At the end of October, 2016, there were 226,174,564 numbers on the Federal Government’s National Do Not Call List. That’s about two phone numbers per 124 million households in the USA. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has certainly done a great job getting people to put their phone numbers on this list, but what does it mean?
Based on these figures, you could easily conclude a high percentage of people are having issues with unwanted calls and consequently, should be protected from receiving them. So why is it that so many unwanted calls are still being received on everyone’s phones, including those numbers registered on the National Do Not Call List?
There are a few reasons, but the simplest one is that a true National “Do Not Call” List has never existed.
It was inaccurately named from the start. The National Do Not Call list was designed and implemented as a Do Not Solicit list. The list was meant to be used as a tool primarily to prevent legitimate telemarketing companies from calling non-customers that were on this list for the purpose of selling them a product or service.
However, most consumers were not properly educated about what this list was and were understandably confused. They assumed that “Do Not Call” meant Do Not Call me if I am on this list. Consequently, they were more annoyed than ever when unwanted calls continued to the very numbers placed on the National Do Not Call list.
Additionally, there are numerous exemptions to the National Do Not Call List. These include political calls, nonprofit fundraisers, anyone not selling a product or service, pollsters and companies where there has been a prior business relationship.
To further add to the confusion, subsequent laws surrounding the use of the list and who could call which numbers, when and how, became about as complicated as the tax code.
Legitimate companies experienced great difficulty and expense trying to understand all the changing laws in an effort to be legally compliant. At the same time, the tele-criminals disregarded the laws and the National Do Not Call List altogether.
Consumers have justifiably become frustrated, angry and confused because they simply don’t know if anyone calling them is legitimate. This has set off a flurry of complaints and costly legal battles by consumers, often over what were legitimate, albeit annoying calls. The government now receives so many millions of complaints each year, they have come to realize that something more needs to be done immediately.
One of their recent recommendations, which I fully support, is for the government and phone providers to find ways to better inform and educate the public about the seriousness and potential dangers of RoboCalls, along with definitive things consumers can do to diminish or defeat all RoboCalls to better protect their privacy.
While the National Do Not Call List does lower the amount of unwanted calls, it does not alleviate all of them.
Prevent telemarketers from connecting to your phone.
Protect yourself and your family from telephone scams.
Get your number REMOVED from call lists.
Take back control of your phone.
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