Are you sick and tired of getting those annoying calls from telemarketers when you're just sitting down to dinner, rushing out the door or expecting a more important call? A legal, government-run resource is in place to help protect consumers like you from most marketing calls. With a few simple steps, you can stop receiving calls from those numbers. This is a free service administered by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Go to donotcall.gov/register/reg.aspx to register up to three personal phone numbers (cell or land line, but not business numbers) in the blank fields provided. Fill in your phone number(s) with area code(s) and a valid e-mail address. Click the "Submit" button.
Verify that the information you entered is correct. For any mistake, click the "Change" button to edit and resubmit. If everything is correct, click "Register."
Login to your e-mail account. Almost immediately you should see an e-mail from Register@donotcall.gov. The body of the e-mail contains a link, which you must click on within 72 hours of registering your information online (if you wait too long, your registration will not be complete, and you will have to do it over again.) Upon clicking the link, you will be taken to a confirmation page telling you that your phone number has been registered. It will appear on the Do Not Call Registry the following day. Telemarketers will have 31 days to remove you from their lists. Your phone number will remain on the registry permanently unless you choose to remove it, and you do not have to reregister unless your number is disconnected or you get a new number.
Call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number you want to register, in order to register over the phone. This is a toll-free, general phone number for the Do Not Call Registry and will allow you to choose prompts in English or Spanish and then to "Register a Phone Number" or "Pursue Other Options." Press prompt 1 after selecting your language to register your number. You will have to enter it manually using your phone keypad. Be sure to include your area code. Follow the prompts, and your registration will complete immediately over the phone. Your number will appear on the registry the following day.
If you continue to get calls from telemarketers more than 31 days after you complete your registration, you can file a complaint with the FTC. The first time you receive such a call, you should tell the caller you are on the Do Not Call Registry and need to be removed from their call list. For subsequent calls, note the date, time, number and company name. You can submit this information at complaints.donotcall.gov/complaint/complaintcheck.aspx?panel=2 or by calling the toll-free number (1-888-382-1222) and following the prompts for "Other Options--Filing A Complaint." For more information on how to register a complaint and other Do Not Call program questions, visit ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt107.shtm.
The government's free Do Not Call service only applies to a) certain businesses that are not charities or political campaigns and b) companies from which you have not recently purchased a product or have an ongoing business relationship. You cannot use it to prevent unwanted personal calls. To block unwanted personal calls from being routed or charged to your phone, contact your cell phone or land line service provider. Blocking codes vary by provider and often involve a fee.
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