calls for crap i don't want. Now if they could only stop the mass of credit card applications my wife and i get every day...
    • Almost all of the credit card solicitations get your address from the credit bureaus. You can write to each of the three majors, and opt out. I've done this, and it has dramatically reduced the number of offers that I get. Reducing them is not just a convenience, it also reduces the chance of identity theft, or someone stealing the credit card application from the mail. Look up the opt-out instructions on the credit bureau websites (can't opt-out online, yet):

      • I just now visited the equifax site. There's a single 800 number for all four major credit reporting agencies: 1-888-5-OPT OUT

        It's a little scary entering your SSN into a computerized database, but I figured these guys already have a lot more on me, so I went ahead and did it. Hope it works.

    • Re:Finally (Score:5, Informative)

      by Surreal_Streaker ( 636407 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:40PM (#5295004)
      From sonalsolutions/general/data/OptOut.xml
      Here are instructions on how to stop credit card applications.

      Opt-Out Contact Information
      TransUnion wants to help companies give American consumers the choices they want. This choice includes the right to say, "No, thank you" to their offers.
      If you want your name and address removed from mailing lists obtained from the main consumer credit reporting agencies -- TransUnion, Experian, Equifax, and Innovis -- call 888-5OPTOUT (888-567-8688), or write to the following address:

      TransUnion LLC's Name Removal Option
      P.O. Box 97328
      Jackson, MS 39288-7328

      Include the following information with your request:

      * First, middle, and last names (including Jr., Sr., III)
      * Current address
      * Previous address (if you've moved in the last six months)
      * Social Security number
      * Date of birth
      * Signature

  • Charities, surveys and calls on behalf of politicians would be exempt.

    The FTC has limited authority to police telemarketing calls from certain industries, including airlines, banks and telephone companies.

    I wonder if "limited authority" means this bill won't apply to calls from those industries.
  • by LordYUK ( 552359 ) <(jeffwright821) (at) (> on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:24PM (#5294846)
    ... from telemarketers, usually from AT&T about long distance. Then I switched from the local crap service to MCI's neighborhood plan, and I get at most 1 a week, and then its usually from some charity organization like the local police or something, so I dont know if thats really considered telemarketing...

    At any rate, thats how I fixed my problem... and free long distance rocks when playing vid games with people in other states!! :-)
  • Does this mean that, after signing up for the list, one must still wait 3 months or so before one can expect to be off all the telemarker's lists?

    How much of a problem is this in the US anyways, I'm in Canada, and I don't often get phone-spam. It might be a bit more annoying for those that are home during the workday, but even on my odd-days-off I can't say I get these type of calls a whole lot.
  • by quick9vb ( 628271 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:27PM (#5294865)
    My telephone line went dead about 6 months, but my DSL still works. After a few days of peace and quiet I decided I had no reason to call BellSouth to get it fixed.
  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:27PM (#5294867) Homepage
    NPR said this morning that it's NOT expected to pass the Senate.
  • ...I don't really have a problem with telemarketers. Unlike spammers, each telemarketer can only hit one 'victim' at a time, they are not anonymous (they can't withhold their number) and will more often than not leave you alone if you say "I'm sorry, but you are wasting your time. Please remove me from your list." These are just people who are trying to scrape a living. This list is probably a good thing, but I really think that people are overreacting.
    • Re:Personally... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by FuzzyBad-Mofo ( 184327 ) <fuzzybad AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday February 13, 2003 @01:05PM (#5295218)

      Unlike spammers, each telemarketer can only hit one 'victim' at a time,

      I guess you've never heard of the predictive dialer? Using this device, a single telemarketer can annoy many people simultanously, because it places many calls at once. The first person to pick up will get to speak to the telemarketer, and the rest will be wondering why their line is dead. A complete waste of their time.

      they are not anonymous (they can't withhold their number)

      I have yet to receive a telemarketing call that shows a valid number on the caller id. If that's not what you mean by withholding their number, I'd love to know how to get their contact information.

      and will more often than not leave you alone if you say "I'm sorry, but you are wasting your time. Please remove me from your list."

      I played that game for a time, the calls stopped for awhile but after a few months they started picking up again. Nowadays, even if I pick up the phone to tell them, I just get a dead line because of their damn predictive dialers. This is the last straw. They telemarketers have proven time and again that they cannot be trusted to self regulate. It's high time for a national do-not call list.

  • What's the point (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kopper187 ( 59901 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:27PM (#5294870)
    I'm on the state list in NY. So are my parents. We both get a new kind of call. A lovely British-accented woman's voice, or jerky man's voice computer message is left, daily. "This is NOT a sales call. We have an urget matter to speak to you about..." blah blah, "Please call us at 1-800-...." 'SO THAT WE CAN MAKE A FREAKING SALES PITCH' is the part they don't add.

    A federal level law has not even been passed yet and already the tele-crapers have a way around it. This method was started, I believe, by collection agencies but has been picked up by the marketeers. (I am yelling at one of them as I type this!)
    • Re:What's the point (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tgd ( 2822 )
      That should still be illegal... I've never seen one of those which was for a sales pitch, they're usually creditors. Creditors aren't allowed to leave any message to the effect that they're calling about an unpaid debt on an answering machine because its considered harassment, so they leave messages like that.

      Have you actually called it back to see if its a sales pitch?
  • by funkman ( 13736 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:27PM (#5294877)
    I don't think its the job or responsibility of the federal government to dictate whom businesses may or may not call.

    • by Surreal_Streaker ( 636407 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:49PM (#5295080)
      I don't think its the job or responsibility of the federal government to dictate whom businesses may or may not call.

      No, but it is the responsibility of the government to keep unwanted people from invading your home, be they robbers, kidnappers or telemarketers.

    • And I don't think I should have to put up with businesses interrupting my private life just because they want to make an extra buck.

      Since I doubt these companies are going to change their behavior on their own, and they sure as heck won't stop because I ask them to.. that kind of leaves uncle sam to take care of the problem, doesn't it?

      That's what the government is there for, to make my life easier (or safer).
  • by Limburgher ( 523006 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:28PM (#5294883) Homepage Journal
    "Thanks, but I was saved at the office."

    "Thanks, but if you'll check your records, I already HAVE your long distance. (click)"

    "Nigeria, you say? Let me get my checkbook."

    "Sorry, but I'm illiterate and proud of it, so I won't be needing magazines."

    "No, but would you like to buy my 1992 Chevy Cavalier? Low, low miles!"

    And, my favorite. . .

    "Sorry, we don't have a phone. (click)"

  • by Jacer ( 574383 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:28PM (#5294884) Homepage
    for a week to get money for rent one month. I may have stayed longer had I thought it in anyway ethical. The first thing you have to be aware is the close, they use information they know to be accurate, such as "To get you started, I just need to confirm your current address is " and if when you say that it is your current address, you're agreeing to the sale, now, they can't sign you up off of this, they have to record the offer, and you accepting it, but it's just a step to "confuse" the customer as they were telling me. Furthermore, they have to close the phone call by giving you a toll-free number, or possibly an email address or URL at which customer service can be reached. If they don't, all you have to do is call FCC and tell them the name of the company they were calling on behalf of, they'll do the rest and you'll get $500 of the fine (this is how I paid the rent the month after I quit) Another thing you can do is request their do-not-call policy, it's a document dictating all of their policies, it's just to irritate them. Just incase any of you were curious, I worked at Access Direct, in Ames, Iowa, and we were calling nationally on behalf of DirecTV.
    • by medscaper ( 238068 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @01:21PM (#5295373) Homepage
      I did this same thing for a DAY in Fort Dodge, Iowa, back in 1990, when I was in need of money. It was SO sad. They gave us STACKS of printouts with lists of people who had been sent a complimentary copy of "Heavy Truck & Machine Trader".

      It was just cold-calling, for the new guys like me. The subscription cost was $390 a year, and it was just like the Auto Trader you see at the Stop-n-Robs these days.

      The sad thing was that they got their lists from DMV of people or organizations who had a semi or trailer combo registered. So, this got me into lots of screaming tirades from "customers" who were people like the church with the old broken down church bus in back that hadn't run in years or Goodwill, for crying out loud, because of their trailers. On my first day, though, I got 17 subscriptions filled. My boss was FLOORED. A good day was like...2 subscriptions. You got a $50 bonus for every subscription. So, when I handed her all the subscription cards, she flipped, and demanded to know why I was lying and forging subscription slips.

      Oh, dear. So, I get escorted from the room with security while she calls each and every one of my "subscribers" to very rudely verify ("Do you realize HOW MUCH THIS WILL COST YOU every year??!" to the customers) each of them. Turns out that when she called them, they were each pissed about getting two calls in one day from someone they didn't want to talk to in the first place, and they all cancelled except two of them. Then, they played back the recordings of some of my conversations and discovered that I used the word "renew" with each of the customers, which, apparently we weren't EVER supposed to do... I was fired for "not being copmpletely honest". So, there is some honesty amongst telemarketers, and I got screwed out of any commission - even the ones who really did want the subscription, which is totally understandable. I screwed the pooch a bit on that one, but I found the language that made people buy, and used it.

      The only fun thing I did in my work day was when I realized that I was calling an area in Washington State in which I had an uncle I hadn't talked to in awhile. He was a cabinet maker, and I had worked for him for a few months in the summers, so I knew his shop and his machinery, well. I called and his wife (the nicest lady you'd ever meet) answered. I gave her my usual droning speech from my card, and she politely refused, but thanked me. Then she hung up. I called back, and, determined to have some fun, started pointing out that we had his records and knew what machinery he had (started listing them for her) and that several were in need of updating (which they were) and wouldn't this be "lovely" gift for her husband. She again refused and hung up.

      I gave it about 30 seconds, and called back. She was starting to get steamed when I started talking about how they could extend the shop past that apple tree in the back and put in some newer compressors and that we had that 36" sander he'd been looking for in our magazine. She started getting nervous, and didn't even reply when she slammed the phone down.

      On the FOURTH call, she REALLY showed her true colors. She cussed like a sailor, threatened to call the cops, threatened my life, called me all sorts of names, and screamed like a banshee until I said, "Hey, Aunt Patty. It's me!" She choked her fury down enough to call me a couple of choice names and then hung up on me.

      Hey, I was 18. We all laugh about it, now...

  • by adenied ( 120700 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:28PM (#5294886)
    For those who want to read the full text of the bill, it's H.R. 395. You can go to the Library of Congress's Thomas [] website to look it up but I've also pasted a copy here.

    And for those who don't understand how laws work in the US, this just means that now it gets to go over to the Senate, who then may or may not approve it, who can then approve it with amendments, send it back to the House for further approval in a committee or two, and eventually send it off to the President to sign into law.

    And this has little to do with H.J.Res. 2 which is the Omnibus Appropriations Bill that is currently in committee. Well, other than dealing with money.

    AN ACT

    To authorize the Federal Trade Commission to collect fees for the implementation and enforcement of a `do-not-call' registry, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the `Do-Not-Call Implementation Act'.


    The Federal Trade Commission may promulgate regulations establishing fees sufficient to implement and enforce the provisions relating to the `do-not-call' registry of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (16 CFR 310.4(b)(1)(iii)), promulgated under the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act (15 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.). Such regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with section 553 of title 5, United States Code. Fees may be collected pursuant to this section for fiscal years 2003 through 2007, and shall be deposited and credited as offsetting collections to the account, Federal Trade Commission--Salaries and Expenses, and shall remain available until expended. No amounts shall be collected as fees pursuant to this section for such fiscal years except to the extent provided in advance in appropriations Acts. Such amounts shall be available for expenditure only to offset the costs of activities and services related to the implementation and enforcement of the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and other activities resulting from such implementation and enforcement.


    Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Federal Communications Commission shall issue a final rule pursuant to the rulemaking proceeding that it began on September 18, 2002, under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 U.S.C. 227 et seq.). In issuing such rule, the Federal Communications Commission shall consult and coordinate with the Federal Trade Commission to maximize consistency with the rule promulgated by the Federal Trade Commission (16 CFR 310.4(b)).


    (a) REPORT ON REGULATORY COORDINATION- Within 45 days after the promulgation of a final rule by the Federal Communications Commission as required by section 3, the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission shall each transmit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report which shall include--

    (1) an analysis of the telemarketing rules promulgated by both the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission;

    (2) any inconsistencies between the rules promulgated by each such Commission and the effect of any such inconsistencies on consumers, and persons paying for access to the registry; and

    (3) proposals to remedy any such inconsistencies.

    (b) ANNUAL REPORT- For each of fiscal years 2003 through 2007, the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission shall each transmit an annual report to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report which shall include--

    (1) an analysis of the effectiveness of the `do-not-call' registry as a national registry;

    (2) the number of consumers who have placed their telephone numbers on the registry;

    (3) the number of persons paying fees for access to the registry and the amount of such fees;

    (4) an analysis of the progress of coordinating the operation and enforcement of the `do-not-call' registry with similar registries established and maintained by the various States;

    (5) an analysis of the progress of coordinating the operation and enforcement of the `do-not-call' registry with the enforcement activities of the Federal Communications Commission pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 U.S.C. 227 et seq.); and

    (6) a review of the enforcement proceedings under the Telemarketing Sales Rule (16 CFR 310), in the case of the Federal Trade Commission, and under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 U.S.C. 227 et seq.), in the case of the Federal Communications Commission.

    Passed the House of Representatives February 12, 2003.


  • to get rid of a telemarketer:

    "Hey there ____, would you like to help get me off"

    - No

    "Why don't you pitch your product while I undress"

    - uh

    "Mmm that's better.... Now what are you wearing? Or not wearing?"

    - excuse me!

    "Ohh, Ahh..... Yes! Yes!"

    (if still on the phone)

    "Damn, forgot to tell you... I have herpies and AIDS, hope you don't mind"

    [i]if heterosexual, and your a man:[/i]
    "Damn, is Bin Laden hanging out in there, that's one cave that many men can hide in. How many men did it take to get like that?"

    [i]if heterosexual, and your a women:[/i]
    "I'm pregnant, when can I get my first check?"

    [i]if homosexual conversation (man man, women women):[/i]

    If they still don't hang up:


    Works every time.
  • by mao che minh ( 611166 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:29PM (#5294898) Journal
    I for one was learning to enjoy the deluge of late night calls and the oppurtunities for abuse that they offerred. If the caller is a woman, I always just start hitting on her and ignore eveything she says until she hangs up. I will also repeatedly ask her "what are you wearing", ignoring all other statements other then those concerning her dress. As soon as she tells me what she's wearing, I thank her and hang up.

    If the caller is a man, I keep responding to their sales pitches with sensless phrases like "Remember the Alamo" or start reading to them whatever book I was currently reading when they called. I'll miss these good times.

  • by antis0c ( 133550 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:29PM (#5294903)
    Verizon has a service that will block incoming calls who's caller ID is marked private or out of area. It doesn't entirely block them however, it presents them with a message that they must leave their name and wait for me to accept the call.

    I actually got this service because some automated computer system in another state had my number in it to automatically call to do some kind of batch processing (someone fat fingered the number obviously..). So every day, twice a day at exactly 10am and 3pm, I'd get a call with no answer. Since it was out of area, Verizon couldn't specifically block it (or so they told me), but they offered this service. For 5 bucks a month I figured what the hell, but I also noticed that now that I have the service in place, I never get telemarketing calls anymore.

    It also has a feature if in case someone you know who regularually calls you has an out of area or private number can enter a simple 4 digit pin to automatically be put through without leaving a message and waiting for me to accept.

    I've had the service for about 6 months now, and it's been worth the $5/mo I've paid for it. Maybe with this Do-Not-Call list I won't need it anymore provided this batch machine no longer calls my number anymore..I doubt it though, considering telemarketing companies will lobby to have some kind of end run around it..
  • Non Cold Calls (Score:3, Informative)

    by Flamesplash ( 469287 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:30PM (#5294911) Homepage Journal
    I wish this covered the problem with "utilities" you do subscribe to marketing more stuff to you.

    For instance I have AT&T digital cable, however I get telemarketing calls from AT&T broadband which is a different subdivision in AT&T.

    I started by yelling at the guy that he isn't supposed to Telemarket to Cell phone, since it is illegal, then he informed me that since I'm a Digital cable customer my contract gives them the right to. I then asked him to take me off of their call list, he informed me that because he is not part of the Digital Cable subdivision he doesn't have that authority. I hung up.

    It's crap.
  • by mrkurt ( 613936 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:34PM (#5294945) Journal

    I wonder if this bill will be the real deal. Skimming over it on Thomas [], the bill is merely what they call an 'implementation' act. Both the FCC and FTC are to submit suggested reglations for the do-not-call list. Apparently the FCC is given precedence, and AFAIK they haven't come out with any proposed rules yet. They may not be as tough as those already proposed by the FTC.

    What I do know is that a few weeks ago, Rep. Billy Tauzin was all-fired against the FTC regulations. Yet, in the article I read on a service supplied by AP [], he was very supportive of this bill passing. Perhaps, because the devil is in the details. Sen. Fritz Hollings, proponent of that wonderful "Fritz chip" we've heard so much about, also was mentioned as lauding the passage of this bill.

    I sense that if consumer advocates don't keep their eyes on the ball, do-not-call advocates will get rolled by Tauzin and Hollings, who have a reputation for standing up for big business interests in Hollywood and among the telcos. I am sure they will be ready to assist the telemarketers, if the price is right.

  • by gsfprez ( 27403 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:35PM (#5294955)
    I once heard this guy on Howard Stern who recorded his sessions with telemarketers and he'd jerk them around.

    One was a call from a carpet cleaning telemarketer. He told them that he had a _lot_ of blood all over the carpet, and the he wanted to know if they could come over in an hour... or sooner.

    Howard said that it was a CD on sale.

    i swear, i googled for it. Can't find it.
  • by Logic Bomb ( 122875 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:37PM (#5294978)
    Everyone please remember that the House passes stuff all the time that never even gets brought up in Senate committee meetings. It's become the most convenient way for the national parties to claim, "hey, we're working here!" while not actually following through. However, there is a short window of opportunity where true momentum can be created. If you want to see this actually made into a law, now is the time to CALL or FAX your senator. Simply explain that you are a constituent, you were thrilled to hear that the do-not-call list bill passed in the House, and you expect the Senate to take up the matter.

    Not sure of how to contact your senator (or who he/she is)? United States Senate []

  • by truth_revealed ( 593493 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:38PM (#5294988)
    who the their right mind would not want to be part of a "do not call" registry? Lonely or insane people? People with too much money to burn? The government would save a lot of money creating a "please call" registry. That way the drug companies would know exactly who to target their anti-depressant drugs to.
  • by PHAEDRU5 ( 213667 ) <instascreed&gmail,com> on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:40PM (#5295005) Homepage
    So, what's the U.S. Government going to do when all your telemarketing calls start coming in from China?

    You know, like all the spam.
    • by Stonehand ( 71085 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @01:12PM (#5295273) Homepage
      That's unlikely. For spam, since many admins in the Orient don't seem to give a damn about who they're relaying e-mail for, and since they don't (can't, really, as long as they relay blindly) charge money for this, spammers use 'em.

      Free phone relays, however, don't exist as far as I know. International calls (a) mostly require somebody to actually BE there, and (b) cost a non-trivial amount of money, normally.
  • by lightspawn ( 155347 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:43PM (#5295028) Homepage
    "Telemarketers always use a script: why shouldn't you?"

    Serious script []

    Fun script []
  • by Reality Master 101 ( 179095 ) <RealityMaster101 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:44PM (#5295041) Homepage Journal

    This is certainly a step in the right direction, but if you want do something now, do what I did which has actually almost completely stopped telemarking calls.

    Just interrupt their spiel and say the magic words: "could you take me off the call-list, please?" They will usually immediately stop and just say "Sure!" and hang up. Don't get your blood pressure up, just say the magic words and you're gone.

    Since I stopped getting annoyed and did this absolutely consistently, telemarking calls have almost completely stopped. The only ones I still get are automated recordings where I don't feel like trying to drill-down to a real person. They're pretty rare, though.

  • by airrage ( 514164 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @12:51PM (#5295101) Homepage Journal
    In texas, to successfully protect your privacy, you need to register with the texas do-not-call (dnc) list costing about five dollars per year. Next, on the national level, you need to opt-out (for life) from all credit-card offers, mass solicitations, etc, by registering with the four credit bureaus. There is a 1-800 number for this somewhere. Next, you need to send a similar form letter to the National Advertisers Organization opting out as well (more information can be found through research).

    It's so good to see this coming through. But it's also about technology and where we draw the line on privacy. The Euros, for all their failings, got this right, they're system is starts with the customer in opt-out mode, whereas we are all opt-in, thus the thousand letters from Visa.

    The marketers, from the article, and other things I've read, talk about cost. This is, well bullshit. Yes, it will cost them more, on a relative basis, because their samples are based on a two-percent acceptance rate BY SENDING EVERY US CITIZEN A FLYER! But what if you could identify those people who really did want information, then there is no wasted paper, or time, or energy. That's less money! I'm sure someone, somewhere needs a free carpet-cleaning estimate and ten dollars off their next pizza, but it ain't me.

    Will it cost jobs? Yes, telemarketer jobs. But the reason those jobs are so prevalent is because you have to call EVERY CITIZEN IN THE UNITED STATES. Yes, those jobs will right-size, but you are assured that those person are talking to people who are interested. Does it all make sense now? I hate when people make stupid arguments that defy common sense and macroeconomics.

  • What I did (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kruczkowski ( 160872 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @01:19PM (#5295359) Homepage
    I just called verizon and canceled my land line. All I have now is my cell. And I never get telemarketing calls on my cell becouse they know if they call my cell I can sue becouse they are using MY minutes.

    Another thing I want to know, say you sign up, and some mom-and-pop shop that bought a telemartketing recording software calls you. What do you do? cWhat will happen? I would like to know what an individual has to do. Do you hire a layer? or does the agency do the paperwork?
  • by march ( 215947 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @01:25PM (#5295423) Homepage
    Verizon's Call Intercept is the best damn $5/month I've ever spent.

    No caller ID? You MUST record your name to get through. It has virtually stopped all telemarketers dead in their tracks.

    Totally rocks!

    (and no, I don't work for Verizon although I did work for NYNEX eons ago though...)
  • by hoggoth ( 414195 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @01:31PM (#5295478) Journal
    I used to hate getting telemarketing calls. I bought a house recently so I got tons and tons of them.

    Just recently however, I picked up the phone, heard the tell-tale delay before the poor-underpaid-hates-her-job-but-has-no-choice-but -to-annoy-people-all-day slob started her script. I was in a weird mood so instead of hanging up I decided to try and sell her a Chinchilla fur coat. Of course I don't HAVE any Chinchilla fur coats, but I still had a load of fun describing how you raise Chinchillas and make coats from their fur. I went on and on about how nice the telemarketer would look in one of my Chinchilla furs, and would she like to purchase one or at least receive my special promotional offers?

    At first of course she knew/thought I was kidding. But I kept it up and wouldn't let her get a word in edgewise. I kept her on for 5 minutes before she gave up and thanked me and said goodbye.

    Since then this has been my S.O.P.
    I've made telemarkets angry, made then laugh out loud, confused some, but always had a good time instead of getting angry myself.
    I've attempted to sell Chinchilla furs, luxury coffins, you name it.
    One telemarketer had the wrong name so I got into a lengthy discussion about whether or not Jose is pronounced "Jo-Say" or "Josie" and stubbornly denied that "Ho-Say" is possible.

    Try it!

    Next on my hit list:
    Every email spam is eventually tied to a real company selling a real product. I may not be able to automatically filter them all, but I sure can leave my autodialer hitting their 800 number all day while I am out!

  • by Phoenix ( 2762 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @01:32PM (#5295483)
    Is it really?

    Granted now to sell your product you can now call thousands of people in the country and you can send millions of spam to the world at large. Granted that this is very efficient as one person can send off several thousands of E-Mails with a single click or can make hundreds of calls in a day's time thanks to the new computerized dialer systems.

    But is it really worth it to the company? Or is it efficiency at the cost of bad consumer feeling?

    I'm betting on the latter.

    Take and thier products. When I forst heard of them and their home automation equipment I was interested. When I learned that it could work under Linux I was thinking of the major geek factor there. I had an old touch screen pentium wall mount case that I could have made the heart of the system in nothing flat. I was really seriously considering doing my house up into my own little nerdvana.

    Then the spam came.

    All I ever got was pop-ups everywhere I went and the only way to get rid of them was to go to their site and beg to be left alone for 30 lousy month. And the quality of the ads were starting to get offensive. Scantily clad women in ads that implied (if not flat out said) "Use this camera to spy on people".

    Not "Use this camera for security" or "This product will let you monitor yout infant child from anywhere in the house" or even "Use our products to make toast in the kitchen with a command from the bathroom". No, it was and still is the semi-nekkid women and the implication that you too can become a high tech peeping tom.

    After a steady barage of that message I decided to spend my money on getting a home theatre system instead. They cost themselves a customer and perhaps more than just I with all the others whom I've talked to who feel the same way.

    Telemarketers are the same way. I don't want to have to be reminded that I'm going to die in 50 years by some guy from a funeral parlor. I don't want to be bothered during dinner by my long distance carrier asking if I want to switch to them (do they NOT check to make sure that I'm not already a customer first?)

    Something like this would be a godsend enabling me to be able to spend time with my family and friends in peace. It'd be an ever greater godsend if they could get rid of those stupid "International Drivers License" spams I get 100 times a day as well.

  • by e40 ( 448424 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @01:47PM (#5295620) Journal
    I fully support a national do not call list. Until that is ready (who knows when that'll be), here's what I do:

    A little more than 6 months ago I started the following: when I get a telemarketer on the phone, I execute the following script:

    1. I ask for their name. I find that getting their name makes the connection more personal and they are less likely to hang up on me. Before, when I just started with step #2, I got a fair number of hang ups.

    2. Say these words: "Joe, I would like you to put me on your do not call list. Thank you."

    Sometimes, you have to answer some questions, and one company (MCI, maybe) put me through 60 seconds of questions.

    I currently receive anywhere from 1-2 calls a week. Before, I was getting 2-3 calls an evening.

    Btw, I used to mess with the telemarketers. Say "hold on, I'll get him" and leave the phone off the hook. While this made me feel good, it didn't decrease the number of calls I got.

  • Fun and Spooky (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Broodje ( 646341 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @01:50PM (#5295656)
    The phone company sold me an infested phone line and I basically pay for a useless voice line because it is a requirement for DSL (thanks, pacbell). Sometimes when I felt in the mood, I'd leave the ringer on and within an hour a telemarketer would call. Depending on company and mood, I could impersonate whoever I wanted, do whatever I felt like, and basically annoy and waste the telemarketer's time. I ripped off a lot of ideas from Tom Mabe's [] site, and came up with some of my own. Its fun to mess with them, but it gets boring pretty quick.

    One credit card company kept calling and calling even though I repeatedly said it was a wrong number. They insisted, so one day, I just never said I wasn't the guy they were looking for.. It got scary: I never realized how easy it is to get information from people like this.. These repo/credit companies call and give you soo much information without verifying who they are talking to. I knew all about this guy that had a white ford ranger pickup about to be repo'd, he only had a PO box (haha they sold a pickup to a guy with no address), he made cabinets, lived in New Mexico, had my phone number, hadn't paid his $239/mo payment for 4 months, AND I verified his social security number. I got all this information through passively sitting through their "can you confirm your address is..." type questions. When I got bored I told them they had the wrong number and they weren't talking to the right guy. Its amazing how easy it can be to get someone else's information.. Its spooky how careless people can be with your personal information. Its easy for me to believe there is so much fraud out there through the telephone.. I didn't even break a sweat - imagine someone who puts his hip into it.
  • by Castaa ( 458419 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @02:03PM (#5295761) Homepage Journal
    While it costs me an extra ~$4 a month, I have private caller IDs blocked for my home phone. This means that the caller needs to either unhide their phone number to call me or they need to leave an audio message telling me who they are and I have the option to accept the call.

    This blocking feature has reduced my telemarketer calls by 99%+. Since most telemarketer cold calling is done by a automated system, the unwanted calls never get through to me.
  • "Surveys" (Score:5, Funny)

    by jeremyhu ( 164852 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @02:08PM (#5295804) Homepage
    Charities, surveys and calls on behalf of politicians would be exempt.

    What is going to happen:

    Telemarketer: Good evening sir, would you care to take a quick survey? (no pause for answer) How many times are you asking yourself, "Why do I pay so much for long distance?"? (no pause for answer) Have you ever considered switching your long distance provider to Megacorp? Did you know that Megacorp offers the lowest rates possible? Did you know that I could sign you up after we complete this survey? Well sir, thank you for taking this survey. Is there anything else I can help you with?
  • by kfx ( 603703 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @02:21PM (#5295897)
    This may already be posted above, but since I don't have time to read through I'll go ahead and post it anyhow:

    I've heard for some time while they've been drumming up support for this bill that there's one big downside to it. As the article says, the bill permits non-profit calls, but what it doesn't say is that this bill will preempt any state laws that are more restrictive. So, for example, people in Indiana (which already has a very good do-not-call-list law) will get MORE calls under this bill since there is a wader range of calls permitted even when you are on the list.
  • by Zordak ( 123132 ) on Thursday February 13, 2003 @04:46PM (#5296968) Homepage Journal
    I can't wait to start my new service. It's going to be a helpful organization that will make sure that you get added to the national DNC list, and your state's, if it has one, for a mere $50. I think I'll use e-mail to get the word out.

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."