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Does The “Do Not Call” List Really Work?

If you get as many telephone solicitations as most people, you’re probably looking for ways to put a stop to them. But does the U.S. government’s “do not call” list really work to stop unwanted phone calls. The answer is “yes” — but it isn’t perfect.

As it happens, there are several things you can do to reduce or eliminate unwanted sales calls. Here are a few tips:

1. Go ahead and sign up on the list. It doesn’t hurt anything or increase calls in any way, and the government do not call list will stop calls from reputable companies with which you have a previous relationship. Most calls you get, however, are probably from disreputable companies or from companies you do business with, which are allowed to call you in some cases.

2. Never answer a call from a number you don’t know. When you answer a solicitation call you go on the “good” list, even if you yell, scream and tell them not to call again. Answering proves the number works, and agencies sell and resell lists of good numbers. Let all unfamiliar caller go to voicemail and call back the ones you want to speak with.

3. Don’t enter any contests. Whether online, at a trade or garden show or in the mall, don’t sign up for any contests. When you do, you’re often giving the marketer permission to call you. And is that chance at a $25 gift card really worth all the hassles that will result over the coming months?

4. Opt out of junk mail. When you ask to be taken off the mailing list of junk mail distributors, make sure your phone number is removed from the database too. While this may not help a lot with phone solicitations, it does in some cases. And you’ll have less annoying junk mail to deal with anyway.

The government “do not call” list is just one part of an effective strategy to combat overzealous dialers. Using these simple tips can help you reduce the annoyance of unwanted telephone calls and reclaim a little quiet time in your life.