Wednesday, December 5, 2007

How to Stop Telemarketers

You have finally gotten the baby to sleep and you sit down to dinner, which you find is cold because it took so long to get your infant to finally go down for the night. You warm your dinner again and, just as you sit down, the phone rings. The baby wakes and on your way to get her from the crib, you answer the phone, only to find that someone wants to give you a no-obligation quote on auto insurance.

At best, telemarketers are annoying. They always seem to call at the most inappropriate times and they can be difficult to get away from. And while your first impulse may be to simply hang up or say “I’m not interested,” that is generally not the best way to go about it if you want to stop telemarketers from calling your home the next time.

Your first step for stopping telemarketers is to join the National Do Not Call Registry with a quick visit to This registry is managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and allows you to place your home number and personal wireless numbers on the national Do Not Call list for free. Once your number appears in this registry (typically the day following your request to join), telemarketers have 31 days to stop calling you. If they don’t stop calling, you can file a complaint directly on the website.

This simple, 30-second task will greatly reduce the number of phone calls you receive, and your registration is effective for five years. However, the registry will not stop calls from political organizations or charities, nor will it stop telephone surveyors (unless their true motivation in calling you is to sell you a product.) The registry will also not stop calls from those companies you already do business with. You have to stop these telemarketing calls yourself.

As mentioned, your first instinct may be to hang up or say “I’m not interested,” but, if you do, your phone number will simply be put back on the list and you will be called again and again.

When you receive these kinds of calls, make sure to state very clearly that you would like to be added to the organization’s Do Not Call list. And then keep a record of those companies or organizations. The law does not require non-profits to keep these do-not-call lists, but you can state your wishes, and if you are met with a rebuttal, ask to speak to the supervisor. Your goal is to remain firm but calm and to proceed until you talk with someone who can assure you that you will not be called again. If the organization feels that they will lose your contributions or support if they do not cease calling, they will tend to comply.

Jamie Jefferson writes for, and where you’ll find hand-selected online coupons, coupon codes and travel discounts.

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