Monday, June 27, 2011
Help Me Howard: Calling Do Not Call List
Do you enjoy having telemarketers trying to sell you swamp land in the desert, time-share in Tuscaloosa and insurance for nothing? I didn't think so, which is why many people are on the do not call lists, but guess what, the telemarketers are still calling and for a reason. Which is why one man called Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Jeff Pearl is in the real estate business and if you know anybody in that business, you know when their phone is busy they are beaming, but for Jeff that ringing phone...
Jeff Pearl: "I am really not interested."
Is turning into a real headache.
Jeff Pearl: "I am on the Florida Do Not Call List and the national Do Not Call List so they are ignoring it. Totally ignoring it."
Calls from those good old telemarketers that everybody loves to make fun of.
A couple of months ago, Jeff went online to check rates to re-do his mortgage. Next thing he knew the company sold his phone number. Jeff is now convinced to every telemarketer in North America.
Jeff Pearl: "I have had companies call me for business opportunities. I have had companies calling me for credit card reduction, cutting my bills, companies calling me for mortgage rate decreases. New mortgages that the government is offering."
Jeff of course tells them to stop calling.
Jeff Pearl: "No I am not interested in credit card debt reduction."
Jeff Pearl: "Well when they call I tell them I am on the do not call list. Don't call me anymore and they literally hang up on you or they will say something not nice and hang up on you."
Jeff wanted to report the callers to the state but hit a dead end.
Jeff Pearl: "They use computer generated phones. They are also using numbers that are disconnected when you call back."
Jeff then decided to outsmart the smart aleck telemarketers.
Jeff Pearl: "So the only way I can get thru to these people is I get friendly. I get all their information and once I get it, I report it to the do not call list cause once they know you are interested they have the actual company call you back. That's when you got them."
Jeff says he has discovered some telemarketers are fronts for companies selling products and once he got their name and number, he turned it over to the state
Jeff Pearl: "Perfect, I will get back with you by 4."
But Jeff is a working man and doesn't have time to toy with telemarketers all day.
Jeff Pearl: "It's very annoying."
Well Howard, have the telemarketers found a loophole in the do not call law or are they just breaking the law?
Howard Finkelstein: "They have not found a loophole they are just breaking the law. The problem with nailing these types of telemarketers, they plan was to break the law and that plan also includes a way to make it virtually impossible to catch them."
When I spoke to the State Agriculture Department, which oversees the Do Not Call list, they told me Jeff was right, that they are seeing a major increase in do not call complaints. That in the last year, over 7,000 people have called them to let them know telemarketers are breaking the law. But the state told me it's tough to track them down. That the telemarketers are using throw away phones, pre-paid cell phones and moving their offices from one place to the next very often.
Howard Finkelstein: "If you don't recognize the number don't answer. If you answer and don't know them hang up or do like Jeff said lead them along, get their information and turn them in."
Jeff says trying to trick the telemarketers has worked a little and that's good because he lives on the phone.
Jeff Pearl: "I do that I raise money for movies. I've got my singing I am working on right now and I do the real estate."
Patrick Fraser: "Busy guy. Now the state says the newest scam they are seeing is telemarketers that are selling energy savings plans. If you get that call, hang up and if you are talking to a business and they ask for your phone number, don't give it to them. That's what started Jeff's headaches."
Real troubles left your ears ringing? Don't tele a marketer, tell us. We wont call you over and over and you wont want to hang up after we help you.
CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD: