If you remember back five years ago, the Do-Not-Call Registry (DNCR) allowed us to register our telephone numbers and silence ill-timed disturbances by telemarketers.You may be surprised to learn those quiet, sales-pitch free evenings are not permanent.
The 2003 law (the "Do-Not-Call Implementation Act") that established the DNCR contained a provision mandating a five-year expiration of telephone numbers registered to the list.Those who were first to register should know their numbers will begin to vanish from the list next June unless they re-register or President Bush signs the "Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007" into law, making registration permanent. Without the president's signature, everyone currently on the DNCR must re-up to remain on it.This could be problematic for many, especially vulnerable older Americans who may either not know that they must re-register or won't remember – leaving their telephone numbers as fair game for telemarketers.
The DNCR is one of the most popular and well-received government programs in recent years, one that has registered 146 million telephone numbers. Survey results show the DNCR has been a consumer home run. A December 2005 poll found 92 percent of respondents who signed up for the list had received fewer unwanted telemarketing calls.
AARP applauds congressional passage of the Do-Not-Call improvement legislation earlier this month. The bill offers a simple solution: amend the "Do-Not-Call Implementation Act" to eliminate the automatic five-year expiration and removal of telephone numbers registered on the DNCR. Now AARP is asking President Bush to sign the bill and eliminate the expiration period before 52 million telephone numbers disappear from the DNCR. This would annoy ordinary folks who simply wish to keep control over their consumer preferences.And it would most certainly annoy folks who would rather not hear about advances in aluminum siding during dinner.