by Mike Masnick

Urban Legend Email Effective At Driving Do Not Call Registrations

from the so-many-gullible-people dept

In the last week I've lost count of how many people have forwarded me an email claiming that everyone's mobile phone number is about to be handed over to telemarketers. I even have a reply which I cut and paste to people. It's not true. Some carriers are trying to offer numbers to a 411 service but it will be entirely opt-in, it won't be put in a book, will only be available on a per-request basis and it will still be totally illegal for telemarketers to call your mobile phone. To their credit, the majority of the people who forwarded it to me did so asking if it was real -- noting their own skepticism. However, it appears not everyone was so skeptical, as the national Do Not Call list received a sudden influx of 3 million new registrations in the past two weeks, which clearly beats the 200,000/per week they were used to receiving. There's nothing wrong with putting a mobile phone number on the Do Not Call list, but that phone number shouldn't be called whether or not it's on the list. And this potential directory isn't going to change that at all.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Factory, Dec 10th, 2004 @ 4:00am


    But I wouldn't be surprised if in 10 years telemarketers can get away with calling ppl on the DNC and then it will become the very worst list to be on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    brent ashley (profile), Dec 10th, 2004 @ 5:31am

    number portability

    What about number portability? How do the telemarketers know when you start using a number on your cell that used to belong to a land line? Is there a way to know definitively that a number is a cell phone before calling it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Paul, Dec 10th, 2004 @ 7:58am

    Calls are coming into cell phones...

    We don't give out our cell phones to any businesses, but my wife and I have recently begun to receive calls on our Sprint PCS phones from telemarketers.

    Only the phone companies know the difference between a land line and a cell phone. And I don't believe that they are willing to give out that information, so I agreee with the other person who stated that number portability is going to cause lots of problems in this area.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    eponymous geek, Dec 10th, 2004 @ 8:03am

    Re: number portability

    this is exactly the problem I have. since my cell number used to be my landline number, I get calls (recordings and telemarketers without an existing business relationship) that are not legal on cell phones but are allowed to landlines. If there's a person on the other end I can tell them what they're doing wrong but what about a line hijacking recorded sales pitch? And while we're on the subject, what about telemarketers with old phone lists asking for my number's previous owner?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2004 @ 10:26am

    Telemarketrs suck

    Woopee if the email was a scam ... as a result, many more people have become aware of the Do Not Call List and registered #'s they don't want to be bothered on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Wil, Dec 12th, 2004 @ 2:13pm

    No harm

    I use a cell exclusively, and have noticed in the past year or so the following tactic: Telemarketers, who shouldn't be calling my cell anyway, call my cell. Before I can say "cell phone, do not call me!" they hang up, so as to avoid the inevitable "remove this number from your call list" request.

    Yeah -- I want to do business with these people. Really. And I've got a dead Nigerian General's Swiss bank account number, too!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Andrew Klossner, Dec 13th, 2004 @ 2:52pm

    You're already opted in!

    "Entirely opt-in" is effectively meaningless when the mobile phone company equates "signing up for service" with "opting in". Have a look at the Verizon service agreement at http://www.vzwshop.com/popups/customeragreement_popup.aspx?zc=97070
    and read:
    "we won't share personal information ... (This doesn't include your name, address, and wireless number. Unless you arrange otherwise with us and pay any required fee, we may list them in a public directory.)"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Mike (profile), Dec 13th, 2004 @ 4:40pm

    Re: You're already opted in!

    None of the carriers actually do consider signing up for service as opting in for the directory. In fact, the example you cited, Verizon Wireless, has already decided not to be involved in any way with this particular directory...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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