Fact Finders: Stopping telemarketers, despite the no-call lists

Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 8:41 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A number of you have signed up for the no-call list to block telemarketers. But you’re also telling us you’re still getting calls.

A Springfield, Missouri resident tells us, “I had a construction company call me on my cell phone recently. I told him I’m on the state and federal no-call list.” He said, “They’d be in my area and wondered if there was anything they could do for us.” He also said, “This is not a telemarketing call. I’m not selling you anything.”

The viewer’s question: Does this call meet the definition of telemarketing?

The new Missouri Attorney General did not have time for an interview in his first week in office.

So, we talked to the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office about this topic. First, it recommends you sign up for this no-call list. In Arkansas, the list has merged with the federal list. So, Arkansas’s website will take you to the FTC.

This is the Federal Trade Commission. Look to the far right on the website to register your phone.

Now, each website has a place where you can file a complaint. In Arkansas, it looks like this. Try to get as much information as possible for the form. The most important thing is to have the business’s phone number that calls you.

On Your Side’s Ashley Reynolds reminds you, “It’s typical that a large number of complaints will result in a class action lawsuit. Customers usually have to report the number that called in order to get a piece of the settlement.”

At the federal level, start here to report unwanted calls. Again, you’ll need the number of the place that called you. And when you look at the website, notice the categories for the complaint form. One is for home improvement and cleaning.

The Arkansas Attorney General’s office recommends you file a complaint against the construction company offering you services.

We also reached out to the Better Business Bureau about this. It told us in the U.S., an immediate red flag is if the recording is a sales pitch and you haven’t given your written permission to receive calls from the company on the other end. Then, the call is considered illegal.

On the federal level, here’s the list of what’s allowed and not allowed. Of course, politicians can call you. Otherwise, this list goes on... and on.

Returning to the viewer’s question, does this call meet the definition of telemarketing? If you’re on the no-call list and haven’t given permission for unsolicited calls, we will fall on the side of ‘not allowed.’ To be absolutely certain, file a complaint with your state and the FTC.

By the way, we did reach out to the FTC. So far, the agency has not replied to our request for an interview.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com