Correcting Fake Rumors Over Cell Phone Telemarketing Calls
Rumors are rampant on the internet right now about the fact that cell phone numbers will be sold to telemarketers which could result in charges to cell users. This can’t be farther from the truth. According to the FCC telemarketing calls to wireless phones is and always has been illegal. The confusion stems from the proposal to establish a 411 phone directory for wireless telephone numbers, but this is only in the planning stages.
Email and news reports immediately surfaced after the proposal were suggested connecting the new directory with its access to telemarketers who often use autodialers in order to contact would-be targets. According to the 1991 the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the establishment of the National Do Not Call Registry which is monitored by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2003, the use of autodialers and pre-recorded messages for this purpose was made illegal. Additionally, listing a cell phone number on the national “do not call list” is not necessary since the federal government does not maintain a separate list for cell phone users, but if individuals want to they can.
Here’s what you really need to know. You can, if you have received a call on your cell phone, register with the “do not call list” online at www.donotcall.gov or by calling toll free to 1-888-382-1222. Calls should stop within 30 days and there is no deadline, unlike has been reported. Additionally, there is no need to continue registering as, once on the list, the number stays there until it is canceled or the service is discontinued.
If unwanted calls continue, this is a violation of the rights of privacy and a complaint should be filed with the FCC. There is no charge for filing a complaint and it can be completed online at support.fcc.gov/complaints.htm. Additionally, complaints can be filed by emailing the FCC Consumer Center at [email protected], calling 1-888-225-5322, or faxing a written request to 1-888-418-0232. It should also be noted that you have the right to be financially compensated for harassment in the amount of $500 per violation. This sends a power message to telemarketers.
The FCC needs specific information in order to stop harassing telemarketing calls in order to track down the violator and take action. Your complaint must include your name, address, email, phone number, and whether the number is listed on the “do not call list.” The date and time of the call is also important along with the intent of the call. This might include whether it advertised or sold any property, goods, or services. It really helps if the number of the company is included. On cell phones this is easy to find as the number of callers is listed in memory for some time along with the date, time, and length of call.
Many people fail to understand that if anyone else in the household uses the phone and gave permission for the company to call or had previous business with the company, this can negate the effects of the law. However, if the company contacted you previously and was specifically told “not” to call, the law still applies.
It’s important not to believe everything you read, especially if it comes from the Internet. Many articles and emails are written by people sitting in their kitchens with nothing better to do than to agitate others and few, who have the best interest of others at heart, do very little research. Whenever a rumor surfaces that you feel may impact you directly, don’t be afraid to go to governmental sites like the FCC or FTC in order to find out the truth then spread the word. You’ll be thanked for putting false rumors to rest.