8.8 million Ohioans on 'do not call' list

Tens of thousands of residents still receiving irksome calls even after seeking relief through registry.
TNS Regional News
Dec 7, 2013

 

A growing number of state and local residents are registering their phone numbers with the National Do Not Call Registry in the hopes of avoiding pesky and unwanted telemarketing calls.

At the end of fiscal year 2013, there were about 8.8 million actively registered phone numbers in Ohio, up 200,000 from the prior year, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Registrations have soared nationwide.

As registrations increased, complaints to the FTC about unwelcome telemarketing and robocalls declined across the region and state. But tens of thousands of residents are still receiving irksome calls even after seeking relief through the registry.

“I’ve been getting calls from different (companies) wanting money,” said Martha Knox-Stanfill, a Montgomery County resident who registered her number almost a year ago. “It starts in the morning and goes throughout the day.”

Officials said consumers can report companies to the FTC and Ohio Attorney General that violate the do not call rules, and they can face litigation and hefty financial consequences.

“Companies can be liable for a civil penalty of up to $16,000 for each call,” said Bikram Bandy, the FTC’s Do Not Call program coordinator.

The National Do Not Call Registry this year had 223.4 million actively registered U.S. phone numbers, including 1.1 million from the 937 area code and 1.2 million from the 513 area code.

Registrations locally, statewide and nationally have steadily increased each year.

Ohioans can limit the number of telemarketing calls they receive by joining the registry, which makes it illegal for most telemarketers to contact consumers by landline or cell phone, according to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

Under federal law, telemarketers must search the registry every 31 days and delete registered telephone numbers from their call lists.

Consumers who continue to receive telemarketing calls after registering can file a complaint with the FTC. Telemarketers who ignore the rules of the registry can face fines of $16,000 for each call they make.

Beavercreek resident Shirley Docken said the number of calls she received from telemarketers plummeted after she registered her phone number.

But in recent months, her phone has been ringing more frequently because of unwanted sales calls.

“They died down for a while, but it’s Christmas season and I’ve got a lot more,” Docken said. “There are several numbers that keep calling almost to the point of being a nuisance call.”

Docken said she receives telemarketing calls every day, and she screens her calls and does not pick up if the number comes up as “unknown” on her caller ID.

Docken said she would never purchase a product or service from a telemarketer, because she does not trust the offers.

Companies that have a past business relationship with a consumer can be exempt from the rules of the National Do Not Call.

Companies can contact customers for up to 18 months from their last purchase, payment or delivery, even if the customer’s number appears on the National Do Not Call Registry, according to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

Companies in which customers made a business inquiry or submitted an application can continue calling for three month. But companies must stop calling if customers request for communications to cease.

Consumers who have registered their phone numbers with the Do Not Call Registry should be very wary of any companies that call them if they do not have an established business relationship, Bandy said.

“A lot of the Do Not Call violations are by companies that are trying to rip consumers off, because they are not complying with telemarketing laws, which are not that hard to comply with,” Bandy said. “If they are not complying with those laws, they are probably breaking other laws too.”

Officials urge consumers to report telemarketers who violate the rules of the Do Not Call Registry to the FTC or the Ohio Attorney General.

Last fiscal year, the FTC received almost 170,000 complaints about unwanted and pre-recorded sales calls from Ohio residents who joined the registry, including 25,773 from the 513 area code and 17,465 from the 937 area code, the data show.

The FTC has a very aggressive law enforcement program for do not call violators, but it lacks the resources to pursue action against all of the responsible parties, Bandy said

Consumers should learn their rights so they can recognize when a sales call is illegal.

Telemarketers are prohibited from using deceptive and abusive sales methods, and they are forbidden from calling before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m.

Telemarketers must promptly tell consumers who they are calling for and if the call is a sales call or charitable solicitation, officials said.

Telemarketers must disclose all important information about the goods or services they are peddling and terms of the sale, officials said. They are forbidden from lying about any terms of a sales offer.

Telemarketers must transmit caller ID information and are prohibited from blocking this information.

Ohioans are urged to hang up immediately when they receive an unsolicited call, especially when it is a robocall. Consumers can contact their wireless carriers and ask the companies to block telephone numbers belonging to telemarketers, but there can be costs involved with activity.

Do Not Call information

Ohioans can register their phone numbers free of charge at www.donotcall.gov or by calling toll-free 1-888-382-1222.

Consumers who want to register by phone must call from the number they wish to register.

To report violations of do not call rules, consumers can visit the donotcall.gov website or call 1-877-382-4357.

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By Cornelius Frolik - Dayton Daily News, Ohio (MCT)

©2013 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)

Visit the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio) at www.daytondailynews.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services
 

Comments

Contango

The DNC registry amounts to feel good political nonsense.

I have a phone system that can block telemarketers and even they figure out a way to get around it by using different numbers.

buckeye15

So much for your system then. The do not call list works for all my phone #'s.

Contango

Re: "The do not call list works for all my phone #'s."

All my family's numbers and mine are on the DNC list and they still call. You're FOS.

buckeye15

"FOS".....?

Friendly old sort?
Fine odd Sagittarius?
Family oriented subject?
Funny oriental sweetheart?
Fantastically, obviously sexy?

Well whichever one you meant, it was so kind of you to say so, so I will explain to you how it works.

I get a junk call about every 8-12 months, on average on my home phone, and business main number. As soon as I get it, I report it at the website (donotcall.gov). Then I don't get another for months. Try it. It works, and no charge for the tip since you are such a nice guy.

starryeyes83

Full Of Sh^^T!

LOL!

buckeye15

OMG! I guess I will take back the nice things I said about that POC.

Contango

Re: "I get a junk call about every 8-12 months,"

How are you not contradicting your previous statement?

“The do not call list works for all my phone #'s.”

Thank you for the confirmation that you're FOS.

Also, ya gotta LUV how the politicos left themselves OFF the DNC requirements. Ain't campaign season great?

buckeye15

How is one call (maybe 2) per year not working? I know people that get dozens or hundreds. Only in your warped world.

Thank you for confirmation that you are an angry hateful old man that projects all that venom on the government. It must be a sad life.

Contango

Re: "Thank you (snip)."

Ouch.

So seniors that don't have web access or want it are supposed to file a complaint how?

Face it, the DNC registry is a typical half-*ssed, over promise and under perform govt. measure that only those who are FOS could love.

buckeye15

"So seniors that don't have web access... are supposed to file a complaint how?"

"You can file a complaint by calling the registry’s toll-free number at 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236)."

Who knew??

Contango

Re: "Who knew??"

So one ONLY has to go through a few more hoops in order to 'possibly' get the pesky telemarketers (but not the political campaign calls) to stop?

You did 'happen' to notice the gist of the article didn't you?

Since you're the resident expert regarding the 'somewhat' effective DNC registry, ya might wanna write a piece for the NR tellin' everyone how great it REALLY is.

Have a nice day Cupcake.

buckeye15

.

hit the road jack

I have them call me and I will tell them I'm on the do not call registry and they keep right on going with their speal like I said nothing,finally after telling them I'm going to report them they will offer to take you off their list but you know they turn your number over to someone else.

Windy

Have fun with the telemarketers. Ask so many irrelevant questions that they give up.

ohiobuzzard

I've done that. once while tring to watch a TV movie on the 3rd call from the same co. I gave up on my show ( missed too much by this point) and play the role of being really interested in their home equity loan rate. I asked many questions and listened patiently to their answers. After about 45 mins or so, I told them to sign me up. just when they started to ask for personal info I dropped the big question. "what will this do to my rent" " ' your rent?' " " yes, my rent I don't own this place. Hello? Hello?" I didn't hear from them for at least a month. and yes I am on the DNC list I find its 90% on my house and about 95% effective on my cell. what burns me is the damn text messages from marketers that I have to pay for.

Good 2 B Me

Let's not forget "Rachel" from card services! I don't have any credit cards, yet computer Rachel calls me regularly to offer better rates on my non-existent credit cards.

Government claims that they cannot figure out where that one is coming from.

If I called the government and made a threat about someone or something, you can bet they would know right where that call came from.

ohiobuzzard

I have and do report that one on a monthly basis. at least.

bizzmachine1965

i have them trying to lower my gas bill for 13 years now,even after i tell them my house is all eletric!