Does the Do Not Call list work in NJ? How to stop annoying telemarketers
If it seems like you’re getting hounded more and more by annoying telemarketer calls, even though you’re already on the Do Not Call list, you’re right.
Even the man in charge of the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registry isn't spared.
"I get them on my home phone, I get them on my cell phone," program coordinator Bikram Bandy told New Jersey 101.5. "Sometimes when I do get the calls I do inform callers they have called the FTC’s Do Not Call program coordinator, usually they do hang up pretty quickly.”
Bandy says technology has made it easier for telemarketers.
"Particularly the internet being connected to the phone system has made it very easy for the people that are perpetrating these calls to make more calls, to make them cheaply and to make them from anywhere in the world,” he said.
Bandy also pointed out the technology they’re using makes it very different for law enforcement to track them down .
So is it a waste of time to put your number on the Do Not Call Registry? Bandy insisted the answer is no.
“Despite the fact that people are seeing more calls, it is important to note there are a lot of companies that do follow the law, they comply with the law,” he said. “So by signing up, you will get fewer calls in the long run.”
A total of 217 million American are on the Do Not Call registry, with 222 separate million phone numbers currently on the list.
About 7.1 million New Jersey residents have signed up for Do Not Call.
He pointed out the FTC has received a large number of complaints lately from people living in deregulated energy states about energy providers hounding them to try and get them to switch utility companies.
“Our advice to consumers is just to hang up, don’t press 1 to talk to a live operator, don’t press 9 to supposedly opt out,” he said. “This company is already blatantly violating the law, so there’s no reason to hope they’re going to respect your request to not be called again.”
People who do start pressing buttons to try and opt out of these calls in fact wind up getting more robocalls, he says, because the telemarketer companies have tracking software that is part of the technology that blasts out the calls, and pressing buttons tells them you are there, you’re not a fax line or an unassigned line, and you will be included in the next annoying robocalls campaign that’s launched.
If it’s a live telemarketer call, he said you should ask them not to call you again.
Bandy says robocalls are “a huge problem, and we’re working with authorities overseas to see if they can help us shut down some of these operations, but it’s a difficult problem to solve..”
He suggests Nomorobo, a telemarketer spam filter that analyses incoming calls and determines whether they’re likely robocalls or not and then blocks them from ringing through.
If you want to join the Do Not Call registry, or make sure you’re already on the list, visit DoNotCall.gov. Cellphone numbers are included.