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Thursday, May 03, 2007

If you are still getting those nagging phone calls from telemarketers, you’d probably prefer that your telephone were in a tree in the backyard. If, however, you did sign up for the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Do-Not-Call list in the summer of 2003, you will need to re-register in the summer of 2008 to block those unwanted junk telephone calls. Not sure when you made the application? Go to the FTC Telemarketing Site, click on the “Verify a Registration” on the left, and you are carried through the process with ease, resulting in an e-mail sent to you within minutes noting your date of registration. As does the FTC, I urge you to keep a copy of this to refer to in the future. As of September 30, 2006, more than 132 million telephone numbers had been registered, with 25 million new registrations in 2006. And it works. We signed on in 2003 and the junk calls abruptly ended. There were a couple of violators, but once I reported them to the FTC—also an easy process—they were history. There’s a good article on that provides a lot of information on this issue from both the business perspective, as well as the consumer. It also mentions jurisdictions not covered by the FTC, like banks, common carriers, and certain other businesses, which are controlled by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). What a phenomenal success—especially considering it is a government project—and it is this same kind of procedure that I have built into my concept of consumers controlling their names and private information, putting you in the driver’s seat again.

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