The Do Not Call Registry: Cell phones and home phone

We’ve all had them, the calls that come just as you’re sitting down for dinner. On the other end of the phone is some telemarketer trying to sell you something or solicit donations, or even worse, it’s one of those automated calls that are computer generated which are incredibly annoying. Over the past couple years we’ve heard of the “Do Not Call Registry”; however, many consumers are not quite sure what it is and what is required to register a phone number to it.

The National Do Not Call Registry is exactly that. It is a registry established by the federal government in which citizens register their home number where telemarketers are to refrain from calling your number. If they violate this the consumer can file a complaint on the National Do Not Call Registry website. Registering your home number, will stop most, but not all telemarketing calls.

For those interested in having their number included in the registry, the process is fairly simple. You can register online at www.donotcall.gov or phone their toll free line at 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-290-4236). If you choose to phone, you must place that call from the number you want to register. Registration is free.  For more information about the service, visit www.ftc.gov/donotcall.

There have been rumors circulating the internet, mostly from forwarded e-mails dating back to 2004 that cell phones need to be registered as well. Although the do not call registry will accept cell phone numbers, it is not necessary to do so.  The idea that your cell phone would become vulnerable to telemarketers came about several years ago when a plan for the establishment of a wireless 411 directory was announced. This directory was never established, and at this time there have been no propositions to move forward with it.