Ducey: Keeping up the good fight against ‘Robocalls’ - East Valley Tribune: Business

Ducey: Keeping up the good fight against ‘Robocalls’

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Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 9:03 am | Updated: 7:41 pm, Thu Apr 4, 2013.

“Hi, I’m Rachel from card member services.”

If those words mean nothing to you, you’re very lucky.

If they send chills up your spine, then like me, you too are getting sick and tired of telemarketers getting away with calling day and night.

I admit it. I just about gave up hope that there was any reason to put your phone number on the Do Not Call Registry.

Could you blame me? Every week, people are telling me they continue to get bombarded with these annoying telemarketing calls, despite being on that list.

And the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) own records showed they didn’t go after these companies very often since the list began in 2004.

Then they go and do this.

The FTC made a sweep of various telemarketers nationwide, including some in Arizona, accused of making “robocalls.” Those are the automated calls made to consumers with some pre-recorded message like, “Hi, I’m Rachel…”

While there are a few exceptions, including political calls, those computer-generated calls have been illegal since 2009.

The FTC also claims some telemarketers sold bogus services to reduce credit card rates and called people on the Do Not Call Registry.

So what does this mean to you? Well, since it looks like some complaints are now getting action, keep sending numbers to the FTC and make them do their job.

It’s hard to stop the calls on land lines, unless you want to change your number. If you’ve got a cell phone, each provider has its own call-blocking plan.

And there are other apps available. I did try one Valley woman’s recommendation, “Extreme Call Blocker.” It costs less than $6 and seemed to keep unwanted calls away.

Or you can do what one Valley man has been forced to do. When he gets one of many telemarketing calls each day, he answers, remains silent for 10 seconds, and the call disconnects.

It seems like a lot of trouble and a clear indication, telemarketers are still winning this war!

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