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Annoying robocalls soon to be banned

August 27, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
If you're tired of getting those computerized telemarketing calls at dinner time or any other time, then you might be excited to know that the Federal Trade Commission is banning the automatic robocalls starting September 1. However, don't expect all of the annoying calls to go away, because there are still plenty of exceptions for them to come through.

Ask just about any consumer what they think about those irritating prerecorded telemarketing calls and their answer is predictable.

"It's just ridiculous," says Claudia Joseph, who tells Eyewitness News that she gets robocalls all the time, both on her home phone and cell phone.

Robocalls, as they're often called, should become a thing of the past. The Federal Trade Commission will begin fining any company that violates their new robocall ban up to $16,000 starting on Tuesday.

"I'll be very happy when they can't do it anymore," says Dorothy Frank.

Exceptions for the ban however can still allow certain calls to come through.

For example, you can still get calls from debt collectors, charities, banks, insurers, phone companies and even calls wanting you to take a survey. Plus, politicians will still be able to solicit your vote.

But some other calls make sense, like an airline letting you know about a flight cancellation, a delivery company giving you notices on a package for you, and your local pharmacy leaving a message about your prescriptions.

"I don't know if what they're trying to do is going to work," says Joseph.

If for any reason you still get a robocall after Tuesday, you can file a complaint with the FTC by one of the two ways.

You can call them at (877) FTC-HELP, or (877) 382-4357.

Of course if you do want to get those calls you can, if you give the telemarketer written permission.

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