I recently met a couple who had just moved to Michigan. They were telling me some of the issues they had in relocating, such as healthcare and insurance – both health and property. During our conversation, we somehow began discussing phones and phone services. They mentioned that they had a new phone number with a 248 exchange but their cell phone numbers stayed the same. When they mentioned their new phone number, I then asked them if they had registered their new phone number on the government’s Do Not Call List. They basically said that with all the other issues that they have been dealing with, they never even thought about the Do Not Call List. That is understandable, and with life complexities, many people forget about the Do Not Call List. However, it is important and something that we should consider.
The Do Not Call List was established by the Federal government through the Federal Trade Commission as a way to reduce or eliminate the amount of telemarketing calls that we all receive. The list does not prevent all unwanted calls as like every other government rule, there are exceptions to it. With the Do Not Call List, the exception is charitable organizations, debt collectors, informational calls, telephone surveys and something that should not surprise any of us, political solicitations. The Do Not Call List may not be perfect but it does a good job of reducing unwanted telephone solicitations. Therefore, I recommend that the great majority of people register.
There seems to be some misunderstanding when it comes to the Do Not Call List with regards to cell phones. Even though the laws are different regarding the rules for telephone solicitations, you can register your cell phone number. There is not a separate Do Not Call List for cell phones, it is the same list. Like for land line phones there is requirement that you re-register every few years. You remain on the list till you remove your number.
Unlike some government websites, such as the ones established for healthcare, which are very complex and all too often have been frustrating to deal with, the Do Not Call List is the exact opposite. It is easy, it is simple and anyone can do it. All you need to do is go to www.donotcall.gov. This is the official government website that handles the Do Not Call List. Don’t get confused by other websites; this is the one and only website that is sanctioned by the government.
Despite being on the Do Not Call List, you can receive unsolicited telemarketing calls. Let’s face facts, many of these telemarketers are operating outside the boundaries of our country and thus, they’re not subject to our laws. My best advice is that if you see a call on your caller ID that you do not recognize, do not take the call. If it is legitimate they’ll leave a message that you can always call back. However, all too often it’s going to be a scam artist and there’s no reason to even open the door. If you unknowingly take the call and as soon as you hear that it’s a telemarketer, hang up. I know this may sound rude, but who cares. The bottom line is to protect yourself and sometimes you have to be a little forceful.