Telemarketers may soon be permitted to call cellphones at the owner's expense. Here's a campaign to throttle the legislation in committee. [Credo Action]

23 Responses to “New law would let telemarketers call your cellphone”

  1. rwmj says:

    For the benefit of the rest of the world: In the US you have to pay for incoming phone calls.  Yeah, I know, ridiculous.

  2. baldassarifr says:

    I suspect that a majority of the US population would vote against such a law. Yet another proof that congress has gone rogue. Pity.

  3. I’m already getting these calls, have been for months.

  4. Nimdae says:

    “Cell phones have been treated differently from landlines because they are much more personal.    …”

    No, cell phones have been treated differently because their use has a calculable cost. As pointed out, we are charged for incoming calls just as we are charged for outgoing calls. In many cases the cost is usage of limited available minutes (contract and prepaid plans). In many other cases there is a real monetary cost (pay as you go).

    This is not something to benefit telemarketers. The telecom lobby is big and strong so I suspect that is where this legislation comes from. It’s an attempt to encourage more inadvertent use and incur more charges.

  5. Toffer99 says:

    Hoax slayer says this is a bogus story.
    http://www.hoax-slayer.com/cellphone-numbers-going-public.shtml
    Anyone seen any evidence?

    • That hoax– that cellphone numbers are about to be published publicly — has nothing to do with this story, which concerns a law that would allow telemarketers to call you after learning your number via private, legimitate means.

  6. That_Anonymous_Coward says:

    Well telemarketers are terrified of all of those people who no longer have landlines.
    They no longer have to put up with spoofed caller id numbers, random calls from people very few people want to hear from, and a toothless law to stop those that break the few laws designed to stop them.

    We lost when they made charities and political calls exempt from the law the first time around.  If they are so wonderful, wouldn’t we have said please call us?
    This is why Opt In is better than Opt Out.

  7. dculberson says:

    Sounds to me like the NY Daily News got the particulars wrong.

    http://leeterry.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1852:the-mobile-informational-call-act-of-2011&catid=3:press-releases

    It looks like the law would require consent in ALL situations, and is solely intended to allow the use of pre-recorded “informational” calls to cell phones WITH consent, whereas now even with consent the TCPA makes it illegal to have those calls go to cell phones.

    @Toffer: that’s a completely different issue, and the link above being to the house.gov page seems like good enough evidence.

    • Nimdae says:

      There’s a difference between spirit of law and letter of law. Spirit of law may be to allow automated calls through existing accounts through consent, but letter of law may provide loopholes.

      I guess I would have to look up the actual text of the bill to see if there’s any truth to the claims.

    • GregS says:

      Would this be real consent (the kind where you have to consciously opt in), or “consent” buried in the terms of service from your cell provider, a “consent” you have to give in order to get cell phone service?

  8. Lobster says:

    They already do.

    • Nimdae says:

      Do you get marketing calls from businesses you have not had prior relations with? It is legal to make telemarketing calls to mobiles as long as it is not a robocall (automated dialer and message) and the business has a prior relationship with you (ie: your bank offering you insurance). Usually you can request these businesses to remove you from all marketing contact lists and they generally comply. Some don’t (ie: Bank of America) and I have resorted to blocking them as well as reporting them.

      If you get robocalled, or calls from business which you have no prior relationship, are you reporting them? They will continue to call you until there is a real cost to calling you.

      I generally do not receive cold calls nor robocalls as I’ve registered on the national and state do not call registries (why this has to exist, I have no fucking clue), plus I’ve resorted to reporting violations and have been responsible for tens of thousands of dollars in fines to various telemarketers (it’s too bad I don’t get to see any of it :( ).

      • Lobster says:

        It is a robocall from a business with whom I have had no prior business.  I’ve sat it out until getting a live operator a few times and said things like, “please remove me from your list” or “let me speak with your manager,” all of which have been met with a “Click!” 

        I tried reporting them.  They use multiple numbers, some of which I suspect are stolen.

        So, yeah, I guess these guys don’t care much about the law anyway, and their “service” is probably just a phishing scam.

        • Laroquod says:

          Many ‘robocalls’ are actually dialled completely randomly. How is the robot supposed to know that any set of random phone digits is or is not a cel phone? In practice, the only time the law comes into play is if you have foreknowledge that the number you are dialling is a cel phone. Thus, the moment the person on the other end informs you of such, you have to end the call and not call again — after that moment you are breaking the law, but they can’t criminalise dialling random numbers, which is what many of these organisations do.

  9. JB Zimmerman says:

    I love how the ‘campaign’ this links to on Credo flatly tells you that signing the petition means ‘you will receive periodic updates’ from them and DailyKos with *No opt in* and no way to decline these ‘updates.’

    • Plenty of other ways to fight stuff like this if you don’t want to sign the petition.

      • spamzonecharlie says:

        What other ways to fight this? I get calls ( on my cell, an Ontario number ) from (210) 301 0307 [Texas] about 4 times a week and from (302) 885 0000 [ Wilmington,DE ] about once a week.

        • RyanMcFitz says:

          Same here.  “It’s your captain calling…!”

          Apparently, Canadians have been identified as scammers as a great untapped market.  The US DNC list only takes US numbers and the Canadian DNC list only takes Canadian numbers.  We need an international DNC list.

          Oh — and the ability to enter a code on my cellphone to make a cartoon boxing glove sproing out of the caller’s handset to bop them in the nose.

  10. Culturedropout says:

    This week on “Will It Blend?”:  Telemarketers

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