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Springville Journal editorial: Stop calling me!

SPRINGVILLE — Have you registered your telephone number with the National Do Not Call Registry? Can you now sit back and enjoy peaceful evenings, free of intrusive telemarketing calls and pushy survey-takers? Think that placing your phone number on the United States Federal Trade Commission’s registry will ban all unwanted calls from your phone? Think again.

I was recently surprised to receive a phone call – on my cell phone, no less – from a bank I had done business with, in the past, offering me a members-only credit card. Frustrated, I asked the caller to stop offering me things I hadn’t asked for and hung up, confused as to why I was receiving this type of solicitation.

Much to my surprise, the National Do Not Call Registry does not apply to every type of solicitation call and has many loopholes different organizations probably find very convenient.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, while telemarketers must remove numbers covered by the registry within 31 days of the numbers’ being registered, several exceptions are still offered.

Political organizations, not-for-profits, those conducting surveys and companies people have done business with within the past 18 months still have free reign to call land lines, whenever they wish. According to the FCC, “Telemarketing to cell phone numbers has always been illegal, in most cases, and will continue to be so.” In addition, unsolicited faxes are also prohibited.

I may be alone in this sentiment, but I would say that the not-for-profits’ asking for money, individuals’ begging me to take a survey or recorded politicians’ voices pleading for my vote tend to be even more intrusive than the odd telemarketing call. I contend that these unsolicited calls are not only ineffective – who actually listens to them all the way through or agrees to take a survey? – but that they should also fall under my right to ban. My phone, my property. There should be no exceptions.

Legislation to this registry continues to improve, so contacting leaders to increase our protection can be very beneficial. The group Citizens for Civil Discourse is asking political figures to take a “do not contact pledge” and agree to cease stop calling constituents at home. For more information about this endeavor, visit www.stoppoliticalcalls.org.

To place your phone number on the Do Not Call Registry, call, toll-free, 1-888-382-1222 from the telephone you wish to register, or visit www.donotcall.gov. Even though organizations should not be calling your cell phone, you may also register that device, for added protection.
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