Claim: Telemarketers are luring those who've signed up for the national "Do Not Call" list by getting them to request coupons for free products.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2003]
This is to all of you that signed up for the "do not call" law. This week I received a card in the mail that looked alright — It said "vote for your favorite cola
THEN I FOUND IT !! At the bottom of the card there is a VERY small statement. It is SO small it is hard to read—but here is what it says — By completing this form, you agree that sponsors and
This REALLY upset me and I just wanted all my friends to be aware of this way to get around the "do not call"
Origins: On 27 June 2003, the federal government implemented a national "Do Not Call" registry, giving those who did not want to be solicited by telephone an effective way to take themselves off call lists used by telemarketers. This warning about a phony vote for your favorite soda being used to circumvent the wishes of those opting out began appearing in inboxes in mid-July 2003, scant weeks after the registry went into
We haven't seen a copy of specific come-on described in the
The national "Do Not Call" list does not shield consumers from every type of unwanted phone call. Political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors are still free to make unsolicited calls without penalty, as are companies with which consumers have existing business relationships. It is this last exemption that provides ample reason for examining very closely any "too good to be true" offers, or for even rejecting them out of hand.
Filling out a survey form or mailing in a completed contest entry or taking some business up on its offer of free product might be construed as establishing a business relationship with that entity, a condition that would allow that group to make un-asked-for sales pitches over the telephone despite that particular consumer's inclusion on the national "leave me alone" list:
Even if you put your number on the National Do Not Call Registry, a company with which you have an established business relationship may call you for up to
No doubt companies will attempt to claim that a completed survey form or sweepstakes entry constitutes a request for information. And if you answer a survey that asks you about six different brands or types
of products, you might very well be putting yourself back on multiple telemarketing lists.
We suspect we're going to see a number of smooth moves over the next few months as firms that engage in telemarketing of their products work to find ways to lure consumers back onto their call lists. Along with surveys and sweepstakes, we're expecting to see a number of "Free stuff!" offers hit the table as businesses attempt
For the time being, those desirous of staying out of the clutches of telemarketers might do well to remember that "Something for nothing" never is.
Barbara "something to sting about" Mikkelson
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Last updated: 3 December 2007