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Americans flock to register with anti-telemarketing do-not-call list
AP via Sun Media ^ | David Ho

Posted on 06/28/2003 3:37:53 AM PDT by Clive

WASHINGTON (AP) - Public frustration with telemarketers erupted Friday as Americans hurried to sign up for a new national do-not-call list, registering about 635,000 telephone numbers in the program's first 14 hours.

Registration opened just after midnight. As of noon Friday, the program's Web site was being visited 1,000 times every second, according to the Federal Trade Commission, which operates the registry. "Unwanted telemarketing calls are intrusive, they are annoying, and they're all too common," President George W. Bush said as he formally launched the list at a White House ceremony.

"We're taking practical action to address this problem."

Consumers can register their home or cellphone numbers with the free government service by visiting the Web site Telephone registration using a toll-free number - 1-888-382-1222 - will operate nationwide by July 7, the FTC said.

Slightly more than half of the numbers registered by Friday afternoon were done by phone, the FTC said.

The Web site was responding slowly because of "extraordinary amounts of traffic," the FTC said. The commission was scrambling to add more computer equipment to handle the load.

"Consumers do not need to sign up today," the agency said in a statement.

People who sign up this summer should see a decrease in telemarketing calls after the FTC begins enforcing the list on Oct. 1. The service will block about 80 per cent of the calls, the FTC said.

On the Web site, consumers provide the numbers they want protected and an e-mail address to receive a confirmation message. The site also lets them verify that a number is registered or remove a number.

Consumers using the toll-free number must call from the telephone number they want registered.

The commission expects up to 60 million phone numbers to be registered in the first year.

Registrations must be renewed every five years.

Telemarketers attempt up to 104 million calls in the United States every day, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

The industry has said the registry will devastate its business and has sued the FTC, saying the program is an unlawful restriction on free speech.

The do-not-call initiative has provoked sharp concern among telemarketers in Canada - particularly in Atlantic Canada, where call centres making cross-border pitches have been a major growth industry.

Although Canada has no similar government registry, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has been studying the issue for two years and plans to announce new measures sometime this year.

The Federal Communications Commission voted 5-0 Thursday to add its authority to the U.S. do-not-call list, blocking telemarketing calls from within a state - the FTC could only police interstate calls - and from industries whose calls the agency regulates, including airlines, banks and telephone companies.

Beginning in September, telemarketers will have to check the list every three months to see who doesn't want to be called. Those who pester listed people could be fined $11,000 for each violation. Consumers would file complaints to an automated phone or online system.

Exemptions from the do-not-call requirement include calls from charities, pollsters and politicians.

Registered consumers also can give permission to get calls from certain companies. And a company may call someone on the no-call list if that person has bought, leased or rented from the company in the past 18 months. Telemarketers also may call people who have inquired about or applied for something from the company during the past three months.

Consumers can avoid those calls by asking to be put on an individual company's do-not-call list.

Congress authorized the FTC to collect up to $18.1 million from telemarketers to pay the program's expenses in the first year.

TOPICS: Business/Economy

1 posted on 06/28/2003 3:37:54 AM PDT by Clive
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To: Clive
I signed up about four hours ago, and they said they had to confirm it with an email to my email address which should come in a "few minutes." Still waiting.

You're not really registered till you can confirm with the code to be sent in the email.

2 posted on 06/28/2003 3:46:36 AM PDT by patriciaruth
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To: Clive
The industry has said the registry will devastate its business and has sued the FTC, saying the program is an unlawful restriction on free speech.

Typical spammer speak. The Courts have already ruled that the First Amendment does not furnish any rights to free or cheap advertising, or any rights for commercial "speech".

My heart is warmed by the 1000 hit-per-second responses to the web site. It shows the revulsion the Public has for these vermin.

As for the cross-border Canadian boiler room operations that have annoyed me with all manner of investment scams, etc., they can go get jobs in a lumber camp where they belong. Why?

"Americans-I hate those bastards".


Never call me.

3 posted on 06/28/2003 3:48:20 AM PDT by Gorzaloon (Contents may have settled during shipping, but this tagline contains the stated product weight.)
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To: patriciaruth
I just registered and the e-mail to confirm came within a minute.
4 posted on 06/28/2003 3:55:33 AM PDT by Catspaw
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To: Gorzaloon
Do we know if the Do Not Call list also apply to the boiler plates out of India and other foreign countries?
5 posted on 06/28/2003 4:08:05 AM PDT by GailA (Millington Rally for America after action
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To: patriciaruth
I registered a few minutes ago and received my confirmation immediately.
6 posted on 06/28/2003 4:13:50 AM PDT by sneakers
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To: patriciaruth
It took about 2 hours for the Email to come when I did mine yesterday (Friday).
7 posted on 06/28/2003 4:27:01 AM PDT by DB (©)
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To: DB
In the old days of step-by-step electromechanical switchrooms, (up to 1970s) one man I knew would reply:
"Just a minute..." and then place the mouthpiece on his desk, leaving the room, and the caller trapped, unable to make further calls, because the equipment of that era did not disconnect on "one-party-back-on-hook" condition.

8 posted on 06/28/2003 4:41:02 AM PDT by Psalm118
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To: Clive
Did you hear that there is a carpet cleaner in NC whose phone number is 1 digit different from this number and he is being slammed with calls on his cell phone....and he's gonna have to pay for those calls.
9 posted on 06/28/2003 5:05:27 AM PDT by anncoulteriscool
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To: anncoulteriscool
I think he is a plumber (sign on his truck). Yes, the telephone company says he will be responsible for his telephone bill - which resulted from this error. He says it has ruined his business (will probably bankrupt him?).
10 posted on 06/28/2003 5:14:48 AM PDT by RAY
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Had a telemarketer call me once, trying to sell me some damn useless thing, and I replied "I'm sorry, but we're Norwegian." (Let them figure out what they did to offend the Norwegians!) On the other hand I just LOVE leaving the phone on the shelf and letting them talk, and talk, and talk... (Hey, I could make a 60-minute tape of the "Yeah, uh huh, oh really" monolog I use with my wife when she's gone on beyond my interest level and keep the telemarketers babbling until they catch on...boy, I'm doing that tonight!!!!)
11 posted on 06/28/2003 5:52:07 AM PDT by 50sDad (The only thing worse than Smurfs is CLOWNS! (or maybe MIMES!))
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To: Clive
24 hours later. No email.
12 posted on 06/28/2003 7:31:48 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed
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To: All
I had to register a few times before I finally got the "instant" email for confirmation.

But what I want to know is... What is with this??

From the Do not call gov website:
Q: If I register my number on the National Do Not Call Registry, will it stop all telemarketing calls?

A: No. Placing your number on the National Do Not Call Registry will stop most, but not all, telemarketing calls. Some businesses are exempt from the national registry and still can call you even if you place your number on it. Exempt businesses include:

long-distance phone companies
banks and credit unions; and
the business of insurance, to the extent that it is regulated by state law.

However, many telemarketing calls are placed by professional telemarketing companies, and even if the company whose goods or services are being sold is exempt, the telemarketing company may be covered.

You may still receive calls from political organizations, charities, telephone surveyors or companies with which you have an existing business relationship.

The FCC has initiated a rulemaking proceeding that would extend the National Do Not Call Registry to many of the businesses that are exempt from FTC coverage.

FYI, My annoying telemarketer calls break down like this:
70% - from banks and credit unions
30% - from long-distance phone companies

So I guess this is completely worthless for me to even try eh?
13 posted on 06/28/2003 8:51:37 AM PDT by freestyle
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To: All
I think the funniest thing about this service is the way liberals and Democrats are responding to it. Their hatred for anything Bush is unbelievable.

I listened to C-Span this morning and the amount of calls from Democrats was unbelievable. Their newest complaint is the loss of jobs. Unemployment is the slant that they are putting on President Bush. While I may agree in theory to this, I can't believe the venom of this.

I saw on another board how a few self proclaimed liberals wanted to love this service, but they just couldn't do it because President Bush was backing it. They are so afraid that President Bush will get praised for anything.

Another example of this is the Medicare Bill (which I do not agree with BTW), they are now terrified that Bush is doing something that 8 years of Clinton failed to do. They now attack it as not enough. They fail to say that "not enough" is better (or worse) than nothing at all.

14 posted on 06/28/2003 9:06:15 AM PDT by codercpc
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To: Clive
The industry has said the registry will devastate its business

15 posted on 07/02/2003 8:02:15 AM PDT by steve-b
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