Saturday, September 8, 2007

Your Dinner is About to Be Interrupted

Having my evening interrupted with telemarketing phone calls is an unpleasant but receding memory. Many states including my own passed do-not-call legislation in 2002. The fine print is that the registrations for the lists automatically expire after 5 years. After all, many people move and we don't want the person who "inherits" the old number be deprived of the wonderful experience of having their dinners interrupted by someone pitching timeshares. So if you signed up for your state's do-not-call list in 2002, that registration may be expiring if you didn't sign up again. Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are two such states.

The national do-not-call legislation was enacted in 2003 also with a provision for 5-year expiration of registrations, so if you've registered for that list your registration is still in effect and won't expire before next year.

Last year I got a now-rare phone call from a telepest. After giving them a hard time and filling out a complaint on the web site of my state attorney-general, I checked-up on my registration to make sure it hadn't expired. While I was at it, I went ahead and re-registered my phone number protecting me until 2011.

If you haven't registered your phone number on the national do-not-call list, you should do it now. Even if you have already registered, why not re-register it now that you're thinking about it so that you won't have a gap in your protection next year if you forget to renew it?

The registration process is fairly simple. Just go to the National Do Not Call Registry and fill in their form. You will need to give them an email address to verify your registration. Make sure that you follow the instructions in the email to compete the registration process. The web site also offers the capability to verify your registration.