[telecom] Telemarketing Calls Keep Mounting Up, Along With Consumer Irritation

Telemarketing Calls Keep Mounting Up, Along With Consumer Irritation

By ALINA TUGEND June 1, 2012

SOMETIMES I just don't know when a column is going to hit a nerve. But judging from the response to my May 19 piece, annoying telemarketing calls and robo-calls rank high among the miserable irritants of everyday life.

Readers said the calls, particularly those that offer lower interest rates for credit cards and mortgages, are becoming more frequent, despite using every tool available to block them.

Reporting such calls to the Federal Trade Commission, as I suggested, was an exercise in frustration and futility, many readers told me.

"I have all four of my phone numbers on the Do Not Call Registry," one reader, John Dingman, of Dallas, told me in an e-mail. "When I report such calls, the F.T.C. site thanks me and there is no other discernible response. The calls continue, perhaps from other companies, perhaps from the same companies with a new gambit and/or phone number. Who knows?"

Readers told me that the Do Not Call Registry seemed to work just fine at blocking calls when it began in 2003 and for several years after that. But the number of unwanted calls has steadily increased.


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