Every time your phone rings, you expect it to be from your loved ones, your office or your friends. Your worst nightmare blows up on your face when you realize that the call you so hurriedly rushed to pick up is from a call center trying to sell you something you didn’t want or need.
Calls about some health insurance or a text message offering monetary compensation for an injury you hadn’t even suffered. If you feel that these callings are causing considerable distress and anxiety to you, it’s time for you to take charge of your phone calls, and decide “who can” or “who can’t” call you. Hope these will take some anxiety lines off your head.
For starters, telephone solicitation is a phone call that acts as an advertisement. However, some phone solicitations are permissible under FCC rules, including, calls or messages placed with your express prior permission, by or on behalf of a tax-exempt non-profit organization. Nowadays, having an established business relationship no longer meets the rules for permissible unsolicited calls to your phone.
Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the FCC has rules in effect that address unsolicited marketing calls – including those using automated and prerecorded messages. Under current FCC rules:
- Anyone making a solicitation call to you must provide his or her name, the name of the person or entity on whose behalf the call is being made, and a telephone number or address at which that person or entity can be contacted.
- Solicitation calls are prohibited before 8 am or after 9 pm.
- Telemarketers must comply immediately with any do-not-call request you make during a solicitation call.
In 2003, in an effort to increase consumer protection, the FCC helped establish the national Do-Not-Call list with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). National Do-Not-Call list protects home voice or personal wireless phone numbers only. Also, many states now have statewide do-not-call lists as well. Once you have placed your phone number or numbers on the list, callers are prohibited from making telephone solicitations to those number(s). Your number(s) will remain on the list until you remove them or discontinue service – there is no need to re-register numbers.
You can register your phone number(s) by phone or by Internet at no cost. Telemarketers will have up to 31 days from the date that you register your telephone number to remove your number it from their call lists and stop calling you.
However, all this is about taking a proactive approach to keep such call at bay. What is, you receive such calls, in spite of all this? If you receive a solicitation call that you think violates any of the FCC rules, you can file a complaint with the FCC. The FCC can issue warning citations and impose fines against companies violating or suspected of violating the do-not-call rules, but does not award individual damages.