Dear Consumer Ed:
I recently applied to refinance my house, and now I am getting calls from all types of lenders about refinancing. I’m on the “Do Not Call” List, so I don’t think they should be calling. What can I do?
Consumer Ed says:
The Georgia and Federal Do Not Call (DNC) laws, with some exceptions, prohibit telemarketers who are selling goods or services from contacting those who have chosen to have their home and/or personal mobile phone number placed on the federal Do Not Call List. To request that your number be added to the DNC registry, go to donotcall.gov. Telephone numbers that are placed on the Do Not Call registry remain on it permanently. Most sales calls will stop once your number has been on the registry for 31 days.
However, there are some businesses and organizations that are exempt from complying with the Do Not Call List. These include:
- Charities and non-profits
- Political calls
- Debt Collectors
- Polling companies, educational institutions, or other organizations whose purpose is not to make a sale pitch
- Companies to which you have given express permission to call you
- Companies with which you have a current or prior business relationship (such as a telecommunications provider or credit card company). NOTE: You can still ask the business to stop calling you, even if there is a current or prior relationship.
Unfortunately, the DNC registry cannot block calls from those who ignore the registry. Therefore, while the DNC List will reduce the number of sales phone calls you get from legitimate companies, it will not stop all the unwanted phone calls from scammers and unscrupulous businesses, and newer technologies, such as automated multi-line dialers, have made it even easier for scammers to contact consumers. “Why bother being on the list at all?” is a question you may ask. If nothing else, the list acts as a screening mechanism, as any telemarketer that ignores the DNC registry should not be trusted.
If you are receiving unwanted calls despite being on the Do Not Call List, you may want to consider using a call-blocking technology or device on your phone. You may already have some call-blocking technology built into your cell phone. You can also contact your telephone carrier to find out what additional call-blocking solutions they offer, or you can download a reputable call-blocking app. The FTC offers more detailed information about call blocking on its website at consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-block-unwanted-calls.
You can also report a violation of the Do Not Call List to the FTC by going to donotcall.gov/report.html.
Submit your own question to Consumer Ed. Remember…we do not give legal advice. Always consult a lawyer about legal issues.