After receiving yet another phone call from Dish Network, I have begun thinking about the National Do Not Call Registry. I have been on the registry for a year, and the calls definitely seemed to go down after I got on there, except for the calls from Dish Network - at least eight in the last year.
I even confirmed with the registry that my number was listed there. Then I filed a complaint against Dish Network. My wife asked about all the calls we get from companies where we have accounts, like the phone company. They are allowed to call us unless we specifically ask them not to. If we even make an inquiry with a company they can call us for three months after the inquiry.
I called the phone company and they agreed to take me off their call list. I still need to call the one credit card that pesters us with phone calls (the other credit card companies don't call us) but at least I know I can.
All of this led me to think about what it takes to make this registry work. Obviously it requires that people get themselves on the list. Their website even warns that if someone calls with an offer to get you on the registry for a fee it's a scam. Registry is free and is the responsibility of anyone who wants their number listed. The second thing that is required to make this work is that people need to report violations. This is easy to do at the donotcall.gov site. Just make sure that you have the name of the company, or the phone number they called from. Also, you must list the date they called. If the call is not within 31 days of your registration with the registry, and it is not from:
- a charity
- a political organization
- a poll (where they don't offer to sell anything)
- or a company where you are doing business
then it is a violation which will be investigated.
I guess it's like every other aspect of a representative government - how well it works depends entirely upon the participation of the citizens.
UPDATE 1/11/2007: I just got another call from Dish Network. I filed another complaint.