So much for the national "Do Not Call" list...

The ninth circle of hell is populated with telemarketers, phone solicitors, and spammers. Or it should be.

Several years ago, I signed up on the National Do Not Call list. (If you want to sign up their site is here.) But there are several loopholes. For instance, if you subscribe to a magazine, the magazine can sell your number to a company who will try to extend or hawk other subscriptions to you. There’s also a couple of “charities” (actually advocacy groups) that call repeatedly asking you to respond to a survey.

Personally, when my phone rings, I expect it to be a family member or a close friend. Nobody else, not the Benevolent Firemen’s Association, or the TV survey… nobody. And the fact that I have to either answer the phone or call these tools to tell them to fuck off annoys me even more. Is telemarketing even remotely profitable these days?

I guarantee you, the presidential candidate who promises to make the Do Not Call registry ironclad gets my vote. And the people who run this site,, kick ass. Old rant, I’m sure, but I’m awestruck by the number of “free toll” or “800 service” calls I get daily…

Gut response, yeah, of course. But slippery-slope-wise, I can live with a distinction between commercial solicitation and constitutional speech protections. Price you pay, greatest country in the world, yadda yadda yadda.

I’d hate to think that people willingly enter an industry where the BEST they can hope for is to be compared with Satan so that they could ALSO lose money as well.

Yes, it is. Dialamerica reports $220 million in revenue per year. They are the largest telemarketing company, so they might not be a great reflection of the industry as a whole though.

Everything I know about the US Constitution I learned piecemeal from reading the 'Dope :slight_smile: But is telemarketing actually protected by the Constitution? I don’t think so.

What in holy fuck are you talking about?

What is is difficult about hanging up when you know it’s a telemarketer?

Well - I’m in grad school, writing a dissertation. So I’m at home a lot in the day. My phone is not in my office, so when it rings I tend to get up to see who it is. I even have one of those talking phones, but it isn’t the greatest at pronouncing names.

I just don’t like the idea of someone calling me unless I’ve invited them to do so. Especially when they call multiple times. If Mr. Telemarketer Disguised As A Charity calls and I don’t answer, I’d prefer he leave a message, instead of calling me every day. If it’s so important to call leave a message; otherwise don’t call!

I imagine that the poster was referring to political advertisements made over the phone.

But, according to the one semester Intro to Constitutional Law class I took, you could indeed ban such calls under “time, place and manner” restrictions, as long as you banned all such political calls equally. I await the SDMB’s troop of lawyers who will likely tell me I am incorrect.

Probably about the same amount of difficulty that it takes for the fuckwad telemarketers to realize that the majority of subscribers bought the phone service to communicate with others at their convenience and not for the purpose of inviting unsolicited business proposals into their home.

Just a hunch on my part

The constitution may allow them to talk, but it doesn’t require me to listen.

I say the do-not-call list should have no exemptions.

I recently bought a new matress and box spring and I went with the 12 months same as cash option rather than put it on a pre existing credit card. Turns out that the financing folks are rather keen on offering me all sorts of other monies over the phone. Yesterday I finally answered one and talked to the guy for about 10 minutes about how excited I was to get a home equity line of credit. When he asked me what has been holding me back I told him. I live in an apartment.

Don’t think they’ll be calling back anytime soon.

Of course you’re free not to listen. Hang up. But I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the possible implications of disallowing even all forms of non-commercial contact. I smell an unintended consequence lurking around a corner.

My husband’s grandfather was complaining about all the telemarketing calls he gets these days. He wasn’t interested in actually letting us talk, or we might’ve been able to explain about the DNC list. So apparently, all the telemarketers are calling the five people who haven’t signed up to the list.

Such as? I am serious, what unsolicited call is actually of value? I get 4-6 pre-recorded political messages per day leading up to elections. How would not getting these be detrimental to the USA? If a person is on the DoNotCall List, then charities, “market survey” companies and politicians should respect it. They do not, so the law should be expanded.

At least with the “market survey” companies and fake PBA’s I can tell them I do not accept unsolicited calls and please put me on their own do not call list. But the politicians conveniently left every loophole in place for their stupidity. They can call and use pre-recorded messages. This is not right or fair.


What part of “unintended” don’t you understand? I’m not saying that’s all the proof I need to protect telemarketers to the death. I’m saying that it’s a more complicated issue than simply “I don’t like to get such calls.” And we shouldn’t ban a practice that has survived so long due to constitutional protection just because it’s occasionally annoying. I’d rather not get such calls too. But before we overturn constitutional precedent in favor of annoyance, we should be double dang sure it wouldn’t give the Patriot [sic] Act a whole new set of teeth we never dreamed of (for a completely made up, hypothetical example; I have no idea what such a thing’s relevance is to the Patriot [sic] Act).

Presumably, the practice HAS remained constitutionally protected for this very reason, no? I know that door-to-door solicitation has stood the Supreme Court test; does anyone know (A) if that’s relevant here, or alternatively, (B) if telephone solicitation has undergone the same constitutional scrutiny as door-to-door?

Caller ID is a godsend. If we don’t recognize the number, it doesn’t get answered. Period. If it’s someone important or someone we know who’s calling from an unfamiliar number, they’ll leave a message on voicemail. If not, oh well. It took a while to get out of the instant servitude to the ringing phone that my mother managed to instill, but it was probably the most stress-relieving social rebellion I’ve ever taken on.

People really are slaves to the bell…

I am in total agreement. Some of the “surveys” are a sham. They are promoting products or trying to instill negative reactions to political opponents. Not only did the candidate of my choice lose, but I will forever associate my new senator with corrupt tactics and telephone harrassment. Way to go, Senator-Elect Bob Corker!

Meanwhile, I don’t undestand why anyone has a First Amendment Right to use my telephone!

I received a phone call from a group claiming to be part of Amnesty International. They said that they were called “Share.” I don’t know how they got AI’s membership list, but they said they were collecting money for some special drive, blah, blah. The first time, I contributed. The next year, I told them that I would go to Amnesty International’s website to check out the Share program and donate from there. The woman said that there was no link from their website. Oh dear. This does not bode well.

I think “old and vulnerable” is printed under my name in some phonebook.

Interesting, I am incapable of seeing a danger in no more telemarketing calls. But as you say, there might be an “unintended” problem. This is bordering on far-fetched however. I cannot see a link to the Patriot Act in this issue.

I would settle for politicos not being allowed to use machine messages. At least if it is a human at the other end, I will be less offended and less indignant.


The problem with using Caller ID and just not picking up the phone when you see that it is a 1-800 number, is that the fuckwads will keep calling you back, sometimes every frickin’ day, until you finally snap and pick up the phone and tell them to go fuck themselves. (Hypothetically speaking, of course.)