By GalTime Consumer Watchdog Mary Schwager
Do Not Call important news for consumers
Breaking news, but not shocking news if you've answered your phone lately: A brand new report from the Federal Trade Commission shows complaints about companies violating the Do Not Call List have reached an all time high! In fiscal year 2012 there were more than 3.8 million complaints filed with the FTC. That's a steep jump from the FTC's 2011 tally of 2.2 million complaints!
The report which is hot off the presses, is pretty neat. It has a breakdown of complaints by state and even by area code. You can check to see if your area is getting hit by illegal telemarketers. The area code with the highest number of Do Not Call List complaints from the past four years? Home sweet home for this author--- it's Chicagoland area code "847" with 127,627 complaints.
How do the states compare?
The states with the highest number of complaints in fiscal year 2012:
The states with the lowest number of complaints in fiscal year 2012:
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If you hate getting those terrible calls where you answer and hear, "Pause, pause, pause... Hello, we have an important message for you…" so do many Americans! The report shows about 61% of complaints are about those dreaded and annoying recorded messages. But here's what's frustrating, especially since we're in the midst of political season: Political ROBOCALLS are EXEMPT from the Do Not Call List. Gotta love that politicians wrote themselves a nice little exemption when they created the law. So when you get dozens of calls and recordings this month saying, "I hope you'll join me in getting out and voting in November" that's actually OKAY.
It's also okay for a company you may have somehow, even if you didn't realize it, given permission to contact you to call. Sometimes it happens when you sign up for new credit card, or store agreement. Buried in the fine print the disclosure may say "It's okay for our company or affiliates to call you…"
Since the inception of the Do Not Call List in 2003, the number of numbers added to it have increased each year now adding up to 217 million registrations. That's a lot of people saying they do NOT want to be bothered. Take note telemarketers! If you want to add a work, home or cell phone number, here's where to sign up. Remember it's FREE to add your number to the Do Not Call List. Don't ever fall for a scam asking you to pay to be on the list.
If you think you have a legit complaint about a telemarketer who's violating the Do Not Call List, document the heck out of it and report it to the FTC. The agency has been cracking down on this illegally dialing.
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