Don’t call us


A great day is coming. Oct. 1 will be the day the national do-not-call list forces telemarketers to stop invading your privacy.

For those who don’t know (and there are always a few), the do-not-call list is a database that lists telephone numbers that telephone solicitors can no longer call. The Federal Trade Commission is in charge of the list, but the FTC and the Federal Communications Commission will enforce it.

If it was your intention to sign up, you may have missed your window to get those irritating calls automatically stopped for the registry’s first three months of operation. The deadline to get on the list was Sunday, but operators will continue accepting numbers, processing them as quickly as possible.

You can register for the do-not-call list by calling (888) 382-1222 or by visiting www.donotcall.gov. It takes about three minutes. You’ll be joining some 41 million people.

Of course, there are some loopholes. Charities, pollsters and political campaigns are exempt from using the list.

In addition, according to the registry’s Web site, “even if you put your number on the National Do Not Call Registry, a company with which you have an established business relationship may call you for up to 18 months after your last purchase or delivery from it, or your last payment to it, unless you ask the company not to call again. (In that case, the company must honor your request not to call. If they subsequently call you again, they may be subject to a fine of up to $11,000.)”

You know what that means, some of the worst offenders will continue to call you until you tell them to stop in no uncertain terms.

Our hearts go out to those businesses who, like the daily newspaper which gets up to 40 percent of its subscriptions by interrupting your private life, will have to find less intrusive ways to violate your privacy. We figure they’ll hire more down-on-their-luck types to direct-market to your car window or resort to spamming your e-mail inbox.

But still, it’s going to feel great to pick up the phone and say, "I don’t want your crap, and don’t call me anymore."