Guest Author - Kim Lynch
The phone rings and you glance at the caller ID. There it is, a strange number with no name. Do you answer it or do you screen the call?
If youíre like most people you probably screen the call and wait to hear a familiar voice. Typically you hear silence and then a click as the caller hangs up. Thatís when you begin to wonder. Should I have answered it? Did I miss an important call? Has something terrible happened? You recall entering that contest last month. Is it possible that you won and have now missed your chance to claim your big win fall?
While I understand telemarketers have a job to do, most of us just want to be left alone. Registering your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry is the first step on the path to cutting down on unwanted sales calls. It takes 31 days for the registry to take effect and you will remain on the registry for five years.
You will need an email address to register, but the process is simply. Enter up to 3 numbers along with your email address. Click the submit button and wait for your confirmation email. Your registration will not become effective until you confirm your registration by clicking on the link included in the email from Register@donotcall.gov.
Registering with the do not call list is a great first step to eliminating unwanted sales call, but a few determined telemarketers might continue to persist. If you want to do your part in helping to eliminate telemarketers who ignore the Do Not Call List, then you must take 2 minutes to file a complaint with the FTC from the Do Not Call Registry Web Site.
The complaint process is simple and quick. Enter your phone number and either the name or number of the offending caller along with the date and time of the call. If the number appeared on your Caller ID you have everything you need.
That brings us back to all those persistent, mystery callers who hang up when we try to screen the call. Many of these numbers are new or unlisted and doing a reverse phone number search usually leads to a dead end.
A reverse number search is not your only option when trying to identify mystery callers. Who Called Us (www.whocalled.us) is a great service that allows you to identify many of those mystery callers. Enter the number and click search to bring up comments from others who have identified the location and possibly identity of the caller.
Another option for determining the identity of mystery callers is 800notes.com. The site works like the same as Who Called Us and also includes news and articles related to telemarketers and consumer protections.
Both sites offer the option to contribute your own comments or experiences with the caller.