October 22, 2008

RoboCall avoidance: Here's the solution...(yeah, right)

RoboCalls got you steaming? Welcome to the club. Here's the solution...

A RacinePost reader -- who says she received three "grossly inaccurate" John McCain RoboCalls today -- sent us the number of the National Do Not Call registry. Call this number -- 1-866-558-5591 -- she said, and your phone number will be removed from the John McCain RoboCall list.

Having received the "terrorist" RoboCall last week, and the "there goes your health care" RoboCall just this morning, I found myself interested, albeit skeptical. The cynic in me warned that the call could lead overseas to put a big fee on my phone bill, some Nigerian scam, doncha know.

Well, I checked the Internets, and although I didn't find the actual number listed, I did find enough stories about the RoboCall Do Not Call list to convince me there is such a thing. In fact, here's a story debunking a John McCain claim that he "invented" the Do Not Call telemarketing registry in 2003. I say it's debunked, since the FTC started work on the registry in 2001. (Al Gore didn't invent the internet, either, but that's another story for another day, boys and girls.)

Here are two more stories about the current wave of RoboCalls, one from the New York Times and the other from the Huffington Post. If so far you've missed the call itself, a link to an audio version of it is here as well.

In any case, I called the number and it certainly appeared to be a RoboCall Do Not Call registry. "Please press "1" to add your number to the do not call list, or stay on the line to leave a message," was all I heard before pressing 1 and terminating the call. You can also register online. Go to https://www.donotcall.gov/ and follow the simple instructions.

Do I expect to avoid future calls? (Barack, this means you, too!) Hey, I wasn't born yesterday. Maybe in some far distant galaxy... The government website says: " Most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days," so a call today will not prevent your phone from ringing during the next two weeks.

Or not at all. In addition to calling the number, I registered through the website, and then used the confirmation feature to ensure that I'd done it correctly. Moments later I received the confirmation email, which stated: "Your phone number with the last four digits xxxx was most recently registered in the National Do Not Call Registry on June 30, 2003. Most telemarketers will be required to stop calling you 31 days from your registration date."

Ah, so much for that!

UPDATE, 4:30 p..m.: I just received a call from Rudy Giuliani! He wanted to warn me that Barack Obama opposes prison sentences for violent criminals. It must've been another RoboCall, because Rudy didn't shut up when I tried to tell him I'm on the NoCall list...


  1. In one day I got the

    There goes my health,
    There goes my gun,
    Terrorist afoot!

    This was all before 2 pm.

    Thanks McCain but no thanks!

  2. political speech is exempt from do not call rules

  3. says she received three "grossly inaccurate" John McCain RoboCalls today

    Just because you do not agree does not mean it is not accurate.

  4. Did they caution you that it may take up to two weeks to remove your number from the political robocall list? ;-)

    (And to anonymous #3: Just because you heard it on AM radio doesn't mean it's accurate.)