> A thread in the local forsale newsgroup here has been debating the
> legality of making telemarketing calls to cell phones (in the US).
> While most people seem to believe it's NOT legal, no one has been
> able to provide a specific reference.
That's a good question.
I also wonder if "exempt" calls -- political, charitable,
survey polls, prior business relationships -- would be allowed
to call cell phones.
This is of particular interest to me because my cell phone is on a low
use plan. I normally have it off during the day, but if I needed it
on (ie waiting for a call from a doctor or an ill family member, for
example) I could pay as much as $2.00 per minute plus taxes for an
unwanted call*. Given the repetitive volume of such calls (as many as
SEVEN a day during the voting season), I wouldn't be very happy paying
$15 for calls I never asked for.
Another rule I'm curious about is such prohibiting calls to nursing
homes. I was told they're illegal, but in my own experience they
happened and caused distress when they did**.
Some phone solicitors use sophisticated equipment and databases, but
others and small operators just scanning the phone book. There are
services that search out new phone book listings and house sales and
sell them to local businesses as potential new customers; some of
those use the phone for their pitches. Those calls are by a real
person (maybe the business owner) but they're just as annoying.
There are also sleavy business people out there who simply lie when
they make their phone calls. I get a call from time to time with the
caller saying "we've done business in the past", something I know is
absolutely a lie. But again, how much time can one devote to writing
up a complaint report? Often times the authorities won't do anything
with a single complaint, anyway.
[public replies please]
* The $2 is from roaming during peak times. Yes, I know there are
cheaper deals, but my monthly fee is very low and almost never make
such calls. It's just a backup in case I break down on a highway
** Supposedly you can report the offending caller and take action
against them. However, when you're dealing with a sick family member
in a nursing home, you have far more important things on your mind
than making the appropriate notes, writing up a complaint, etc.. The
family member is in no condition to record such a report. We ended up
disconnecting the phone, which annoyed me greatly.