How to Avoid Phone Solicitations
Everyone hates to rush to the phone only to find out that the call is from a telemarketer. Given the widespread interest in reducing the volume of unwanted calls, this month’s column will show you how.
The National Do Not Call Registry
Adding your home and/or cell phone to the National Do Not call Registry managed by the Federal Trade Commission is the first step in avoiding telemarketing calls. To register, either call (888) 382-1222 or log on to www.donotcall.gov. It’s a fast and easy process and once registered, there is no need to re-register the same phone number again, ever. The phone number will be added to the registry the next day and telemarketers have 31 days to stop calling that number.
Pennsylvania Do Not Call Registry
As an added measure, be sure to register with the Pennsylvania Do Not Call Registry, which is managed by the PA Attorney General. To enroll, call the Attorney General’s hotline at (888) 777-3406 or visit AttorneyGeneral.gov. On the website, the information is located under the Consumer tab. The registry is updated once a quarter, so it may take up to 120 days to take effect.
Although both the national and PA registries will prevent calls from telemarketers, they will not stop calls from charities and political organizations. If you prefer that a charity not call you, then politely ask to be placed on their “not call list”.
Be careful in providing your phone number to a business, because the Do Not Call Registry does not ban telemarketing calls from businesses once the consumer has provided the information to the company. If you need to provide the company with a phone number for an order or delivery, you can request that they do not call you for any other reason.
Although there are some calls that you just can’t prevent, such as calls from political organizations, Caller ID can help you to screen out such calls. Many phone plans now include Caller ID as part of a monthly service package. The option to purchase the service separately is generally about $4-6 per month, which may be well worth the expense. Once you sign up, you may find that Caller ID is a very useful tool.
By: Jacky Kennedy Sisson
Surrey’s Daily Money Manager