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What's Bugging You? Telemarketers

November 22, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
You can hang up. You can be rude. But telemarketers have your number. And that's what's bugging Eyewitness News viewers. Here's what it really takes to make them stop calling.

You just want them to stop calling.

"It just doesn't stop. At all hours of the night and day, we get sometimes as many as 15 calls a day," said Culver City resident Liz Smollins.

Smollins says it's bugging her a lot. She's on the Do Not Call List, but it doesn't seem to matter to telemarketers who somehow have her number.

"We've been on the Do Not Call List since it existed, and I refresh it every so often, but it doesn't seem to do any good," said Smollins. "These people are just totally disrespectful."

Government officials say the Do Not Call List will take you off of most lists, and it should cut down on the calls. But there are many exceptions.

"Telemarketers that you have an established business relationship with, if you're a customer of an entity, they can call you for up to 18 months since your last transaction with them. And if you've made an inquiry or file an application with the company, they've got three months within which they can call you," said Thomas Syta, Federal Trade Commission. "Charitable solicitations, survey calls and, this time of year, political calls are not subject to the Do Not Call restrictions."

Smollins now takes down the information of people who call. The Federal Trade Commission says that's the right thing to do.

Write the date and time and the phone number and you can report it on the FTC website. You can also check the number yourself.

Whocallsme.com shows what other people know about that number, and sometimes where it comes from. Most importantly, when you get a call, don't give out any personal information.

"Look, if you're getting calls from somebody who is calling you while you're on the list, that's kind of a red flag not to do business with them at all," said Syta. "So consumers should know that. Don't do business with those people who are calling, and file the complaint."

"I think the government has a lot of other more important things to worry about right now, but I sure hope that something can be done to stop these people," said Smollins.

Sometimes it's easier to just hang up on them.


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