Good Question: Does The Do-Not-Call List Really Work?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It’s the year’s busiest shopping season and companies want to get to you however they can – even if it means calling you during dinner time.

So you might be asking: Does the do-not-call List really work?

I asked people walking along Nicollet Mall how they respond to telemarketers. These were a few of their responses: “I gotta go change my laundry,” “Just kind of hang up on them as soon as I hear them,” “No. Click.”

WCCO-TV made a call to the Federal Trade Commission in Washington D.C., the agency in charge of regulating the registry.

When asked what they would say to those who claim the do-not-call List is ineffective, the FTC suggests people look at the numbers.

“The numbers say it definitely does work,” said Mitch Katz of the FTC.

There are 209 million numbers on the registry, and they say the number of complaints is less than one percent annually.

Many of the complaints the FTC does receive are based on misunderstanding. Non-profit charities, political campaigns and calls from places where you’ve acted as a consumer all fall on the list the registry does not cover. However, the FCC says there is another line of protection.

“If you tell them to stop in any of these cases, the company needs to put you on their own do-not-call list and they cannot call you again. That overrules everything,” Katz said.

The National Registry is free and your number never comes off the list. It only takes minutes to register online, and if you want to call, you have to call from the phone you are registering.

If you do have a legitimate consumer complaint, the FTC says they welcome you to get in touch with them. In fact, Direct TV was forced to pay 5.3 million after facing an enforcement action.

  • See BS

    The headband look gives me butterflies, , but how do you make a consumer complaint about Botox? So women don’t make themsleves look like Herman Cain Sexual harassment victims down the road.

    Wrinkles are prettier than botox if women take care of themsleves.

    • Butterflies?

      The headband look? Ummmm. OK. Sure.

      • See BS

    • bob


      • See BS

        Funny, I wake up this morning, turn on the TV and Anderson Cooper is doing a show about exactly what i’m talking about.

  • Do Not Call List — Does It Work? « CBS Minnesota

    […] Well, last night we asked if those Do-Not-Call lists really work and here is the answer. […]


    The do not call listing DOES NOT WORK!!! Stating that 1 percent of people complain should prove this. Also, the FCC has a policy not to prosecute, read not to prosecute. How long does it take for people to figure that they can call, and i’m talking commercial businesses, without fear of fines etc. before they completely lose fear of legal problems. I have been called by a hardware store on hennepin ave, a jeweler in maple grove, and several tree trimming and window replacement firms, all commercial operations who stated that they did not check the do not call list prior to calling. IT DOES NOT WORK!!!!!

    • Guy

      Sue them YOURSELF – small claims court.

      If you are on the NATIONAL DNC; there is a PRIVATE “right of action” in it.
      You have to be on the national list (you can ALSO be on the state; but if you are on
      ONLY the state; there isn’t any equivalent )

      It’s Title 47; Subsection 227 (b)(3)(B) of the US code
      (you can look this up on the ‘net yourself)

      You must not have had any buisness with the company in the past 18 months OR you
      must have told them “DON’T CALL ME” (that OVERRIDES the 18 month exception)

      If either of these apply; you can sue for $500 in small claims court ($1500 if the violation is “willful” & I would argue that not checking the DNC is “willful”)

      I am currently in the process of suing the StarTribune … one of their telemarketer
      contractors called me last Wednesday night … and I told them back in July to not contact me when I cancled the paper.

      • Bill

        Good luck. The Tribune doesn’t report on bad judges and the judges let them get away with slander and libel.

      • Steve L

        They get 2 faults before you will be succdesful!

    • Steve L

      Oh yes it does. Most calls are coimng from non-profits and political parties…and they have exempted themselves…of course! The National Do Not Call list works very well, but you must renew every 5 years with a current number. At no time should you receive a call on a cell phone. That is prohibited if the caller can identify it as a cell. The story they told is very accurate, but pay attention to the details reported. Very often, you will have a relationship with a company that you have forgotten about…and that could generate a call. The industry creates many jobs, but I’m still in favor of a company asking you for permission to call you. If done correctly, it will NOT hurt the company that does the asking.
      Also, if you do not want calls from non-profits and politicians, tell them so. A smart company of any kind will always follow the wishes of their customers!

  • No junk calls up North

    Yes it does. I put my number on there 2 years ago and haven’t been bothered since. I was getting a lot of those ‘Hi, this is Rachael from the******** Credit Card company…” or the Septic Flush company or something. They are recordings so I can’t holler at them but since I signed on the DNCL they have disappeared too.

    • I'm Just Sayin'

      and the best part is, if you spend hours tracking those nasty callers that are supposed to be blocked and get all the evidence, the attorney generals office will sue them and keep all the money for the government. yeah, more money for government.

      • The Truth

        More money for the government paid for by telemarketers means paying down our debt without raising taxes. Yeah, that’s a horrible idea.

      • Guy

        If you are on the NATIONAL DNC list; sue them YOURSELF and MAKE $500 or $1500 (at least the local ones – too hard to sue the out-of-staters :( )

  • Ace

    I am on the list and get calls all the time, some construction firm in the Twin Cities and worst of all, Rachael wanting to reduce my credit card rates. I have registered complaints to no avail. The do not call list definitely does not work for me.

    • The Truth

      You might want to make sure they have your correct phone number, or these aren’t firms that you’ve done business with before. The DNC list has definitely worked for me. Also, you phone number expires after a certain period of time.

      • Guy

        The national list DOES NOT expire. I’ve been on it since it opened & I still am (Ms. Lisa Anderson at “Circulation Technicians” – the StarTribune subcontractor company that called me last Wednesday CONFIRMED it to me YESTERDAY :) )

    • Guy

      I just got one of those a week ago. I tracked them back to a place called
      “Ambrosia Web Design” (they ALSO are “CardMember Services”)

      Their phone numbers are 1-800-525-2956 and 1-888-583-1956.

      I called them (about a HUNDRED TIMES – hi guys) until they agreed to take
      me off their list. Being anoying to telemarketers also works.

  • Swamp Fox

    This list does NOT work as it should with some scam marketers who pose as non-profits or political organizations.

    One scam outfit, in particular, calls and says we are having credit card interest(APR) issues and would we like to update our plastic. Funny thing is you know they are a fake outfit when they have to ask the name of the credit card etc.. They do offer you, at first, a confusing choice to opt out of the call but quickly make the call sound extremely important and urgent.

    Well, fans, OPT-OUT for otherwise you will be hounded for at least seven days plus with incessant calls. Even if try to opt out that day, another call will come the next day! Also, this outfit never uses the same phone number or ID more than twice it seems. Heaven help those who use their cell phone as their main phone line. It get worse.

    Does the “Do Not Call” system work—Yes-&-No??? You decide.

  • Al

    The do not call list is a joke. We get an average of 5-6 automated calls a day. Most are a message about credit cards or refinancing them. If you are able to get a live person they will hang up as soon as you try to tell them to take you off thier list. If you Google the numbers you see hundreds of other people with the same problem. The FTC is either ignorant about this or they are on the take from these companies. If everyone complained when they got these calles that 1% would probably go to 40%. It’s easy to bury your head in the sand if you don’t have to answere to anyone.

    • Guy

      If the calls are from “Rachael” at something called “Cardmember Services”
      I tracked them back to “Ambrosia Web Design”
      (they ALSO are “CardMember Services” – they ADMITTED to it when I first called)

      Their phone numbers are 1-800-525-2956 and 1-888-583-1956.

      I called them (about a HUNDRED TIMES – hi guys) until they agreed to take
      me off their list. Being anoying to telemarketers also works.

      Keep calling THEM (at their OFFICE) – that gets their attention … and if it doesn’t; try airhorns or whistles.

  • MN_Mom

    I would like to know how to get the charities to stop calling. A couple years back I was in a position to contribute and did so. Since that time, money is now tight, but these people continue to call and call asking for money. I don’t appreciate their guilt trips about needy kids, needy vets, cancer research, etc. These are all worthy causes and I am fully aware of that, which is why I used to contribute! I get at least 5 calls a day from people asking me for money and have asked them time and time again to stop calling me and that if/when I am ever in the position to give again, I will seek out the charities of my choice, They continue to call and sadly, I feel harassed by chartities that are supposed to be there to help people! Leace me alone, I’m broke, work two jobs and have my own 5 kids to support.

  • Does Do Not Call List Really Work? « CBS Minnesota

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  • Jerry

    I wish I had a dollar for every call I’ve received from the same loan company telling me that this is last chance to get their offer, do not call is a Joke.

  • Bill

    I tell them to hang on while I turn off the stove. And then let them sit.

    If you keep them on the phone as long as possible, and they aren’t generating any revenue, soon the technique will become unviable.

  • vicki

    I’m on the DNC and it does not work in the last month I have been called at least 3 doz times. you tell them no andthey call back with a different number. I reregisteres and they still call. I hang up and it continues. Most numbers are unknowm so I can’t report them. I tell them to not call but it continues. If I gave to everyone that calls I would be working for giving all my money away and not haviing any left. The ones that I can get the number you call them and it goes into a recording saying you can’t call that number. So no it does not work. AndI’m on both the registerty’s.

    • Guy

      If that company is “Cardmember Services”; see my comments above.

      • vicki

        Thank you Guy. Yes some of the calls were from them

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