Friday, September 21, 2007

Time to re-register

The deadline for being on the Do Not Call list is set to expire and, as the law now stands, people have to re-register if they don't want those annoying phone solicitations at dinnertime.
Numbers placed on the registry, begun in June 2003, are valid for five years. For the millions of people who signed onto the list in its early days, their numbers will automatically drop off beginning next June if they do not enroll again.

"It is incredibly quick and easy to do," Lydia Parnes, director of the FTC's bureau of consumer protection, said in an interview with The Associated Press this week. "It was so easy for people to sign up in the first instance. It will be just as easy for them to re-up."

But Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., says people should not be forced to re-register to keep telemarketers at bay. Doyle introduced legislation this week, with bipartisan support, to make registrations permanent.

"When someone takes the time and effort to say 'I don't want these kinds of calls coming into my house,' they shouldn't have to keep a calendar to find out when they have to re-up to keep this nuisance from happening," Doyle said in an interview.

The FTC built the five-year expiration date into the program to account for changes, such as people who move and switch their phone number, Parnes said.

Doyle, however, points out that the list is purged each month of numbers that have been disconnected and reassigned to new customers.

People can register their home and cell phone numbers or file complaints at or by calling 1-888-382-1222.
Remember all those predictions of doom and gloom for businesses if they couldn't call and try to sell you stuff over the phone. I wonder how that all turned out for the businesses dependent on phone solicitations. Now they're sending us emails that mostly get blocked by our spam protectors. And I vote for Representative Doyle's bill to get rid of the five-year sunset provision. That should be something that both parties can agree on.

This may have ranked right up there as the best thing that government did for us in the past five years. Now, if the politicians would only remove the exemptions for politician calls. But why should laws about removing nuisances apply to politicians?