I was talking to a friend about junk mail and telemarketers and thusly how annoying both were, when I remembered something I discovered back in 2007. There is a website called the 'National Do Not Call Registry'. And it is the easiest way to stop getting aggravating phone calls around dinner asking you to buy the latest in elephant deterent technology or some such nonsense. Personally, I kept getting calls that wanted me to sign up for online degrees and classes. I would tell the telemarketer that I already had a degree from an accredited school, not a joke, and that always seemed to fluster them. But half an hour later, I would get another call or three from the same online 'university'.
So I thought, "let's fight fire with fire," and went online to see if I could stop the phone calls. Lo and behold, I uncovered a little gem that I want you to have. It is donotcall.gov and it is totally free.
Yes! It is possible! It is a federal government program that is free! No cost to you except the five minutes it takes to fill out the simple form. You can register three phone numbers at a time and it doesn't matter if the numbers are cell phones or land lines. There is a limit to the total number of phone lines you can put on the registry, but most people don't have more than 2 personal lines, so it shouldn't be a problem. You shouldn't, however, register other people's phone numbers for them.
After you receive the confirmation email and finalize the process (per number that you register; each is seperate), companies that are also registered with the National List have 31 days to take those numbers off the list. Now for the nitty-gritty on why this doesn't work with all telemarketers. If you have already bought something from a telemarketing company, you have entered a 'business relationship' and they legally can call you for 18 months after your transaction. The transaction can be the last payment received, the last purchase date, or the shipping date. You can stop those phone calls by requesting to be put on the company's own 'do not call list'. If they don't comply. they can be charged with up to $16000 in federal fines.
Be careful; a business relationship is started even if you call a company to ask a question. If no money, goods, or services were exchanged, they legally can call you for three months after you contacted them. Again, you can stop the solicitations by requesting to be put on that company's don't call list. For more information about what qualifies as a telemarketing call and what doesn't, click here.
Happy telemarketer hunting. I hope it provides you with peace and quiet after work.