Do Not Call Lists

50 Something Article

Do you enjoy quiet dinners at home with the family? Maybe a couple hours of television or a good book in the evening (or the latest issue of 50 Something Magazine)? But then the telephone rings. And rings again. If you don't have a teenager at home, you may still be plagued by unwanted and unsolicited telephone calls from those darn telemarketers. Recently, cell phone numbers have become available to telemarketing too! There seems to be no peace from the dreaded ring RING RING.

If you have not yet done so, you need to sign up for the national "Do Not Call" list. The Federal Trade Commission provides the service and there are more than 100 million home and cell phone numbers already registered. If you're one of those who have not yet put your home phone and cell phone numbers on the list, sign up at, or you may call 1-888-382-1222. Once signed up, you'll remain listed for five years. The list really does work!

But beware, the rings may not be completely silenced. Unfortunately, the law exempts certain callers. For example, a number of businesses can still call you. These include banks, federal credit unions, federal savings and loans, long distance telephone companies, and airlines. Additionally, a telemarketer may call you on behalf of a company with which you have an "established business relationship," unless you have specifically asked that particular company not to call. Plus, telemarketers can still call for a survey, as long as they're not also trying to sell you something.

Have you received calls from charities? Who hasn't? As you may guess, charities are exempt from the "Do Not Call" rules. Charities often have professional telemarketers make calls for them. These telemarketers are not covered by the national "Do Not Call" registry, but have to maintain their own "Do Not Call" list. If you request not to be called on behalf of any particular charity(ies), the telemarketer must honor your request. So in many cases you can stop unwanted calls from charities.

One more important exception to the "Do Not Call" rules: When our government officials set the rules, they exempted telemarketing calls on behalf of... .politicians! Who would have thought that!

Violations of the "Do Not Call" rules generally are subject to an $11,000 fine. Each call may be considered a separate violation. If your name has been on the "Do Not Call" registry for at least 31 days and you get a telemarketing call that you believe violates the rules, you may file a complaint at, or by calling 1-888-382-1222. You'll need to provide the name or place of the company that called you, and the date.

Be sure to sign up for the Do Not Call list and complain if the calls still come. The only way we can stop the ringing and have the peace and quiet we are entitled to is to make some NOISE!