The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

24 September 2003

So much for "do not call"

The Feds do not have the authority to set up a so-called "do not call" list to block telemarketing; Judge Lee R. West has ruled that the Federal Trade Commission, which established the list, exceeded its authority in so doing.

A suit filed in Oklahoma City, a town where call centers seemingly outnumber taverns but trail churches, had challenged the FTC. Plaintiffs included a number of telemarketers and the Direct Marketing Association.

(Advantage: Fusilier Pundit, who anticipated legal issues with the list.)

In the meantime, I'm not home.

Posted at 4:11 PM to Dyssynergy


Sigh...I was actually looking forward to some peace and quiet, too.

I've actually noticed a significant increase in telemarketing calls the past few weeks. If the call shows up as "Unknown" on the caller ID, I usually let it ring (if it's important, they'll talk to the answering machine), but if I get several in a row, I'll usually pick it up, prepared to chew out the person on the other end. Except, half the time it's just dead air. Now THAT'S some effective marketing.

I'm getting close to unplugging everything. Anyone I'd actually WANT to talk to has my cell phone number anyway, and when I move in January, I'm going to seriously consider forgoing phone service completely.

Posted by: Jeff at 4:43 PM on 24 September 2003

I used to have my modem set up to answer the phone. Now, I just don't answer the phone. Maybe I should give the judge a call around dinner time.

Posted by: Fred Boness at 6:17 PM on 24 September 2003

when this idea surfaced, i dissuaded my family from signing up on this list because i knew that i didn't want my number in yet another big database. i bet John Poindexter is laughing his ass off at all of the privacy nuts who signed up for this boondoggle. the Republican Congress will have to act immediately to resolve the conflict between what they intended and what they authorized, or the people will be really pissed.

i have been very successful at keeping these calls down by having an unlisted number. the cost is trivial compared to the peace and quiet.

also, avoiding sales calls is a big selling point among folks ditching their land lines for cell phones, because typically these calls don't get made to cell phones. i am surprised that the land line phone companies haven't gotten behind this effort to keep their customers. maybe they make much more on services to the calling centers, i don't know.

Posted by: rammer at 7:24 PM on 24 September 2003

I'm not on the list; I practice proactive call-avoidance. :)

And someone posted the judge's home phone number to Usenet, which means that he's probably ripped the cord out of the wall by now.

Posted by: CGHill at 7:43 PM on 24 September 2003

OMG . . LOL . . he deserves it for making such a ruling! :(

Myself I hype heavily the virtues of "Privacy Manager". Of course the majority think the phone co. should include that as part of basic service. Until they do I strongly believe it is wonderful. I haven't had a telemarketer since.

Posted by: ms7168 at 12:27 PM on 25 September 2003

I wasn't big on the idea of the no-call list either, but I have to admit that since we signed up for the Georgia one our telemarketer interruptions happen a lot less. Our fax line, though, isn't listed in Georgia, and it rings quite often without any faxes coming through.

We were using caller ID and the answering machine to intercept sales calls but that didn't help much. We also use a telezapper and that may have made a difference at least as much as the list.

As far as our information being in a big federal database, that ship sailed when we signed up for our Social Security cards.

Posted by: McGehee at 1:13 PM on 25 September 2003

Prequalification of prospects, at taxpayer expense, and the asshats threw it away. Hopefully everyone they call from now on will be someone who was on the don't call list, and not a live potential customer.

Posted by: triticale at 7:32 PM on 25 September 2003

does anybody know the judge's home phone number?

Posted by: kevin at 3:24 PM on 26 September 2003

Cam Edwards has posted a number for Hizzoner, but he reports that the judge's voicemail is full.

Posted by: CGHill at 5:35 PM on 26 September 2003

Judge Lee R. West should be hung due to treason against the people of the united states. Also telemarketers should be hung as well.

Posted by: C.H at 7:54 PM on 26 September 2003

Aw, come on. If telemarketers were the enemy of the people, John Ashcroft would have said something by now. :)

Posted by: CGHill at 8:36 PM on 26 September 2003

Someone should post the home addresses of both judges and their offices. I for one would spend the dollar for several letters expressing my "freedom of speech" opinion that both judges are using as the basis of their arcane decisions.

Posted by: Dicky Fallin at 1:35 PM on 28 September 2003