Finally! Robocalls are illegal*! Woo hoo!
I have not put myself on the “do not call” registry because as CEO of the BBB, I am interested in what telemarketers are telling consumers and how their pitches are evolving. I admit, though, I rarely answer phone calls when I don’t recognize the number. I let the answering machine pick it up and listen to the pitch over the speaker. I find the recorded sales pitches THE most annoying. Apparently, so did a lot of America, and the FTC listened. Effective September 1st, robocalls are illegal*.
*Yes, that’s an asterisk. We, at the BBB, don’t like asterisks in marketing because they mean “not really.” But in this case, there are just a couple of exceptions to the rule. Robocalls are legal when used for information purposes. So you will still get those calls from the school and the governator. Also, if you give permission to, let’s say, your phone company to contact you with offers from time to time. Permission in advance will allow them to robocall you. Just remember, if you have the ability to grant permission, you have the ability to take it away. Don’t be afraid to use your abilities.
The best part is not that the robocalls are illegal, but that you can do something about it when they interrupt your lovely evening. You can ask them the name of the company, the address and phone number. Then you can let them know that their call is illegal, and that you are going to report them to the FTC. You can then hang up, log on to ftc.gov and file a complaint. I did it, and it’s easy. OK, so you won’t immediately hear sirens going off as they run to apprehend those doggone criminals, but you have done your part to see that the bad guys are getting on the radar screen. And I have to admit, that feeling of defending my consumer rights mitigates the annoyance factor of another robocall.
Try it. I dare you.