Do Not Call Registry on hold

CONSUMING INTERESTS

December 25, 2007|By DAN THANH DANG

The Q:

When the Federal Trade Commission started the National Do Not Call Registry in June 2003, millions of Americans gave thanks for finally being able to eat dinner in peace without interruption from telemarketers.

Reader Lee Goren immediately signed up, but has recently seen an uptick in the number of telemarketer calls again.

"I registered when it first came out, why am I now beginning to get calls from telemarketers again?" Goren asked in an e-mail. "Is it true that you have to re- register after three years of being on the list? If that is true, could you give me the phone number or address to get back on it? If that isn't true, who can I call?"

The A:

Since Goren didn't say what type of telemarketing calls were being received, I'll preface this answer by saying that signing up for the registry will stop most telemarketing calls, but not all. Those exempted include "calls from or on behalf of political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors would still be permitted, as would calls from companies with which you have an existing business relationship, or those to whom you've provided express agreement in writing to receive their calls."

With that said, Goren's concern isn't completely off the mark.

As originally intended, registry on the list was supposed to only last for five years and then consumers were supposed to re-register. But in October, the FTC announced it would not drop any numbers from the registry until Congress or the agency decides whether to make registration permanent.

You may register up to three telephone numbers at one time on the National Do Not Call Registry Web site at https:--www.donotcall.gov/register/reg.aspx. You will receive a separate confirmation e-mail for each number you wish to register on-line. You must then open each e-mail and click on the link in each one to complete the registration process.

If you want to register by phone, you may call 888-382-1222. You can register only one phone number each time you call the registry and you must call from the phone number you wish to register.

Remember that registration is free. Do not pay a company or anyone to register your numbers.

If Goren is, indeed, receiving calls from telemarketers covered by the registry, then a complaint can be filed on the Do Not Call Web site or by calling the same toll-free number to register. You must know either the name or telephone number of the company that called you and the date the company called you.

For more information, head to the FTC's Q&A page at http:--www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt107.shtm.

Reach Consuming Interests by e-mail at consuminginterests@ baltsun.com or by phone at 410-332-6151. Find an archive of Consuming Interest columns at baltimoresun.com/consuming.

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