Digital technology and the internet have revolutionized how people communicate and how companies do business. In many ways, modern technology benefits consumers. It is easier than ever to verify a company’s claims, make purchases at your own convenience and even avoid obnoxious marketing efforts. Unfortunately, as consumer technology improves, so do the forms of technology used by scammers and telemarketers.
Chances are good that you have probably had to deal with a persistent and potentially illegal attempt to reach you by a telemarketer in recent months. There has been an explosion in companies using digital systems to mask their outgoing phone numbers.
These companies often do not follow federal law regarding telemarketing. Informing yourself about your rights can let you know if you have grounds for pursuing action against these obnoxious telemarketers.
Companies should provide a business name, as well as an opt out option
Have you been getting those obnoxious calls that claim they want to sell you rewards based on your recent vacation, help you with your vehicle warranty or even get you on a different health insurance plan?
If so, you likely noticed that you weren’t talking to a person, but rather a machine. More importantly, that recorded voice did not identify the name of the business or provide you with a contact number for the company. Instead, it rambles on through a script and will likely disconnect if you attempt to ask to speak to a human or get removed from their call list.
In order to legally telemarket to people in the United States, companies must identify themselves by name and must provide an opt-out option. If a company will not allow you to remove yourself from their call list, they are violating the law. Getting copies of your phone records can help you document how long this harassing and abusive behavior has gone on, even if the numbers change each time they call.
Randomized, local numbers are a new telemarketer gimmick
The phone rings, and you notice that it’s a number from your town. Not only the area code, but the three-digit prefix likely matches your own phone number. You assume that it’s somebody nearby, so you answer the phone.
Only then do you realize that this is not a local call. In fact, it is likely a robocall coming out of a massive call center in another state or even another country.
Unscrupulous companies are using systems that match their phone numbers on caller ID to the local number they attempt to reach. This is not only deceptive, it may be a violation of the law. These companies must identify themselves, and provide an accurate phone number at which you can reach them is part of this requirement.
The only way that these obnoxious practices are going to stop is if consumers document this kind of harassment and take legal action against the companies infringing on their right to quietly enjoy their lives.
Thorough analysis of your phone records, as well as a consultation with a consumer rights attorney, can give you an idea of what legal actions are available if you have been the target of these highly questionable and obnoxious telemarketing practices.