By Tom Z
10:27 AM EDT, September 17, 2012
There are many annoying things about political season, but one stands out above the rest: robocalls. With these automated sales calls, telemarketers are able to call millions of people within a couple hours. And it’s not just politicians using this tactic. Robocalls have tripled over the past two years, and the amount of complaints that the government has received regarding telemarketers has more than doubled. All this has occurred despite the government’s Do Not Call list, which was created specifically to stop this kind of thing.
Telemarketers are supposed to check the list at least every 31 days for numbers they can't call. But some are calling anyway, and complaints about phone pitches are climbing even as the number of telemarketers checking the registry has dropped dramatically.
The industry says most legitimate telemarketers don't utilize robocalls to generate sales.
"They give a bad name to telemarketers and hurt everybody," says Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president of government affairs at Direct Marketing Association, a trade group.
I signed up for the do not call list a year ago and it has made exactly zero difference in the amount of telemarketing calls I get. If anything it's gotten worse. How is that possible? It's like if you signed up for match.com, and instead of meeting your soulmate, they sent girls to your house to laugh at you and ask why you can't get a date.
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