Help Stop Illegal Telemarketing (and a good reason why it’s worse than just annoying)

If you’re on the do-not-call list and get a telemarketing call from Direct TV, you can help. 

Before I get into that, though:  last night I learned another reason why telemarketing is detrimental to the public good.  I got a call with the pause when I answered that indicates that it’s automated.  I usually hang up at that point, to avoid the pitch to refinance my mortgage (!), or how to vote in the upcoming election. But this time I didn’t, and it was the Berkeley police notifying the neighborhood that a child was missing. (Later, I got another automated call saying she had been found.)  If I had followed my usual practice of hanging up on automated calls, I would have missed this one — as well as any other such calls warning me of, say, a dangerous criminal on the loose or a toxic release in my neighborhood.

As for Direct TV: I’ve gotten two automated telemarketing calls from Direct TV in the last couple of weeks, despite the fact that (1) I am on the do not call list, and (2) I have never been a customer of theirs. This is a violation of the laws creating the do not call list, as well as being really annoying.

I went online and, with some digging, found a way to email the president of the company yesterday.  The good news is that I got a follow-up call from the office of the company’s president today. The bad news is that they kept saying they would take my number off their list. Good; I’m pleasantly surprised that they were so responsive.

But I kept repeating that it’s not just me, it’s anyone on the do not call list.  The guy I talked to suggested that this is a third party working on their behalf. I repeated that this is illegal.

What you can do:  if you get a call from them, here’s the webpage that allows you to complain to the office of their president: 

http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/global/contentPageIF.jsp?assetId=P4580012

Maybe they need to get a flurry of complaints to convince them that mine is not an isolated incident (which it can’t be — why would they pick on me?).

The calls are automated and clearly expect a person to answer the phone; they don’t even leave a contact number. The first call, I answered, and stayed on the line to find out what company it was so I could complain.  They say, select 1 to talk to a rep; 9  ‘if we have reached you in error.’  I punched 9; they called again. Second call was left on my answering machine, making it particularly silly — if I had wanted to buy what they were selling, they left no callback number, expecting me to have been there to punch 1.

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One response to “Help Stop Illegal Telemarketing (and a good reason why it’s worse than just annoying)

  1. Thank you for the information.
    I have left a complaint on both the DirectTV website and with the FTC.

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