Stop Unwanted Charity Calls from Telemarketing Services
Harrassed by Telemarketing Services?
Are you tired of being harassed by telemarketing services on behalf of veterans charities? You can make them stop!
As noble as the cause may be to support our nation's veterans, some telemarketing services are giving veterans charities a bad name, and causing many who would otherwise donate to charity to decide never to support a particular charity.
Most of these calls are made by for-profit fundraisers using telemarketing services, and as their fee, they generally skim off a large portion (in some cases more than 90%) of the donations intended to support our veterans.You CAN stop unwanted telemarketing.
Here's some information from the Federal Communications Commission about how to stop those calls:
Congress first passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
(TCPA) in 1991 in response to consumer concerns about the growing number of unsolicited telephone marketing calls to their homes and the increasing use of automated and prerecorded messages.
In response, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules that require anyone making a telephone solicitation call to your home to provide his or her name, the name of the person or entity on whose behalf the call is being made, and a telephone number or address at which that person or entity can be contacted.
The original rules also prohibit telephone solicitation calls to your home before 8 am or after 9 pm, and require telemarketers to comply with any do-not-call request you make directly to the caller during a solicitation call.
Telemarketers covered by the National Do-Not-Call Registry (this does not include charitable organizations or telemarketing services calling on their behalf)
have up to 31 days from the date that you register your telephone number to remove it from their call lists and stop calling you.
In June 2003, the FCC supplemented its original rules implementing the TCPA and established, together with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the national Do-Not-Call list. The National Do-Not-Call ListOnce you have placed your home phone number or numbers, including any personal cell phone numbers, on the national Do-Not-Call list, telemarketing services
have up to 31 days to remove your number from their lists, and thereafter are prohibited from making telephone solicitations to those number(s)
Your number or numbers will remain on the list until you remove them or discontinue service at that number. There is no need to re-register numbers. The national Do-Not-Call list protects home voice or personal wireless phone numbers only.
While you may be able to register a business number, your registration will not make telephone solicitations to that number unlawful.
If you do receive a telemarketing call at a business number, simply inform the caller that it is a business number and ask them to remove the number from their list.
A "telephone solicitation" is a telephone call that acts as an advertisement. The term does not include calls or messages
placed with your express prior permission, by or on behalf of a tax-exempt non-profit organization, or from a person or organization with which you have an established business relationship
(EBR). An EBR exists if you have made an inquiry, application, purchase, or transaction regarding products or services offered by the person or entity involved (or have made a previous donation
Generally, you may put an end to that relationship by telling the caller not to place any more solicitation calls to your home. Any EBR is only in effect for 18 months after your last business transaction or three months after your last inquiry or application. After these time periods, calls placed to your home phone number or numbers by that person or entity are considered telephone solicitations subject to the do-not-call rules.
Register your home phone number or numbers on the national Do-Not-Call list
at no cost. To add a phone number to the national Do-Not-Call list, click the link or call 1-888-382-1222 (voice) or 1-866-290-4236 (TTY), from the phone number you wish to register. Company-Specific Do-Not-Call Lists
Whether or not your home phone number is registered on the national Do-Not-Call list, the FCC requires a person
or entity placing voice telephone solicitations to your home to maintain a record of your direct request to that caller not to receive future telephone solicitations from that person or entity. The calling company must honor your do-not-call request for five years.
To prevent calls after five years, you will need to repeat your request to the company, and it must honor it for another five years (and so on). Your request should also stop calls from affiliated entities if you would reasonably expect them to be included, given the identification of the caller and the product being advertised.
Unless your home phone number is registered on the national Do-Not-Call list, however, you must make a separate do-not-call request to each telemarketer from whom you do not wish to receive calls.
When you receive telephone solicitation calls, clearly state that you want to be added to the caller's do-not-call list. You may want to keep a list of those persons or businesses that you have asked not to call you. Tax-exempt non-profit organizations are not required to keep do-not-call lists.
But telemarketing services calling on their behalf may be subject to this requirement.
The Federal Trade Commission, which operates the Do Not Call Registry, says, "if a third-party telemarketer is calling on behalf of a charity, a consumer may ask not to receive any more calls from, or on behalf of, that specific charity. If a third-party telemarketer calls again on behalf of that charity, the telemarketer may be subject to a fine of up to $16,000."
Tell the caller you do not wish to receive any more calls on behalf of that charity, and then read the above quote. That should do it.Caller Identification (ID)
If you have caller ID, telemarketing services are required to transmit or display their phone number and, if available, their name or the name and phone number of the company for which they are selling products. The display must include a phone number that you can call during regular business hours to ask that the company no longer call you.
This rule applies even if you have an EBR with the company, and even if you have not registered your home phone number(s) on the national Do-Not-Call list. Before these rules took effect, the words "private," "out of area," or "unavailable" might have appeared on the Caller ID display.What You Can Do
The FCC can issue warning citations and impose fines against companies violating or suspected of violating the do-not-call rules, but does not award individual damages. If you receive a telephone solicitation that you think violates any of these rules, you can file a complaint with the FCC
at no charge either online; by e-mailing email@example.com
; calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or writing to:
Federal Communications Commission
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries & Complaints Division
445 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20554. What to Include in Your Complaint
The best way to provide all the information the FCC needs to process your complaint is to complete the on-line complaint form. If you do not use the on-line complaint form (which we recommend), your complaint, at a minimum, should include all the information requested in the online form.
Some states permit you to file law suits in state court against persons or entities violating the do-not-call rules. You may be awarded $500 in damages or actual monetary loss, whichever is greater. The amount may be tripled if you are able to show that the caller violated the rules willfully and knowingly. Filing a complaint with the FCC does not prevent you from also bringing a suit in state court.
States also can bring a civil law suit against any person or entity that engages in a pattern or practice of violating the TCPA or FCC rules. You can contact your state Attorney General's office or consumer protection agency with particular complaints, or to encourage such suits.
For additional ideas on ways to thwart these unwanted calls, see Your Local Phone Company Can Stop Unwanted Telemarketing Calls
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