Whatever happened to the "Do Not Call" List?

River's picture

When the "Do Not Call" list was created a few years ago, I thought it was the best new thing to come along in quite a while, and I jumped to add my phone number to the list.

The program worked as advertised for a couple of years, but lately I've noticed that I'm gradually starting to get more and more unsolicited phone calls. Most of them seem to be some sort of automated system where you get silence for a few seconds after you answer, then some person pops up with a survey or some other thinly veiled sales scam.

One of these numbers (866-819-5368) showed up on my Caller ID more than once, so I Googled it, and it turned out to be Bell South and/or AT&T. Apparently they claim to be "testing the lines". I've never waited around long enough to see if anybody actually comes on, but I've had several calls from that number.

If you have Caller ID, check to see what numbers you have gotten calls from, and if there is a pattern of the same number calling you. If you want to find out about a particular number, you can look it up on http://whocalled.us/ (no www. needed).

Also, be aware that your registration on the "do not call" list needs to be renewed every few years. Go to https://www.donotcall.gov/default.aspx and follow the instructions for "Register a Phone Number".

I think the reason for this decline in effectiveness in "Do Not Call" is that big business has more pull than individual citizens in our government. Money talks! The only way for individuals to counter that is to make more noise than the businesses that are making these calls.

The more of us that raise a ruckus about unsolicited phone calls, the more the politicians will listen. (one can only hope!!) Start by registering your phone number at this site, and register a complaint at the same site if a company like Bell South calls you after your number has been registered.

I'd like to know if anybody else is getting repeated calls from the same number. I'll bet that a bunch of you have gotten called by that same Bell South number that has called me. Let us know what numbers are calling you repeatedly.

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Submitted by shimane on Tue, 08/14/2007 - 3:34pm.


Did you know that politicians are exempt?

Citizens for Civil Discourse, a non partisan non profit, is working on starting a national political do not contact registry.

Learn more at:

CCD website: http://www.StopPoliticalRobocalls.org/


Shaun Dakin
Founder and CEO

Submitted by loveptc on Tue, 08/14/2007 - 4:30pm.

It is my understanding that Politicians and Charity's are exempt from this list. I also heard that anyone you do business with (AT&T, Visa, etc.) are exempt also. Anyone know if this is true?

Submitted by Eric J Williams on Sat, 08/11/2007 - 8:44pm.

I too get those same calls that start in silence and I just hang-up. I just recently was given a phone number to call to renew my numbers on the "Do Not Call List". Also, the laws have changed and solicitors can call your cell phones numbers as well.

If you call this number and follow the automated instructions your number will be added to the updated "do not call list". This only takes about a minute but you must call from the phone you want added to the list. It seems like a small price to pay for the reduction in aggrevation.

The number is:888-382-1222

Good Luck!

TinCan's picture
Submitted by TinCan on Sat, 08/11/2007 - 4:21pm.

I assume you're not using AT&T (BellSouth) for your phone service because if you are they can call you all they want. That old "business relationship" exemption can get you a lot of unwanted calls. If you buy much on line and are required to enter you phone number there's a whole new set of business relationships. That and charities, including all the companies that collect for sheriff's departments, officers associations, and any other "charity". I don't mind the charities calls but the outfits that send around 10% to the organizations and keep the othre 90% irritate me.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Sat, 08/11/2007 - 8:19pm.

Many, many years ago when Mrs. Git had a brain seizure and married me, we kept her phone number which naturally utilized her maiden name. We never changed it. So after all these years it's a piece of cake to separate our good calls from our spam calls.

When we answer the phone and they ask for Mr. or Mrs. Harp we are able to immediately identify them as a trash call thus telling them "Wrong Number" and simply hanging up on them. I highly recommend this tactic to all newly weds. Though, I'm not sure how this method would work with a hyphenated name. Shocked


"That man was Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard".


AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Sat, 08/11/2007 - 8:40pm.

I tend to use the "dirty diaper" technique to rush marketers off of the phone. When they hit me with the speel, I go, "Ohhhh, awwww, man. I'm in the middle of a diaper explosion. Gotta go, sorry. click"
Or at times, I'll no fallo ingles or no hablo ingles. Anything to creatively block and parry.

Kevin "Hack" King

Submitted by Eric J Williams on Sat, 08/11/2007 - 8:46pm.

My kids tell me to answer and tell the telemarketer that "we have enough pancakes, where's the syrup?

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