Prerecorded Telemarketing Calls: The Need for Industry Reform


VMBC petitioned the Commission to amend the TSR to allow prerecorded telemarketing calls to consumers when the caller has a claimed business relation. If accepted, an EBR exception for prerecorded sales calls would have created a major loophole, opening the door for a dramatic increase in unwanted calls to consumers who had placed their telephone numbers on the national Do-Not-Call (DNC) Registry.

Contact the FTC: Speak Out about Pre-Recorded Telemarketing Calls


Did you put your telephone number on the national Do-Not-Call Registry (DNC), but still get sales calls from companies you’ve never heard of? Quite likely many unwanted sales calls you get today are not made by a live person. Instead many companies use auto-dialers, programmed to start a recorded message the minute you answer the phone. But, the calls that probably really get your dander up are the “dead air” calls, when you run to catch the phone but are met with silence.

Your Cell Phone Can Continue Talking Even After You Get Rid of It


It may not seem like common sense to clean your trash before you throw it away, but with technology that is exactly what you should do. 

Before you sell, donate or trash your cell phone, make sure that your personal information has been permanently deleted.  For most phones, this means more than resetting the phone.  Although resetting the phone may appear to delete your information, recent reports suggest that software programs can retrieve the information if it was not properly deleted.

Keeping Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) Private: Comments to the FCC


Consumers expect that their telephone calling records will remain private and unavailable to third parties without the customer's knowledge and authorization. Yet, it is clear that this expectation is unrealistic, evidenced by the findings in the Petition for Rulemaking submitted to the Commission by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).3

EPIC's Petition as well as recent news reports, state and federal legislative proposals, and government lawsuits against data brokers all point to a disturbing situation: Not only are current safeguards for customer calling records inadequate, but those that exist are being blatantly ignored.

Protect Your Cell Phone Records


Most of us assume that our phone records are private. Despite mounting legal battles, information brokers on the Internet continue to offer the name and address connected to a cell phone number, an individual's phone number, even the complete record of outgoing and incoming phone calls.

Comments to the Federal Trade Commission: Prerecorded Telemarketing Calls to Existing Business Customers (EBR)


For years intrusive, privacy invasive telemarketing calls have been a major source of consumer outrage.  Calls made by so-called “predictive” dialers -- automatic dialing that allows a telemarketer to call multiple households at one time -- have been a significant consumer complaint. Such calls are intrusive, invade the privacy of one’s home, and result in great annoyance when one races to answer the phone to find only dead air or a hang-up on the other end of the line. Predicative dialer calls are particularly troublesome and potentially dangerous for the elderly and the disabled.

PRC Recommends Wireless Cell Phone 411 Directory Should be Complete Opt In


The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) advocates that the wireless 411 directory that is slated to be launched in early 2005 provide a strict opt-in mechanism that requires express consent before cell phone numbers are listed in the directory. The PRC also believes that federal legislation should be strengthened to ensure this standard is met.

"We believe there are several reasons to recommend the opt-in standard, one being privacy," said Jordana Beebe, PRC Communications Director. Though the wireless industry touts their directory will be an opt-in standard, Beebe counters, "We are also concerned about the unregulated wireless industry overseeing the directory without legislative oversight."

Consumers on the Do Not Call Registry Allege Telemarketing Calls by Mortgage Concepts


Consumers in Southern California say they have been receiving calls from a company called Mortgage Concepts even though they are on the National Do Not Call Registry. The pre-recorded outbound sales calls ask consumers to push a number on their phone if they are the homeowner. They are then asked additional questions such as whether they are in the market to refinance their mortgage and are told a representative from Mortgage Concepts will call them back. When a representative does call them back, the company does not disclose information about their whereabouts.

Do Not Call Registry is "Fully Up and Running": Updates on Court Challenges and Enforcement Actions


Court challenges to the National Do Not Call Registry were thrown out about by the 10th Circuit District Court, upholding the ability for consumers to sign up for the Registry. While being challenged, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was given permission to begin enforcing the registry by the Tenth Circuit Court of appeals on October 7, 2003. Telemarketers can begin accessing the Registry on October 10th and have seven days to scrub their calling lists of those numbers.

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