Do Not Call Registry
California is creating a "Do Not Call" program for consumers which under new state law becomes available next year. In the meantime, the following are some tips developed with assistance from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse to help you curb unwanted telephone solicitations.
1. TAKE YOURSELF OFF THE TELEMARKETER'S LIST
Tell the telemarketer to put you on the company's "Do Not Call" list. Federal law requires telemarketers to keep such a list. Keep in mind that the telemarketer's "Do Not Call" list applies only to that individual company. Repeat your request to each business that calls you. (47 CFR 64.1200; 16 CFR 310).
Make a note of the company's name, telephone number, the caller's name and the date. This record may be useful in getting the company to stop.
2. SIGN UP FOR THE FREE, DIRECT MARKETING ASSOCIATION, TELEPHONE PREFERENCE SERVICE, "DO NOT CALL LIST"
The "Do Not Call" service offered by the Direct Marketing Association is used by many major telemarketing companies. To sign up for this free service, send your Name, Address, Telephone Number (with area code) to:
Telephone Preference Services
Direct Marketing Association
PO Box 9014
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014
Or for a $5 fee, you can sign up on
the Internet at the DMA web site.
3. SCREEN YOUR TELEPHONE CALLS
Use an answering machine or voice mail. You may also consider using such services such as Caller ID or Privacy Manager for which there may be a telephone company fee.
4. GET AN UNLISTED PHONE NUMBER
The volume of unwanted calls is generally lower for unlisted telephone numbers. Telephone companies typically charge a monthly fee to remove a telephone number from their directories.
5. REMOVE YOUR NAME FROM YOUR TELEPHONE COMPANY'S STREET ADDRESS DIRECTORY
Call your telephone company's business office to have your name removed from its street address directories. Telephone companies typically charge a monthly fee to remove a telephone number from their directories.
6. REMOVE YOUR NAME FROM COMMERCIAL STREET ADDRESS DIRECTORIES
Make a written request to the two major companies listed below to have your name removed from other street address directories and provide your name, address, zip code and telephone number..
Haines & Company, Inc.
Attn. Director of Data Processing
8050 Freedom Avenue NW
North Canton, OH 44720
Equifax (formerly Polk)
Attn: List Suppression File
26955 Northwestern Hwy
South Field, MI 48034
7. TAKE YOUR NAME OFF CREDIT REPORTING BUREAU'S MARKETING LISTS BY CALLING 1-888-5OPT-OUT
Contact credit reporting bureaus to request the removal of your name from their marketing lists. The four major credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian (formerly TRW), Innovis and Trans Union share a single and popular hotline to assist consumers in removing their names: 1-888-5OPT-OUT. If the line rings busy, please return the call at a later time.
8. PROTECT YOUR PHONE NUMBER
Do not print your telephone number on your checks. Do not give your home telephone number when signing up for contests or sweepstakes. Consider giving your work number when you must give a telephone number to merchants.
9. PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY WHEN CALLING TOLL-FREE OR USING A "900" NUMBER
If you are calling companies using an "800", "888", "877", "866", or "900" number, tell them you do not want your name, address and telephone number to be shared. You can also tell them not to call you in the future.