What You Can Do About Annoying Telemarketers and Junk Mail

There are several low-cost hardware devices on the market today that will protect you against most of those unwanted telemarketing phone calls. But for the price of a stamp you can write a letter requesting that your address and phone number be removed from telemarketing lists, and that your name not be sold to other telemarketing companies. Probably not 100% effective, but a good start.

For telemarketers:

  • Telephone Preference Service
    c/o Direct Marketing Association
    P.O. Box 9014
    Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014
    (include your name, address, & phone number)

For junk mail:

  • Mail Preference Service
    c/o Direct Marketing Association
    P.O. Box 9008
    Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008

Sample letter

TIPS on telemarketing:

  • If you are receiving a lot of hang-up phone calls, it may be a telemarketing call. Many times telemarketers use a computer to call phone numbers. If you get a phone call and all you hear is dead air, it may be a telemarketing call. If you do not answer in time their computer will hang up and try another number. If this happens to you, write to the above address to get off these lists.
  • Use an answering machine or Caller-Id to screen your calls.
  • Don’t fall for the “Buy right now or the deal will go away” scam. If the deal is good today, it will be good tomorrow. Don’t fall for the pressure tactics and remember that you are in control of the conversation — all you have to do is hang up.
  • NEVER give out your credit card or checking account information over the phone (unless you initiate the call). Many con artists use this tactic, and once they have your account information they have complete access to your money.
  • Many telemarketing company employees have to take a certain number of “NO” answers. Which means that you might have to say “NO” two or three times just so they can give you their rebuttals. That is why they will ask you so many questions — because they usually have a list of the more popular reasons why you don’t want to buy. They have another list of rebuttals for why you don’t want to buy their product. The best thing to do is to tell them to take your number off their list.By F.C.C. law, they have to take your number off of their list. If they call you back , then report them.

For more information on junk mail, telemarketing, spam e-mail and how to report violations:

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