February 20, 2005

Do-not-call registry loophole?

I received a call last Friday at home. I was at work, but the answering maching picked it up. The message said:
... This is not a sales call or a solicitation. Unfortunately, due to the nature of this matter, I am not able to provide additional information in this format. I, or one of my associates, can be reached at 1-800-XXX-XXXX. Please return this call..."
I used to get marketing calls every day, even Saturdays at 8 am. Really annoying. When I registered my phone number with the FCC do-not-call list over a year ago, the calls stopped. The rule does not limit some kinds of calls, though. To quote from the FCC site:
  • calls from organizations with which you have established a business relationship
  • calls for which you have given prior written consent
  • calls which are not commercial or do not include unsolicited advertisements
  • calls by or on behalf of tax-exempt non-profit organizations

It seems to me that by saying "this is not a sales call or solicitation" they are attempting to cover themselves (see the 3rd item above). And if I call them back, then it would be me who's contacting them, so they would be exempted from the rule and free to try to sell me anything.

I'm not calling them back, of course. But I hope this is not the beginning of a trend, or I may have to start shutting off my phone every Friday night... again.

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