Reporting Aristea Brady
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.