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Do-Not-Call List Could Be Opened For Phone Spam 339

Wick_7654 submits a link to this story at the Chicago Sun-Times, which begins "The agency overseeing the national Do Not Call Registry is considering opening a loophole to allow companies to deliver 'pre-recorded message telemarketing.' The effort is being organized by Allen Hile of the FTC's division of marketing practice. Be sure to let the FTC know how you feel about it." The proposed change specifies that recorded calls would be allowed only when an "established business relationship" exists, but provisions like that tend to be stretched to absurdity.
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Do-Not-Call List Could Be Opened For Phone Spam

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  • by Cyberherbalist ( 731257 ) * on Saturday November 27, 2004 @06:20PM (#10933392) Homepage
    Yes, sir, your uncle's second wife's stepsister's kindergarten teacher once bought a widget from us. That establishes a clear prior business relationship between you and us.
  • by Ryan Stortz ( 598060 ) <> on Saturday November 27, 2004 @06:22PM (#10933402)
    The proposed change specifies that recorded calls would be allowed only when an "established business relationship" exists, but provisions like that tend to be stretched to absurdity. worked with CAN-SPAM, right? .....Right? Who here can truely say that CAN-SPAM hasn't stopped all spam from reaching their inbox?! I give this provision the thumbs up!

    • by SilentChris ( 452960 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @08:08PM (#10934014) Homepage
      What's sad is the point the article makes: nearly "cost-free" internet calling is now a possibility. Imagine receiving hundreds of phone calls a day, in a spam-style blitz. International casinos, viagra ads. I can picture us going through the same motions we use for spam (install "voice filters", find they don't work, block calls from Grandma, etc).

      The only way to solve this, and the spam problem is to have full accountability. Don't allow a telephone/computer onto the internet unless its idenity is known and there's no technical way to fake it. If the device's identity is hidden or nebulous, it's not allowed to connect. Have devices be physically tracable. Privacy advocates may shudder, but if something like this was in place we wouldn't have problems.
  • by Slack3r78 ( 596506 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @06:23PM (#10933407) Homepage
    Aren't companies allowed to make calls already if they have a "pre-established business relationship" with you? Has this changed or is the summary missing something?
    • As always I can say Thank God I live in Indiana. We have a much more restrictive no call rule than the Federal one.
    • by Edward Teach ( 11577 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @06:57PM (#10933617)
      This would allow a third party to make the call for a business. Yeah, then they sell your number to a bunch of other businesses. And, since they were allowed to call, now those other businesses can call. And then, they sell your number to even more businesses...get it?
      • by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Saturday November 27, 2004 @10:13PM (#10934608) Homepage Journal
        What I wrote on the comments form; feel free to plagiarize:

        This is the worst of all possible amendments. Automated phone spam is already the most abusive, as it usually grabs the phone line and won't let go until it's done with its spiel. This wastes my time if I happen to answer the line, and wastes the limited space on my answering machine tape if it picks up. Plus in my experience, automated phone spam is the MOST likely to not have a valid way to get off the list. Oh, sure, it may give you an 800 number to call, but that's likely to reach some convoluted voicemail system that never gets you anywhere. And the concept of "prior contact" has already been stretched to mean "and everyone our company ever shares marketing information with". Not only that, but the upshot WILL be that telemarketers uniformly go to an automated model (much cheaper for them, much more annoying for us). PLEASE don't let this go through. KEEP "Do Not Call" a REAL prohibition against junk calls.

    • by s.d. ( 33767 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @07:21PM (#10933753)
      The thing I don't like about this new change is that, yes, there is already an exception for the pre-existing business relationship. If a company calls me now, I can tell the person who called "put me on your do not call list," and they won't bug me anymore.

      However, my gripe about pre-recorded messages is it puts the burden on the consumer to get off the list -- you have to call the company that just called you back, then get a person on the phone and get them to remove you from their list.

      It just makes it that much harder for consumers to deal with, and that much easier for the companies bugging them. Banks of computers are a lot cheaper than banks of people, when traversing a list of millions of phone numbers...
  • Hehe (Score:4, Funny)

    by TheSpoom ( 715771 ) * <> on Saturday November 27, 2004 @06:23PM (#10933411) Homepage Journal
    "If you wish to create a business relationship with Spammers Inc., hang up now! If you already have a business relationship with us, please stay on the line."
  • by sadler121 ( 735320 ) <> on Saturday November 27, 2004 @06:23PM (#10933414) Homepage
    and the fact that telemarketers have been drooling at the prospect of a list that they can get for free. Notch one up for the telemarketers lobbest and one down for the public.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 27, 2004 @06:25PM (#10933421)

    This admin seems determined to allow large businesses to do whatever. The can spam act is a total joke just like what will happen to the federal do-not-call list


    One of the interesting things about it is that it allows large companies to do as they see fit. MSN (and I believe Yahoo and AOL amongst others) to this day , still sell an address list, bandwidth, and ips to spammers. In particular, MSN works with companies such as SBC and Qwest and will "borrow" home users IP's for temp useage. Of course, the users are not currently using them, so MSN will allow spammers to appear to be the end-user. So many people here think that spam is originating from China, when in reality, it does not. It is simply given the appearence of such. Of course, the government made sure that can spam did not injure that practise.

    Now, they are slipping in a backdoor for the no-call list. If you really want to have this work, then you should try to get your state to pass the same law as Colorado has. Colorado started it and it seems to work well.

    • Can you please elaborate? I seem to be missing something here. How can they make it appear from China if they are "borrowing" US IPs?
    • by discord5 ( 798235 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @07:34PM (#10933837)
      In particular, MSN works with companies such as SBC and Qwest and will "borrow" home users IP's for temp useage.

      Elaborate please... I can understand that they might sell e-mail adresses to spammers, but actually cooperate and provide them with bandwidth and home user IP's (good thing those are mostly RBL'ed) is a while other matter. Do you have any proof for this? Or at least a tin-foil hat webpage?

      So many people here think that spam is originating from China, when in reality, it does not.

      Say hello to open relays, anonymous (unusable) proxies and what else... Look, I'm not going to argue with you that most mail coming from China isn't chinese, but this hardly explains the connection between MSN and spammers other than the possibility of them selling the addresses. If MSN was keen enough on spamming, don't you think they'd provide the spammers with means easier than dynamic home IPs?

      Of course, the government made sure that can spam did not injure that practise.

      What I've learnt about governments is that most of them don't have the technical understanding to see the fundamental problem, and they have no inclination or time to learn to understand the kind of problems that arise.

      Yes, governments have advisors, and they still have to translate techbabble to laymans terms. Those laymans terms get turned into law-speak, and somewhere along the way an idea to punish someone becomes a loophole, either because there is an error in translation or there is political intrest in letting the problem exist.

  • got ya (Score:5, Insightful)

    by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @06:26PM (#10933430)
    Now your unlisted number, that you went ahead and put on the do-not-call list to protect yourself from callers who just selected numbers randomly, will be given to the telemarketers as a number that is fair game for them to call. Your tax maney at work.
  • Are you insane? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nordicfrost ( 118437 ) * on Saturday November 27, 2004 @06:28PM (#10933438)
    What the hell is going on over there? Has the entire USA become a free-for-all (big business that is) annoyfest? I'm on an European do-not-call-list and have recieved two calls in four or five years one was a mistake, that didn't help I reported them anyway.

    The other was from a company I already do business with (I yelled at them anyway and moved my business to another company that don't anoy me at work). They used the pre-business loophole so I told them what my opinion was with that and talked to everyone I could reach in the company. I also reported them to the consumer ombudsman, since they are abusing their power grid monopoly in Oslo to justify pushing sales calls.

    From an outside perspective, it seems like the only ones enjoying freedom in the US are big, bug business. They can trample the freedom of private citizens quite easely, it seems and bother them at will while the government drags its feet. And counts its money, I presume. We have the loophole too, but we are at least working on closing it, not opening it more.
    • Re:Are you insane? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by EEBaum ( 520514 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @06:47PM (#10933553) Homepage
      "Has the entire USA become a free-for-all (big business that is) annoyfest?"

    • Help! (Score:5, Funny)

      by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @06:52PM (#10933587)
      Has the entire USA become a free-for-all (big business that is) annoyfest?
      Yes. Please come liberate us!
    • Re:Are you insane? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @06:53PM (#10933593)
      Has the entire USA become a free-for-all (big business that is) annoyfest?

      No. In fact, ever since I added our phone number to the federal do-not-call list, telemarketing calls have in fact stopped.

      The exception is the occasional charity, but even those have pretty much ground to a halt. When they do call, the conversation goes something like this:

      "Hi! This is the Save Small Kittens from Cancer fund, will you give us money?"

      "We're on the federal do not call list."

      "We're a non-profit charity, we are exempt, sir".

      "And, given that we are a household that has registered as not wanting telemarking calls, what genius thought calling us would be a good way to get money from us?"


      "Did it occur to anyone that, in fact, by calling a household listed on the do-not-call list, you would in fact generate substantial ill will, and virtually guarantee we'd never send you a dime, even if we might have been planning to do so?"


      "Don't call us again." [click]

      It's very simple- any time you get a telemarking call from an NPO and you're on the do not call list, tell them that, by calling you, they've been crossed off the list of charities you donate to. Particularly if you've already donated to them- they can see this on their screen- it will be HIGHLY effective.

      Well, that and (I believe) under the new laws, even an NPO can't call you BACK if you tell them to piss off...they have to honor the request, at least for a few years.

    • Re:Are you insane? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by theNAM666 ( 179776 )
      In a democracy, you get the government you pay for, vote for, or create.

      so I told them what my opinion was with that and talked to everyone I could reach in the company. I also reported them to the consumer ombudsman...

      Most Americans will wine and grump and murmur about problems for hours, but are unwilling to take such simple and direct citizen action as the above in order to preserve their freedom and privacy. Like spoiled children (which they have plenty of!), they expect someone else to do t

  • Great! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Carrot007 ( 37198 ) <> on Saturday November 27, 2004 @06:29PM (#10933446) Homepage
    Please let them, really, I mean how much business would they get from a "DO NOT CALL" list?

    Maybe then they will realise that these people are in fact helping them not call people who won't buy their crap.
    • These tactics seem to work very well on the elderly.

      Here are a few examples: l _apact1.htm []
      and another []

      Most people will just hang up, but as with email spam, it only takes a few suckers to make the whole system profitable for the scum.

      The scum would really love to get a hold of phone listing so they could send out their "you have won a prize in our free give away" calls.
    • What about people (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rsilvergun ( 571051 )
      who get put on the list by friends and family? Grandma Miffy can't say no? Put her on the do no call list so she stops wasting her Social Security checks on junk.

      Besides, with most call centers in India/Indonesia/Malaysia/etc, it becomes cost effective even with only a 1% or so return. When you're paying someone 35 cents/hr. to do phone calls, you don't need a lot of business.
    • This is why it's for prerecorded spam only. Having robots do the work is the only way to make it profitable. It's probably better seen as a law to make receiving recorded spam mandatory over land lines, with unwanted calls such as these becoming background noise. Funny to think whether cellphone lobbyists are behind this at all, to make land lines less attractive. [removes tinfoil hat]
    • Actually, no, there's a profitable number of people that are too "polite" and gullible to hang up on telemarketer scum, and would rather be put on a DNC to hide that weakness. If the scumbags can use a loophole to exploit these people, they WILL make bank, at the greater expense of millions of other pissed off people.


  • by Sheetrock ( 152993 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @06:29PM (#10933447) Homepage Journal
    Look for one of those Caller ID units that do text-to-speech on the number. During the calls leading up to the election I don't think we answered one of them, just let them go to the answering machine and dumped them. Would be nice if they wiped out all telemarketing altogether but it'd probably be deemed unconstitutional because of the free speech issues.

    If things get really bad, just switch to cellphones. They can't call those, although for some reason they get a lot of wrong numbers.

    • Commercial speech does not have the ordinary "First amendement protections" afforded to other speech.
      • Commercial speech does not have the ordinary "First amendement protections" afforded to other speech.

        True, although the logic for that escapes me, since I don't recall any adjectives before "speech" in the 1st Amendment. Of course, the Incumbency Protection, er, "Campaign Finance Reform" act has started shredding the protections for political speech also, so it's sort of consistent in a depressing way.

        Getting back on topic, freedom of speech does not include the freedom to harass, which a company is doi
    • Try not. Do or do not, there is no try.
      -- Dr. Spock, stardate 2822.3.

      I'm pretty sure Yoda said that, and either way the tall guy with the pointy ears from Star Trek is Mr. Spock, not Dr. Spock. Dr. Spock wrote a book on how to raise children, and I'm almost positive that he doesn't use any "stardates".
  • What is the point to contact people who said that they do not want your product? They already told they are not going to buy things this way. Isn't it just moneey waste for the companys calling people whoi not only will not buy, but get annoyed and starts doing negative publicity?
  • by laughingcoyote ( 762272 ) <barghesthowl@e x c> on Saturday November 27, 2004 @06:42PM (#10933520) Journal

    I've found a very simple solution to this problem-I use cable internet and a cell phone. It is illegal to telemarket cell phones, and I've thus far not had it happen. I get a better deal on my cell then I would on landline service anyway (same cost, give or take 2 bucks, and no cost for long distance as a bonus.)

    As a side note on the spam issue, I use a "throwaway" email address for public posting. I get little spam to it even, and absolutely none to my gmail account, which is given only to friends, family, etc.

  • by DonnyCarcharo ( 739182 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @06:44PM (#10933535) Homepage
    "What do you mean no prior business relationship? You said hello. Hello is a greeting and greetings are an integral part of relationships. Now about that home mortgage..."
  • The pre-recorded messages are always the worst.
    "This is an important message. It is dire that you call us back at the following number: 1-800-555-1234
    We must speak with you on an urgent matter

    The first time I got one of these, I thought something might have happened to a loved one... I quickly learned that if I answer the phone to a robot, I should hang up immediately.
    • This may or may not be true, but I've heard that these messages may be legitimate. Someone said once (here on ./ I I guess take it with a grain of salt) that it may be a debt collection agency/living will type phone call. If theyre trying to get a hold of you, theyre required by law to not even state that theyre a collection agency to anyone other than you. So, when they leave messages, they can't do anything about it. The only thing is, other nefarious companies may be doing it to.
  • by murderlegendre ( 776042 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @06:45PM (#10933543)

    I have a better idea.. why not just leave the rules as they are, and offer an opt-in for people who are willing to recieve such calls? Oh wait, that would be nobody.

    Not sure what others have experienced, but the number of telemarketing calls that I have recieved since signing up for the list, has dropped from 5-10 PER DAY to about one a week. The federal do-not-call list is one of the few really useful things that the government has done in as long as I can remember. Yes, I hear that telemarketers are rapidly losing jobs, but for some reason I just can't bring myself to care. It might have something to do with the fact that before the list, I had to shelve my answering machine, unless I wanted to come home to 20 minutes of advertising after a day of work.

    I knew they'd find a way to screw it up.

  • well this reminded me of the one simpsons episode with Homer's phone spamming machine. But in all seriousness, do people really think by overriding the whole not calling list really will increase their sales. This list says that the people will not purchase their stupid crap no matter how much they call so dont even bother; and yet they still think that by overriding the list that they will increase their sales. If they actually do increase sales with this, please give me the list of who bought the crap and
    • The return on this must be so low that paying live humans to make spamcalls to Do Not Call list members makes it unprofitable. The only way to make *any* money from the DNCL is to have robots do the job. It merely makes recorded spam into a constant fixture in having a land line, without recourse, and is a baldfaced free $$$$ giveaway to telemarketing companies. Plain and simple.
  • I noticed that Chicago Sun-Times uses intrusive advertising tactics. Not one, but two, popups were blocked by Firefox.

    What a terrible thing for my government to do. For people to comply, they must have access to the list. So, people will now be able to use the list to get numbers of contacts they've had in the past?

    I really, really, really, fucking hate these bastards who are using my tax $$$ for this bullshit propaganda. The FTC has a fucking marketing department? It's the fucking government. They don'

  • NO! FUCK THiS! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HarveyBirdman ( 627248 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @06:51PM (#10933578) Journal
    I have not has a sales call since I signed up. The gummint actually made something that's working! Do not tamper with this! FUCK TELEMARKETERS! FUCK THEM IN THE ASS!!!!

    I hope these calm words will help.

  • by inkswamp ( 233692 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @06:52PM (#10933586)
    I knew this kind of thing would be coming soon which is why I didn't waste my time signing up.

    But then, I don't waste my time with telemarketers either. Here's how the average telemarketing call to my house goes:

    Me: Hello?

    TM: Hello, can I speak with [horrible attempt to pronounce my name]--"


    Nothing personal, but I don't let them get the first sentence out. And I've noticed that I get much fewer calls than before. I suspect a refusal to listen gets noted somewhere in some database and eventually you get fewer calls as a result. Try it. Unless it involves bombing a third-world nation somewhere, you probably shouldn't rely on a government run by George W. Bush to get something like this done right.

    • Or you can play the "hold on" game:
      -TM: Hello, can I speak to $name
      -Me: Yes, hold on a second please

      At this point of the conversation, go play five minutes in another room while the guy is waiting. An alternative game would be to count how much time the TM can wait.
    • Me: Hello?

      TM: Hello, can I speak with [horrible attempt to pronounce my name]--"


      While that may work for most American sounding names, what if your name is unusual and/or foreign? Your strategy would block legitimate calls as well. And I'm speaking from experience as a French living in the US and used to all sorts of variations of my last name, the funnier ones being morphings into some sort of Russian last name...

    • If you've got time to waste and a human on the line, you can be crueller; don't let them tell you what the product is, but insist that they tell you why they think you'll be interested. If they try and tell you what they're selling, or ask about your use of something, cut them off, and demand that they tell you why they thought you were interested in their product. If they end up admitting they just called you randomly, claim not to believe them, as they've bothered to call you, and insist they tell you why
    • Depending on how busy I am at the moment, I use any of a number of (shall we say) countermeasures:

      1) Say "Yes, I'll get him for you. Please hold", and then go and watch TV for a while.

      2) Ask "Have you accepted Jesus as your personal savior"? If they say "Yes", then tell them that they're wrong.

      3) "Huh-uh he he, What are you wearing?"

      The purpose of all of this is, of course, to make the experience of being a telemarketer as unpleasant as it can possibly be, so as to increase attrition (and costs) to
    • I got a call the day that started off... Hello, this is bob with your local tele-... And that's as far as I let him go before hanging up. What is disturbing about this is that it was theoretically possible he had something important to tell me about my service, but I had been thoroughly trained to immediately hang up on all telephone calls from any telephone company, particularly my own.

    • Unless it involves bombing a third-world nation somewhere, you probably shouldn't rely on a government run by George W. Bush to get something like this done right.

      They have managed to get it right? Where?
  • Guess what? There is NO way I'm going to do business with a cold caller from another continent.

    The annoying thing is the various country do-not-call arrangements do not cross country boundaries.

    The only cold calls I now get are from the USA trying to sell me timeshares in Florida or to tell be I've "won" some price in some game I never entered.
  • Military recruiters (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EEBaum ( 520514 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @06:59PM (#10933625) Homepage
    Military recruiters are the worst. I had been expecting a phone call from a company where I was ordering something. A message was left on my answering machine around that time, asking to speak to me and leaving an 800 number, but not saying who was calling. Foolishly thinking this could possibly be a call regarding the order (from a mom&pop operation), I returned the phone call. The phone was answered by a recruiter, US Army. Miffed (they'd called recently already and I'd asked to be taken off their list), I hung up without so much as a hello. Not surprisingly, I was greeted with a return call, asking if I'd just called and hung up. I informed him that his call was unwelcome. He said it was rude to call someone and immediately hang up. I informed him that it was even more rude to leave a phone message on my machine without identifying oneself, especially since the call was unwanted.

    Finally, I asked him to take me off his list and never call again. He replied that SINCE I HAD CONTACTED HIM, he could not remove me. Knowing the conversation never goes anywhere and such people have rarely been considerate of my suggestions to end the conversation, I took the initiative to hang up myself. I expect they'll call again in a few months, and the whole circus parade can begin anew. Since they are always so eager to stay on the line, perhaps I'll buy a karaoke machine for the occasion.
  • Um. Let's see if we can follow the train of logic here.

    1. Do not call registry established.
    2. People who don't want to be called put their name on the list.
    3. Hence, politicians figure it's okay for those people to be called.

    It's like responding to the "unsubscribe" link on spams you get. If you actually say you don't want any more, you'll become inundated. Politicians are working for the spammers, not for you and me.
  • you know... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Viceice ( 462967 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @07:06PM (#10933669)
    You know what would be a fantastic gadget to have? A device that you could connect between a landline wall socket and the phone and you have a nice big button on the device.

    When you push that button, it would cut you off until you let go and emit a nice clean ear piercing 20Khz tone as powerfully as possible down the line.

    That way when a telemarketer calls, speak softly so they listen up then press.

    • Re:you know... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Electronik ( 821589 )
      20khz is way too high for a phone, bandwith for phone speach is about 400hz to 3khz I think. Also, 20kHz is way too high for a lot of people to hear. Better to blast with a 1kHz tone, that is where the ear is more sensitive. But then again, better not to torture the poor telemarketing monkey at the tnd of the phone with permament tinitus. I want to punch the people that set-up and run these things though.

      In fact, I got a call a couple of days ago from Florida (I am in Scotland) trying to sell me hollida
      • IT sucks that we are cruel to tele-monkeys, however causing the massive turnover costs managment extra money in both recruiting and training, as well as jacking up the pay for this job. So I say send the pain and be as mean as possible.
        • I'm terribly sorry (actually, no I'm not, it just makes for a decent introductory phrase), but people who work as telemarketers automatically lose the "I'm just doing my job; don't be mean to me" exception. Just like the idiots who put up signs on telephone poles inviting me to Make Billions By Working From Home don't like being honked at and having their signs torn down, if you're going to do that job, you agree to all the abuse you can stand.

          When your job is to basically be as annoying as humanly possib
    • I remember a few years back they sold something along these lines... but instead of a horrid high-pitched tone, it was a friendly pre-recorded voice that informs the caller that you don't respond to telemarketing.
    • "You know what would be a fantastic gadget to have?"

      "I'm going to become rich and famous after i invent a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the phone"

      (misquoting [], if such a thing is possible)
  • by Geoffreyerffoeg ( 729040 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @07:07PM (#10933675)
    This provision needs to be there...otherwise, the "stretching" could go the other way to prevent Blockbuster from calling me and reminding me that Halo 2 is overdue. That's valid, and they should be allowed to do that even through we're on do-not-call. If it's not, someone will find a way to abuse it so that no commercial entity can call them legally...heh, easy way to get back at credit collectors: sue them under do-not-call and give them the money you win. This seems to me like the greater evil.

    I'm not sure how "established business relationship" can be abused, since a former relationship doesn't exist anymore and shouldn't be allowed to justify calling me now. Of course, we'll have to see how the law is worded....
  • I recently moved into a new phone number (my last one was registered long before the list went active), and though it's more than enough time since registering, I still get the occasional solicitation. Got one the other day that was a recording, asking me to press 9 if I wanted to wait and talk to an operator and get more info on my "free vacation" (obviously one of those timeshare "scams"). So I waited for a minute or so, got an operator, and asked to speak to her supervisor. Click!

    How are we supposed

  • I'm utterly stunned that these changes are even under consideration, and at taxpayer expense!

    I live currently in Sydney, Australia. I have a US VoIP phone number on NDNCL, with extra anti-marketing features, and *still* manage to receive unsolicited calls from businesses that I never authorized to make such calls. I sometimes enjoy joking with the callers, "Yes, New South Wales is really a state. I don't know why it doesn't show up on your computer. Didn't you know, Australia is part of America now?"

    I bel
  • by linuxpng ( 314861 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @07:29PM (#10933802)
    with damned prerecorded message, there is no one on the other line to tell "TAKE ME OFF YOUR LIST!!". So they keep calling you.
  • I don't have a cell phone and never will!

  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @08:03PM (#10933985)
    If the call is not worth the labor of a real person to make the call, then it is not worth the labor of the consumer who must answer that call.
  • And heck, I'd even be willing to be polite to them and say "no thank you" when they call, as long as they pay for my phone bill (including long distance) every month.

    If they are going to advertise to me over that medium, why aren't _THEY_ the one's paying for it? The system seems to work for television, after all.

  • Any attempt to water down the Do Not Call list should be fought tooth and nail. Hell, it's one of the very few things to come out of Washington in the last thirty-five years that works most of the time. We are the taxpayers and the FTC works for us, as individuals, not any corporate group. This is just a cheap replacement for the boiler room call centers.
  • phishing? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by slashname3 ( 739398 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @08:20PM (#10934077)
    OK, how many people went to the link and filled it out? How much you want to bet that that link actually is tied to a telemarketer and you have now established a business relationship with them. They now have you name and information and can proceed to make calls at all hours of the day and night.

    Having been on the do not call list since the begnining I can say that it has worked very well. Where I used to get a couple of calls a day I have recevied only a hand full of calls over the last year. For those that I could get a company name or phone number I have reported them. I received a call yesterday that seems to be the new method of annoying people. The phone number is blocked and it is a recording, this case offering free travel, after giving the pitch with no mention of a company name they want you to leave your name and phone number so they can get back to you. Kind of like tele-spam (registered trademark pending on the term tele-spam). Well hopefully I cost them some time since I tried my best to fill up as much tape/disk as possible telling them just what I thought about them calling someone on the do not call list. Hopefully it consumed a fair amount of time as they had other people listen to the message I left. Slow them down from processing any morons that actually left their information.
  • by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) <teamhasnoi AT yahoo DOT com> on Saturday November 27, 2004 @08:38PM (#10934170) Journal
    At work, we started getting calls from disgruntled or eager-to-be-disgruntled customers of a SatTV service. After answering the millionth call of people telling me to stop calling them, I finally got one of the victims to give me the name on the flyer and the phone number. The name was enough to find the company and tell them to change their marketing materials, as their phone number listed was ours.

    Of course, I got thrown in the 'endless hold for angry customers' (Verified on the newsgroups). After five times trying to get ahold of someone who could fix this ever increasing volume of calls, I lost it and started a barrage of calls using 5 lines and an autodialer. I would get to just before where an operator picked up, and put them on hold, then move to the next line. I got amazingly good at it, and picked up the line on some telemarketing stragglers screaming, "WHO IS THIS!?!".

    I kept this up for an hour, which I am pretty sure fucked up their profit margin on that day.

    Still more calls a few days later - I guess they thought I wasn't serious. Another polite request to talk to the manager, and a dump into endless hold.

    Operation Eternal Freedom went into effect again, and this time I feigned an old lady's voice, "I'm trying to reach my son, -insert name here-", on every seventh call. The others went right to hold, until they found no one on the line and hung up. Of course, I was ready with an autodialed response. 45 minutes (while waiting for a backup to complete) later, I called it a day.

    Third time, three 45 minute sessions - I got where I could do it one handed on speakerphone, and get some real work done.

    No more calls after that.

    Did they get my message? I left about 2,463.

    • Kill two birds... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Mal-2 ( 675116 )
      I got sick of FAX spam at work, especially since most of them came from the same Canadian company I couldn't contact directly. They left only a (toll-free) removal number.

      The first time, I tried it. I think they stopped for all of a month.

      Once they restarted, I decided to make us unprofitable to FAX. I called their toll-free removal number, and when asked to confirm that I had entered the correct number, I would press "2" for no, starting the whole process over again. Then I automated this with just the a
  • The feds have a**-raped us so many times, this should not surprise. When the federal government comes to your door and offers to be your friend and savior, RUN FOR THE HILLS.
  • by /dev/trash ( 182850 ) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @12:18AM (#10935215) Homepage Journal
    Target was offering 'free' wakeup calls for people on the the Day after Thanksgiving. I wonder if this creates a "prior business relationship?"

    I bet it does.

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.