Telemarketing Software Featured Article

The Trouble with the Do-Not-Call Registry

January 22, 2018
By Paula Bernier - Executive Editor, TMC

There are about 230 million active registrations on the Do-Not-Call Registry indicating the registry is “the definition of a successful government program.”

If that’s the definition of success, we’re all in trouble.

Obviously, what matters here is the extent to which the registry actually spares us from receiving intrusive calls from unwanted callers. And as we all know from personal experience – and as the growing number of complaints to the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission illustrate –such calls are still a ridiculously common occurrence.

According to the YouMail Robocall Index, 2.8 billion robocalls were placed nationwide in December, equaling roughly 8.6 calls per person affected.

And earlier this month The Washington Post ran a story titled “How robo-callers outwitted the government and completely wrecked the Do Not Call List”. The piece says the Federal Trade Commission receives 19,000 complaints daily from list members who have received unwanted calls.

Part of the problem is that VoIP enables telemarketers to increase the volume of their calling easily and relatively inexpensively. And caller ID spoofing has allows fraudsters to make it look like they’re calling from known locations or are known people. And that can sometimes trick those who are called into sharing person information or even wiring money to the callers.

But a bigger part of the problem, as the Post story notes, is this: “When you add your number to the list, nothing actually happens.”

The Post continues, noting: “No legal muscle or technological wizardry suddenly prevents a solicitor from calling you. All the list does is provide you with vague recourse in the event you are called, by allowing you to complain that someone has called you. So, you can report the violation by calling a toll-free number or filling out a form on the Do Not Call website. Then, if the number you were called from shows up in enough complaints, the FTC (News - Alert) will leap into action and prosecute the offending dialer. Except, it almost certainly won’t.”

Edited by Mandi Nowitz