Getting on the other do-not-call list



Posted on April 20, 2010 at 11:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 20 at 11:05 PM

Donna Dewey doesn't like being bothered by solicitors. She's even on the National Do Not Call Registry.

She and her husband Donald found out the hard way that some companies can get around it. Donald got a call from a company called American Home Shield trying to get sell him appliance insurance. He was told a packet with the policy information was heading his way.

"I  do not want it. Don't send me this package," he told the operator.

Donald says he was told it was already too late: "You don't understand, it's already being sent."

"For them to call you at home and be pushy about it, that's wrong," Donna added.

American Home Shield, or AHS, got around the Do Not Call List by finding an interesting loophole in the law. Since AHS is doing business or has an agreement with Wells Fargo, the Dewey's mortgage company, AHS can legally call you to solicit new business.

Bob Schroeder is the regional director of the Federal Trade Commission and notes it's a common practice.

"If you have an established business relationship with a company, they can call you to market their products until you tell them to stop," he said.

Each year, financial institutions must tell you about any marketing agreements they have and that you may get a call.

"However, they are getting your number and calling is wrong," Donna said. "It's wrong."

You can opt out. These companies have an internal do-not-call list, and here's how you get on it: In their Privacy Policy portion of their Web site, there's a toll-free number. Call it and tell them to leave you alone. Schroeder says it takes about 30 days for it to kick in, but it will do the trick.

"As long as you get on that, then they have to stop calling you," he said.

So, if you want these offers to stop, get your privacy policy from every bank you do business with, call them and ask to be on their internal do-not-call list. Also, ask how long you'll be on that list. You might have to sign up again after a few years.

More information:

National Do Not Call Registry