Update 1-27-12: You don’t need to call them every 5 years any more. They have made it a permanent registry.
Every 5 years you should go to donotcall.gov to re-register your phone number on the Do Not Call list. This will keep away most telemarketers. It takes 5 minutes and will save you countless dinnertime telephone frustrations.
I got yet another telemarketing call from “The Carpet Cleaning Company”. Over the last couple years I’ve tried getting myself off their telemarketing list, starting with being on the National Do Not Call Registry. I tried “press 9 to remove yourself from our list” maybe 3 times in the last year (they call a lot). I tried talking to the nice lady who comes on and have alternately been hung up on and told that I’d be removed. Let me also say that I have no carpets that might possibly be cleaned! The biggest rug in the place is the throw in the bathroom.
So today I signed up to have my carpets cleaned. They’ll be here Thursday between 8 and 10 am.
I gave a ficticious name and a ficticious address. They said they’d call before coming out. I’m debating whether I should call it off when they call to confirm. I mean, all I want is for them to realize it’s not in their interest to call me. I don’t want to put some guy in a van out.
What do you suggest?
Update 4-23-09: The Cleaners Arrive
I got a call at about 9:30 from “the carpet cleaners” saying they’d be arriving shortly. At about 10, there they were!
I took a few photos of their truck, waited a few minutes and then approached them.
The conversation started out like this as best I can recollect. I’m forgetting some little bits but you get the idea (next time, I’ll record video of everything)
As I approached from across the street, the angry cleaner immediately asked something like, “So what about the carpets you need cleaned?” I guess I had “clean my carpet!” written all over my face. I had been trying to be all nonchalant. Oh well. ;-)
Lee – I don’t have a carpet needing cleaning. It’s illegal for you to have called me because I’m on the Do Not Call List.
Cleaner – Hey but we’re here.
Lee – Your company has called me 10.. no 20 times in the last 2 years and I’ve tried to get off your list every which way.
Cleaner – Hey maybe it wasn’t us that called you. There are a lot of companies like us out there.
Lee – Well, you’re here so it must have been your company.
I heard his phone ringing for a while and he picked it up. He handed me the phone telling me that I could talk with his company about it. There was a woman on the phone that I told much the same story to. I gave her my real name and phone number and she said something like she’d look into it or remove me from their list or something. As we spoke on the phone, the cleaner got more agitated and I ended up talking to him more than the woman. He took back the phone and we talked more.
The cleaner was getting angry that I had photgraphed his truck and said he wanted the pictures back. I saw it was getting ugly and thought to turn on the video function of my camera.
Watch the video. NSFW: profanity:
Pay particular attention where at 1:13 in the video the cleaner commits assault, gesturing angrily and saying, “I’m gonna screw your ass. I know where you live. Ok bitch?”
I received an unsolicited telemarketing call at 9-3-08 11:42 am from a woman identifying herself as being from “The Premiere Health Organization” or “Premier Health Care” or “Health Enrollment Center”.
The call started with a recording that asked me to press “1” for an operator. They are ostensibly selling PPO health insurance for $199/month + $125 enrollment fee. They claim to be using Ace Insurance (http://www.aceusa.com) as an underwriter and the Beech Street network of Doctors (http://www.beechstreet.com/)
I spoke with a woman who identified herself as “Jordan” and gave a callback number of 800-219-6643 x407. When I called the number, an answering system identified itself as “Heath Enrollment Center”.
To keep the call going for 11 minutes, 56 seconds, I gave her (almost) correct identifying information for myself.
Stop “prescreened” offers. Companies check your credit with the big credit reporting agencies all the time. Stop these offers and all those pre-approved credit card offers etc… go to www.OptOutPrescreen.com or call 1-888-567-8688.
Get off telemarketers mailing lists with the federal Do Not Call list, www.DoNotCall.gov
Last month, I told you about some websites you can visit to get off of junk postal mail and telemarketing lists. A few people have asked me how they can use those services without a computer. To get on the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call List, call 888-382-1222. Continue reading ‘Click Here January 2004: Junk Mail’ »
I’ve posted about the telemarketing Do-Not-Call list before, here
I just came across this site selling telemarketing phone number scrubber software. The most interesting bit is their Recent Do-Not-Call Fines page. A local version is at the bottom of this post.
It’s been about 4 years since I first registered myself on donotcall.gov so I figured it was time to re-register myself and my family (it is supposed to expire after 5 years to give the telemarketers a chance). I found out that they won’t be dropping phone numbers from the Do Not Call registry. The list has 145 million phone numbers in it. Wow, that can’t leave much room for telemarketers…
I’m working at home today. My new landline phone has been ringing off the hook all day with telemarketer calls. In the last 4 hours, I’ve gotten Comcast, MCI, the California Professional Firefighters Association (a scam if I ever heard one) and innumerable automated-dialer hangups.
The short form: Total Remodeling of Union NJ (the same people are at Total Renovation Center) called me even though I am on the National “Do Not Call” list. I did some followup research and found they have been successfully sued by the state of New Jersey concerning their Do-Not-Call practices.
Total Remodeling has agreed to pay $123,500 to settle the alleged telemarketing violations and $23,000 to reimburse the state for its investigative costs and attorneys’ fees. The company also agreed to pay $5,000 to settle alleged violations of the state’s Consumer Fraud Act and/or accompanying regulations.
This announcement in it’s entirety appears at the end of this post.
At 1:57pm today, 9-16-04, I got a call… Here’s how it went:
[click click… autodialer pause] Me: Hello? Him: Hi, is this Mr. Sunco [slightly mispronounced]? Me: Yes. Him: “Hi, this is [I missed the name] from Total Remodeling. [Something about their company wanting to remodel my home]. Me: [putting on a chipper voice, hoping to scam the scammer] What was your name again? Him: It’s [grunt] [click. hangup]
*69 “The number of your last incoming call was 908-686-1443”
Google for “908-686-1443”. Nothing
Google for “908-686”. Found several businesses in Union, NJ.
Me: Hi I was just on the phone with someone from Total Remodeling and we got disconnected. Happy Woman’s voice: Maybe I can help. What was this about? Me: Actually, it was about an unsolicited call I got. You see, I’m on the National Do Not Call List. Happy Woman’s voice: Ok. Hang on just a minute.
[music on hold] Greg: Hi, this is Greg. Can I help you. Me: I just got a call from someone at Total Remodeling. The trouble is, I’m on the National Do Not Call List. Greg: Sorry about that. We’re still working the bugs out of that system. Are you at [he recites my phone number]. Me: Yes. Greg: I’ll make sure we take you off the list. Me: Alright. Have a good day.
Curious, I do a little more homework online and find that Total Remodeling has been named in a Do Not Call list lawsuit in the year 2000.
I call back Greg.
Me: Hi Greg, I just did a little homework and found that your company has been making unsolicited calls for a long while. You really shouldn’t be doing that. So I filed a complaint at DoNotCall.gov and I’m making a web page to tell everyone about my experience with you. Greg: Sorry you feel that way [or some nondescript apology like that] Me: Bye. [hangup]
Here is the announcement from the state of NJ in it’s entirety:
Click on the link to complete your request to register your phone number with the last four digits [trimmed] on the National Do Not Call Registry.
Important: You must respond to this email by clicking the link within 72 hours for your registration to be successful.
Once you have registered, your phone number registration will be effective for 5 years. It will be illegal for most telemarketers to call you, and you will be able to file a complaint if a telemarketer does call you. The website www.donotcall.gov provides information about filing a complaint.
Important: After you click on the link, print the web page and keep it for your records.
Troubleshooting: If you don’t get a “Registration Complete” message after clicking on the link, or the link does not work, use your “cut” and “paste” functions to insert the entire link in the email into the “Address” line on your Web browser. Cut and past the entire link – it’s long. Do not re-type it.
Please do not reply to this message as it is from an unattended mailbox. Any replies to this email will not be responded to or forwarded. This service is used for outgoing emails only and cannot respond to inquiries.