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Do Not Call Registry Gets Glowing Reviews 276

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the bug-me-not dept.
coondoggie writes to tell us that in a recent report to Congress by the FTC, the National Do Not Call Registry got glowing reviews. They seem to be well established now with $21 million in fees in the bank, 22 successful court cases, and an almost 70% approval rating. "In 2007, a total of 6,242 entities paid fees totaling $21,602,003 for access to the National Registry. According to the FTC, telemarketers and sellers can access registered telephone numbers and pay the appropriate fee for that access, if any, through an Internet website dedicated to that purpose. The only information about consumers that companies receive from the National Registry is the registered telephone number. Since the Registry's inception, a total of 18,197 unique entities have paid fees for access to the National Registry. The total amount of fees paid by all entities since the inception of the National Registry through the end of 2007 is $80,629,778, the report stated."
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Do Not Call Registry Gets Glowing Reviews

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  • Two problems still (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Friday July 11, 2008 @02:57PM (#24156159)

    1) Still opt-out style. Unless you add yourself to the list, you are fair game for callers

    2) Still ineffective against pollsters, politicians, and fundraisers

    It's better than nothing, but there are certainly ways to make it better.

    • Not the end state (Score:5, Interesting)

      by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:00PM (#24156227) Homepage Journal
      If things move to the point where it is socially unacceptable to bother people at home, then this is a good transitional state.
      No one bothers people on cell phones. Probably due to pricing. Interesting, how the flat rate for the home line makes spamming people somehow acceptable.
      • Re:Not the end state (Score:5, Informative)

        by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:02PM (#24156271)

        No, they don't bother people on cellphones because it is illegal. It has nothing to do with pricing.

        • by martinw89 (1229324) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:05PM (#24156335)
          That doesn't seem to stop the text message spam and occasional bogus calls I get. I just don't answer anything that's not in my phonebook at this point.
          • by jeffmeden (135043) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:11PM (#24156441) Homepage Journal
            If you get cellphone spam I truly feel sorry for your personal information, it must be on every bathroom wall in the US.

            I have been using a personal cellphone as my primary contact number for the better part of a decade, and to date have only received two spam texts (when I was with Nextel, 6 years ago) and not a single unsolicited sales phonecall. About twice a year, someone dials a wrong number and gets me, to which I politely tell them that no, there is little chance that Joe Bob Jackson Seefus Jr. lives even NEAR me.
            • If you get cellphone spam I truly feel sorry for your personal information, it must be on every bathroom wall in the US.

              4155557368@mycellprovider.com.

        • Re:Not the end state (Score:5, Informative)

          by omris (1211900) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:15PM (#24156497)

          My understanding of WHY it was illegal to bother people on cell phones though was that it costs money to the person you're calling. Unlike landlines which only charge for outgoing calls.

          Like a collection agency cannot cost you money in an attempt to collect what you owe them and likewise can't call cell lines.

          At least that's the way of it in my home state.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by hedwards (940851)

            The expense is an excuse for why it's banned on cellphones and not to landlines.

            The real reason was cell phone users weren't willing to tolerate unsolicited calls to their cell phones. Yes, it's because people were having to pay for the calls, but if land line users would stand up like that to unsolicited calls of any sort they too would be banned. Or at least the bulk of the calls that were placed purposefully would be.

          • Like a collection agency cannot cost you money in an attempt to collect what you owe them and likewise can't call cell lines.

            What state is that? My cell# ended up being 'stolen' by some deadbeat and I regularly get collection agencies calling - its to the point I never answer unless I recognize the caller-id and they always leave voice-mail about "an extremely important matter."

            • Re:Not the end state (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Lord Apathy (584315) on Friday July 11, 2008 @04:31PM (#24157547)

              I've had my current cell for a number of years now. I really can't figure out how I did it but some how I rigged my phone not to ring if your not in my phonebook. I have no clue how I did it but it works. It is the main feature on my phone, nokia 6820, that is why I won't part with it.

              One of the monkeys down the phone store tried to talk me into a new palm beast with a 300 price tag. I told him why I kept the old one and he called bullshit until I showed him. He still insists that it is impossible.

              My saying is if my phone doesn't know you I don't want to talk to you.

        • Re:Not the end state (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Codger (96717) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:55PM (#24157093)

          Illegal or not, over the past year I've gotten a huge number of telemarketing calls on my cell. Since putting it on the do-not-call list those calls have stopped.

      • by Bemopolis (698691) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:23PM (#24156625)

        No one bothers people on cell phones.

        A statement that is only technically correct. All of the telemarketing calls I get on my cellphone are recorded messages.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Sparr0 (451780)

          Which is doubly illegal, at a minimum. Those people are liable for severe civil penalties. I just moved to GA and am familiarizing myself with the legal system here so that I can begin to exact my revenge on companies that autodial my cell phone number. And by "companies" I mean "political advocacy groups".

      • by Hatta (162192) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:28PM (#24156703) Journal

        No one bothers people on cell phones.

        But people on cell phones bother everyone.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nategoose (1004564)
        I get informed that the factory warranty on my car is about to expire about once a week on my cell phone. Second time it happened I stayed on the phone long enough (ie past the recording) to ask them about this warranty that was about to expire on my car, which is ~15 years old. Since they didn't even know who I was or what kind of car I had. I'm pretty sure they were telemarketer con-persons.
        • by Obfuscant (592200) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:52PM (#24157057)
          I'm pretty sure they were telemarketer con-persons.

          If I had mod points, I'd mark this "redundant". Not the whole article, just the words "telemarketer" and "con-persons".

        • by i.r.id10t (595143)

          Once a week? You are lucky... we get 'em 3 or 4 times a day, all from different numbers/area codes, to not only departmental numbers but to our (personal) desk numbers as well... funny thing is that I actually sat and listened to try and get a new warranty so I could find out the responsible company... no info given as to how to actually get one!

      • No one bothers people on cell phones.

        This is because it's already illegal thanks to the TCPA. [wikipedia.org]
    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      "2) Still ineffective against pollsters, politicians, and fundraisers"
      That is covered under freedom of speech. The Supreme Court has ruled that commercial speech does not have the same protection as political or religious speech. Which I feel is a good thing.
      I am not fond of the other calls but they are clearly protected in the US.
      As to opt out? Fine with me since I did.

      • by Obfuscant (592200) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:25PM (#24156649)
        "2) Still ineffective against pollsters, politicians, and fundraisers" That is covered under freedom of speech.

        Actually, it isn't. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom to use my property to conduct your speech. The freedom of pollsters to "speak" to me ends at the demarc, where I start paying for the wires.

        It's ineffective simply because the politicians get money from fundraisers and hire pollsters to push-poll their constituents. They wrote their own exemption into the law.

        They exemption they DO NOT HAVE, is if you tell them explicitely not to call you. THAT makes the next call illegal.

      • 2) Still ineffective against pollsters, politicians, and fundraisers
        That is covered under freedom of speech. The Supreme Court has ruled that commercial speech does not have the same protection as political or religious speech.

        I hardly think that calling up my 82 year-old widowed mother to ask for campaign donations = protected political speech! Begging for money shouldn't be protected speak whether you're buying siding or donating to a non-profit.

        It's been exasperating, my parents used to be active locally in political campaigns when they were much younger. And it's been some time that they donated any monies. My dad died over a year ago and she gets calls asking for him. Naturally she doesn't want to tell a complete stranger he

        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          I would suggest caller id and a phone machine.
          I am afraid that yes fund raising is a form of political speech and is protected.
          It is annoying but not that terrible. And I am sorry to her about mothers loss. Things like that are at best a sore spot and at worse very painful.

      • That can be an interesting thing to keep in mind, when looking at the same principle in other contexts. [slashdot.org] If people are allowed to use other people's private property (my cellphone provider's network and my phone) without the owners' consent for purposes of political speech, then perhaps I am allowed to use flickr's server without the server's owner's consent, for my political speech.

        Well, ok, not really. :-) In the phone context, we're talking about a law (you are not allowed to spam cellphones) which had

      • by hedwards (940851)

        I'm sorry, but that's not protected speech. The first amendment protects a persons ability to say most things and the ability to broadcast the same things.

        The first amendment does not however protect a person's attempts to speak to a particular person, nor does it grant the right to convey a message to a particular person over a private medium.

        There is no constitutional basis which prevents the government from allowing an opt out for campaign messages or charity fund raising. As long as the person who would

    • by PlatyPaul (690601) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:15PM (#24156515) Homepage Journal
      Actually, I'm surprised that there hasn't been mention of anyone opt-bombing the system, as your number is only confirmed when registering by phone - they simply require an email confirmation if you do it online.

      All you'd need to do is direct all incoming emails @yourdomainnamegoeshere.com to one account, set up an auto-opt system and an auto-respond system, run through all numbers in your area code.
    • by Drathos (1092)

      I'll add another to that:

      3) Still ineffective against scammers who don't care about the DNC list.

      I get pre-recorded messages from autodialers with forged Caller ID trying to get personal information under the premise of a credit card debt reduction service (which they never name) on both my land line and my cell phone (where any form of telemarketing - including the loopholes of the DNC - is forbidden by the FCC). Despite numerous complaints to the DNC site, the FCC (for cell phone telemarketing) and the s

  • by haluness (219661) on Friday July 11, 2008 @02:58PM (#24156171)

    I thought the goal of the registry was to exclude marketers from getting this info? So who gve the glowing reviews?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      How do you expect telemarketers to know who not to call if you do not *tell* them who not to call?

    • by HomerJ (11142) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:00PM (#24156229)

      If you don't have access to the list, how are you supposed to know who not to call?

      • by holmedog (1130941) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:32PM (#24156759)

        I work for a data warehousing company. Any accounts that we have that still use direct telemarketing campaigns are required to buy the list. It's not that expensive, and it is very nice, honestly. These people took the time to say they won't be buying things from telemarketers, so we know we don't want to market towards these people.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Gromius (677157)
          no, these people took the time to say they dont want to buy things from telemarketers. This is not the same as wont and this is why telemarketers opposed the scheme as they could talk round nice people who find it difficult to say no to a person into buying crap.

          The list is a wonderfull thing, not only did it cut my calls to nothing, it also helps people who are too nice/gulible stop getting fleaced. From a business perspective, well its nice to know that you arent taking advantage of your customers but
    • by MrMunkey (1039894)
      Like the other two have said, you need to know who not to call. I used to work on the CRM for a company that started doing outbound dialing campaigns. There is a lot of phone numbers in that list. You also get updates monthly (or really whenever you want to update it) and then you can download the change log stating which numbers were added, which were deleted, and when so that the people on the phone can confirm that stuff. Companies are still required to maintain their own specific do not call list as
      • by MrMunkey (1039894)
        Crap, I forgot to add some more information. Mostly I used the numbers to remove them from the dialing lists that we purchased from the three major credit bureaus, or a few other places. It was easier to dump a few companies after finding out 80% or more of the numbers were on the national DNC. That's bad when they say that they pre-screen the numbers for you. Verification FTW!!!
    • To the respondants above me: WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!
  • by Madball (1319269)
    http://www.ftc.gov/os/2008/07/P034305FY0dncreport.pdf [ftc.gov] I'm still reviewing it, but for doing what it's defined role is, it seems to do it well (notwithstanding the exceptions for politicians, charities, etc).
  • by PlatyPaul (690601) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:02PM (#24156253) Homepage Journal
    Even if you're registered on the national list, I highly recommend that you check into state laws (and lists, if they have them), as there are variations in what is and isn't protected.

    For fellow New Yorkers, here [state.ny.us] is the official NYS law regarding "Do Not Call".
  • I love the Do Not Call Registry. I'm just concerned about it's ramifications to the first amendment.
    • by bucky0 (229117) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:08PM (#24156387)

      You have the right to say what you want. You don't have the guarantee of an audience.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sm62704 (957197)

      You have freedom of speech, not freedom to bother me. "Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins".

      Your freedom of speech does not extend to standing on the sidewalk outside my residence with a bullhorn. My right to ignore you supercedes your right to speak.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LWATCDR (28044)

      Actually the seemed to have worked out a good balance. A lot of people are crabbing about the exceptions but those exceptions are for the protection of political and religious speech.
      Commercial speech has less protections which is why cigarette companies can not advertise on TV and such.

      • by Thelasko (1196535)

        Commercial speech has less protections which is why cigarette companies can not advertise on TV and such.

        Valid and insightful

      • by Obfuscant (592200)
        Actually the seemed to have worked out a good balance. A lot of people are crabbing about the exceptions but those exceptions are for the protection of political and religious speech.

        No, they aren't. They are for the protection of politicians and pollsters hired by politicians who want to be able to call you at election time to remind you to vote.

        Your freedom of speech is not interfered with in any way by my telling you not to call me. You can stand at your phone and speak all you want. The laws aren't s

        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          Sorry but that is no different than people protesting or putting political signs up or stopping you to ask you to sign a petition.
          You can ask them to never call you again, you can hang up on them.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by drinkypoo (153816)

            Sorry but that is no different than people protesting or putting political signs up or stopping you to ask you to sign a petition.

            Putting up political signs on public property is littering and thus illegal. (There are sometimes also specific statutes against it.)

            Putting up your political signs on my property is probably vandalism, maybe littering, and is illegal either way.

            You can only put up your political signs on your property. Also, you can only protest if you're not causing a nuisance. You have the right to peaceably assemble. Not to make an ass of yourself.

            You were saying?

    • That's why it's an opt-out registry. The first amendment doesn't force people to listen against their will to what you have to say.

    • by gstoddart (321705) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:16PM (#24156527) Homepage

      I love the Do Not Call Registry. I'm just concerned about it's ramifications to the first amendment.

      What, your first amendment right to call me in the middle of dinner to try to sell me a carpet cleaning service? Or to have a robo-dialer which will leave me answering a phone with nobody on the other end?

      Individuals have first amendment rights. I've never bought the argument that companies have the same thing. I fail to see why we should protect the ability of companies to make unsolicited calls to people who don't want them. Are you saying spam should be protected speech too?

      Besides, if you are going to do this kind of call, wouldn't it be better to get a list of the people who you know aren't interested rather than hearing me tell you to "fuck off" for the 3rd time this week?

      I realize the poor schmuck on the other end of the phone is just doing a job -- but, I don't give a crap and I don't owe him any politeness. If you show up on my doorstep and aggressively won't leave or keep coming back when I tell you to, I'm gonna knock your ass down. If you call me, I'm going tell you exactly once nicely -- there after, you're not getting nice. (And, believe me, I've been called 20 times in two weeks by the same organization. There's no point in politely explaining after the 1st time.)

      Cheers

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:02PM (#24156275)
    I don't get nearly as many telemarketing calls as I used to, but I've noticed (and oth ers have too [businessweek.com]) that many telemarketers who call me still exploit two major loopholes in the law:
    • The "if you've done business with me in the recent past" loohole--A lot of credit card companies are essentially selling telemarketers the rights to call you on their behalf (if you have one of their credit cards). So now instead of getting calls that say "Hi, I would like to sell you product A" I'm getting calls that say "Hi, I'm calling on behalf of Discover. I would like to sell you product A." A new low even by credit card company standards.
    • The "polls, research, charities" loophole--Now I get a lot of calls from companies claming to be doing market research or polls, when they're actually just trying to sell something. I also get calls from for-profit companies who've somehow scammed their way into 501(c)(3) [wikipedia.org] non-profit status, trying to pass themselves off as a charity as they hawk their product to me.

    Overall, things have improved a great deal. My telemarketing calls have probably dropped by about 75% since this law was introduced. But I still get WAY more than I should be getting (which should be none). Until they close these loopholes, a landline is still a bit of a pain in the ass.

    Fortunately, both groups use computer autodialers which let me spot them very easily. If there is even the slightest pause after I say "Hello?" I know it's a telemarker (a normal person will respond immediately, an autodialer takes a little time to connect you with a live salesman). I've also found it helpful to always give my voicemail number at work as my "phone number" with any new company I do business with (telemarketers never leave messages).

    I have a cousin who actually LOVES to get telemarketing calls, though. He has found all kinds of creative ways to screw with them. He will try to keep them on the line as long as possible, encouraging them with lots of questions and feigned interest, only to tell them "No" at the end (time is money for telemarketers). He will ask them "Hey could you hang on just a minute?" then put the phone down and go watch TV. My personal favorite is when he responds to them with "EXCUSE ME, but I'm trying to masturbate here!"

    • by MrMunkey (1039894)
      I know for a fact that your first loophole does exist. The time limit is 18 months since the last time you contacted them that they can call you back. That also pertains to finishing any business you have with them as well. I used to work in the student loan industry, and it was really common for Freshmen to call and want to consolidate their loans for a lower interest rate. The problem with that was that they couldn't consolidate until they got out of school (graduated or otherwise). If they didn't cal
    • by swb (14022)

      The biggest problem I have anymore are totally automated systems that play a recorded message. I don't know why, but I get these more than anything else from all comers (lowlifes who really ought not be calling, charities, politicians, etc), and I thought they were illegal in Minnesota, too.

      What's even more irritating is that the people behind this technology have it mastered to leave a perfect message on your answering machine, and if you do pick up the phone there's no way to challenge them and tell them

    • by gnick (1211984) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:28PM (#24156713) Homepage

      You missed a loophole - My personal bane. I get calls regularly with a recorded message asking me if I'd like to save money on my credit card bills - Caller ID blocked & no identification on the line. The only options are to press '1' to indicate interest or hang up. I've pressed '1' twice. The first time, I asked repeatedly who I was talking to. At first, he told me that "I work for Mastercard and Visa". I pressed on because that's obviously BS. He eventually told me that he "worked for 250 different banks". When I asked who actually signed his checks, he hung up on me. The second time I clicked through, I pretended to have significant credit card debt that I wanted to finance but acted skeptical because of the Caller ID block and eventually got to a supervisor. After the "Visa and Mastercard" and "250 different banks" responses, he told me that he worked for American General Finance.

      Here's the rub, though. If they'd have called me, it would obviously be illegal. And whoever did call me was violating the Do Not Call rules. But by the time I got through to American General Finance, I had (by pressing '1') expressed an interest in doing business with them and they were kind enough to hang up on me when I made it clear that that was not the case. They won't tell me who they're contracting with making the illegal calls and frankly, I don't know how to find out.

      Very frustrating.

      • by Chyeld (713439)

        You can still report them, especially since I'm fairly certain the rules regarding recorded messages are that they must provide a clear manner of contacting them to be removed from their calling list in the message (i.e. a live phone number not a "press 1 to..."

      • by slash.duncan (1103465) on Friday July 11, 2008 @05:37PM (#24158521) Homepage

        I recently switched to VoIP here, and deliberately did /not/ transfer my old phone number. The VoIP provider has an (optional) service that sends anon CID calls to an answerer that asks them to dial a random set of numbers to prove they are human. If they don't, they don't get thru.

        Of course, as about all VoIP providers, they bundle CID (along with all sorts of other fancy stuff the former monopolists charge extra for) at no additional charge. When I upgraded to VoIP I took the opportunity to upgrade my home system as well, and got a "Speaking CallerID" setup. It's GREAT!! Where previously I had found CID almost useless and had therefore canceled it as it cost more, choosing instead to let everything go to answerer and I'd only answer it if I recognized the caller, now I get the announcement of who it is. Some still come up "Cell Phone ", but once I put them in the phone book it announces that name instead. After a few weeks, I was able to ignore anything generic as everyone I wanted to take calls from was already in its phone book and thus no longer generic.

        I've had the system for about a year now, and in that time, have only gotten three apparent phone-spammer calls. Those three were using automated dialers and faked CIDs, aaaa, bbbb and jjjj or some such (BTW, it can be rather "interesting" to hear the phone's interpretation of say, initials), to bypass the random number dial intelligence test. As I also have a phone-zapper (what was originally advertised for $50 I picked up at the dollar store), set to play the "disconnected tri-tone" error on answer (I tell anyone I /want/ to call to expect it), all I did was pickup and at the tone the other end immediately hung up -- it was a bot, as I said. That was a couple months ago so it was 10 months with ZERO phone-spammers, the three in quick succession, and another couple months without. Thus, the speaking CID hasn't been nearly as useful as I expected it to be, but it has still been worth it, as I don't even have to look to know who's calling, now.

        Since VoIP is actually competitive, prices only run about $20/mo (e911 and regulatory fees included, a bit more than that, $25-30, if paid month to month, a bit less, $15-20, if prepaid a year at a time, again including all the "extra" fees) including full US long distance coverage and all the other stuff the former monopolists want to charge an arm and a leg for, caller-id, three-way-calling, call-waiting, voice mail, etc. In fact, due to the competition, most providers add either even fancier features -- scheduled do-not-disturb, automated-wakeup-calls, the random-number-human-test thing I mentioned for no-CID calls above -- or limited international calling, sometimes including not only Canada but much of Western Europe in the same unlimited calling $20-ish/mo fee.

        Sure I have the occasional echo or dropout, but unlike the former monopolists or the cableco's phone offering, these guys actually know how to treat a customer, and because one can now shop nationwide or even worldwide for providers, they don't forget it either, or their customers today simply end up someone else's customers tomorrow! There's no way I'd go back!

        (FWIW, unlike Internet, I consider phone service including 911 service a luxury, and I keep e911 service altho it's not quite as direct now, so dropping the wired provider wasn't a problem. I've never had a cellphone as I've simply never been able to cost-justify the additional cost given my usage. Some may prefer keeping minimal measured-call service or the like, if they are uncomfortable losing the security of conventional 911 service.)

        I'm not going to say who my provider is as this isn't about selling them. There's several providers out there with similar offerings. Just do your research. FWIW, I started with the commercial VoIP provider listing at Wikipedia tho I ended up with someone not listed there. If you REALLY want to know who it is, post a request and I'll say, but you really SHOULD do at least some o

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by AeroIllini (726211)

      I have a cousin who actually LOVES to get telemarketing calls, though. He has found all kinds of creative ways to screw with them. He will try to keep them on the line as long as possible, encouraging them with lots of questions and feigned interest, only to tell them "No" at the end (time is money for telemarketers). He will ask them "Hey could you hang on just a minute?" then put the phone down and go watch TV. My personal favorite is when he responds to them with "EXCUSE ME, but I'm trying to masturbate here!"

      And all over the world, poor schmucks who are paying their way through graduate school by working as telemarketers get great stories to tell their buddies at the pub.

      He's doing them a service!

  • by panaceaa (205396) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:04PM (#24156313) Homepage Journal

    Who are the 30% of people who don't approve of the Do Not Call list? The telemarketing industry is not that big. I don't think 30% of people are adamant enough to say that all telemarketing should be illegal, therefore they disapprove Do Not Call list: These people would probably be happy that there's something helping out. One statistic in the article showed that only 18% of respondents who placed themselves on the Do Not Call list now receive zero telemarketing calls, so maybe people don't feel the list is effective enough. But only 9% of respondents claimed no reduction in calls; 91% said the Do Not Call list reduced telemarketing calls. Yet these people still don't approve? I don't get it.

    • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:13PM (#24156465) Homepage Journal

      Maybe they just think it needs to be better.

    • Another reason people might disapprove is that the Do Not Call list preempted state laws that let the person called sue for a nontrivial chunk of change. The federal law only allows the fed to fine and sue. Then the fed gets the money and the callee only gets more aggravation.

    • What do you mean just 70%?!

      I think that we should toss out congress and put these guys in because they do the Right Thing(TM) AND the people love 'em. Ironically, stopping those annoying policital telemarketers would be enough to get the FTC/DNC into the oval office!
    • by Thelasko (1196535)

      Who are the 30% of people who don't approve of the Do Not Call list?

      Invalids who realized they now have no one to talk to.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      I disapprove because it doesn't work well enough. There are too many loopholes.

    • by Sloppy (14984)

      When someone asks you a question about a complex thing and ridiculously demands a black-and-white answer (approve vs disapprove), that black-and-white answer isn't going to make sense.

      Maybe a shockingly-low 30% of the people polled, thought telemarketing ought to be opt-in, for example. These people prefer a DNC list to the former situation and acknowledge that they are getting less spam now, but think that having a Yes Please Spam Me list instead, would be so much better, that they can't honestly say the

  • by the_macman (874383) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:06PM (#24156351)
    My gf worked for a telemarketer for 1 week before she quit out of frustration. They used a computer system that had thousands of scripted responses for any reason imaginable a person would use to reject an offer. The phone numbers were automatically dialed by the computer and when a number popped up that was on the DNC list you got a warning message on your screen. Of course everyone was told to ignore the message and make the call anyways. We later reported them to the police.

    Tele marketers can choose to ignore the DNC list.
    • by Madball (1319269) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:10PM (#24156421)

      My gf worked for a telemarketer for 1 week before she quit out of frustration. They used a computer system that had thousands of scripted responses for any reason imaginable a person would use to reject an offer. The phone numbers were automatically dialed by the computer and when a number popped up that was on the DNC list you got a warning message on your screen. Of course everyone was told to ignore the message and make the call anyways. We later reported them to the police. Tele marketers can choose to ignore the DNC list.

      And I can choose to ignore stop signs, drug laws, et cetera. It doesn't make the law/list BS (which it may or may not be). The question is how effective is the policing of it--there are no cops waiting by your phone, so the onus is on you to report any violations.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Madball (1319269)
        Correction. The cops are eavesdropping, but they work for the NSA and they don't give a damn about the DNC List :P
      • by Bombula (670389)
        The question is how effective is the policing of it--there are no cops waiting by your phone, so the onus is on you to report any violations.

        .

        Yeah, but that's a pretty lame attitude by most people's standards and that's why we have statute law and regulatory law with criminal code instead of just civil cases where someone has to actually complain in order for something to be judged wrong.

        There's also a solution here that should be the responsibility of the folks who make it all possible (namely, the telco

  • by vorlich (972710) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:14PM (#24156489) Homepage Journal
    Put the television up rather loud, let them talk all the way through their script, agree that all the offers are very tempting (ahu, ahu) and then when you get an opportunity to ask a question, just say: "Do you think I will be able to get social security to pay for that?" ....buuuuurrr!
  • by Madball (1319269) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:16PM (#24156533)

    1. Cost onus is on the callers (i.e. I don't have to pay some fee to put my name on the list--the telemarketers have to pay to get it or risk breaking the law).

    2. I have no idea what the costs associated with running the lists are, but 21M for 1 year in fees sounds pretty good. A government program that doesn't waste a lot of money--hallelujah.

    3. It has the desired effect. 91% with decreased unwanted calls.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Decreased, but not eliminated. I get more phone spam than I do valid calls. Mainly because all I use my phone for is ordering Chinese food, but still.

  • All I have is a cell phone, no home phone.

    If I don't know the number I don't pick it up...If it's important they will leave a message.

  • The DNC list is the wrong solution to the problem. If you are unhappy with the number of telemarketer calls, you should be complaining to your service provider. Make it their duty to filter the calls coming to you, using whatever technology they desire. If they fail in that regard, switch to a service provider that will make it happen for you.

    We should in general avoid a "National _____ List" whenever possible. Besides the rights violations that come with government-backed compulsion, there is also the
    • by Chyeld (713439)

      Right, and by your nick I assume you live in magical fairy land where there are more than one phone companies that can supply POTS? Cause you see, here in the US we happen to have one company per area that is allowed to supply land lines. Or one company and a bunch of twits who will happily bill you to act as a go-between for you and that one company.

      PS. The entire "personal" information provided by the DNC is your phone number, not exactly an exploitable source of information when the whole system is numbe

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        "Cause you see, here in the US we happen to have one company per area that is allowed to supply land lines."

        You've only identified the problem all the more clearly. Government restriction. Get rid of the restriction on the number of telephone companies in an area, and maybe you'll get some choice. Your argument, as it stands now, is basically "the government doesn't give me any choice, so it shouldn't give anyone else a choice either." In other words, you are accepting the status quo in defense of the st
        • by Chyeld (713439)

          You've only identified the problem all the more clearly. Government restriction. Get rid of the restriction on the number of telephone companies in an area, and maybe you'll get some choice. Your argument, as it stands now, is basically "the government doesn't give me any choice, so it shouldn't give anyone else a choice either." In other words, you are accepting the status quo in defense of the status quo.

          No my argument is that for many things that are considered public services, such as phone lines, elec

  • Shameful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BCW2 (168187) on Friday July 11, 2008 @04:00PM (#24157161) Journal
    Congress should be ashamed that this is most highly thought of and effective law passed in the last 30 years!
  • by Stormy Dragon (800799) on Friday July 11, 2008 @05:39PM (#24158529) Homepage
    Before the DNC list was even established, I was on the Direct Marketing Association's do not call list. And it worked great; no one ever bothered me. Then the DNC law was passed and DMA terminate their list and I signed up for the new federal one.

    Suddenly I started getting all kinds of calls. From charities, pollsters, and ESPECIALLY political groups -- all of whom are exempt from the law. It got so annoying that when it came time to renew my DNC registration, I decided to let my name fall off.

    And since then the calls have mostly stopped. That's right, being on the DNC list actually increased the number of annoying calls I got. All this law does is spend taxpayer dollars to build a huge database of phone numbers that political groups can use for fundraising purposes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by truesaer (135079)

      Names don't "fall off" the DNC list. That was the original plan but the FCC decided that registrations would never expire when the first deadline to re-register approached. So you remain on the list.

  • Horseshit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by macdaddy (38372) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @01:31AM (#24162081) Homepage Journal
    What a load of horseshit. The DNC list didn't even make a dent in the number of marketing calls that I get. If anything the load has increased many fold since its implementation. I get more calls than ever. Frankly I think the DNC list is being used like unsubscribe forms are for spammers. Every single sales calls I get I always tell the person that they called a number on the DNS, ask for their company name, physical address of the company, and their employee ID information. About 9 out of 10 times they hang up on me at that point. The DNC is feel-good worthless political horseshit. It's the typical kind of crap that comes out of Washington. The best answer to sales calls is an answering and caller-ID. Don't recognize the # then don't answer the phone. Let it go to VM and listen to it then. Other than that simply hang up on them. Forget about being rude. They're less than honest by calling a # that's on the DNC. The need to get a real job and leave us the hell alone. Hang up on them. Don't argue. Just hang up.
  • by cretog8 (144589) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @05:00AM (#24162861)

    The DNC list worked wonderfully for me for a bit more than a year. Now, I average about two spam calls per day. I can try to complain, but first I have to get the spammers to identify themselves, which for some reason they aren't eager to do.

    When I sent an email to the feds (using the link at the site) asking them what to do when I couldn't get the phone # or company name, it took them a month to respond with a form email which didn't say anything about my question.

    No glowing review here.

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