Before I begin, consider this your invitation to join the Better Business Bureau and the Nampa Chamber of Commerce from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday for the Business2Business EXPO. Visit the booths, mix and mingle at Bronco Motors Mitsubishi at the Idaho Center Auto Mall. The event is free and open to all.
Youll hear how good business owners do good business just because its the right thing to do. Take a moment to network and connect with great Idaho companies.
Now, lets talk about phone solicitors. Companies that use cold calls to find potential customers are expected to abide by federal law.
Recently, a company began calling in the area seeking appointments to install home security systems. The recorded message offered free system installation, then offers a choice of pressing 1 to speak to a representative and 2 to be placed on the companys do not call list.
If a company subscribes to a robocaller, the automated calling system is programmed to call in sequence, dialing (area code) 111-1111 through 999-9999. Companies that resort to the device oftentimes will forget to block numbers listed on the Do Not Call Registry. The National Do Not Call Registry gives consumers an opportunity to limit the telemarketing calls they receive. Also remember that illegal or fraudulent businesses wont follow the law.
We encourage customers to find out as much as they can about a business before accepting any services. Responding to unwanted phone solicitations and making quick decisions without information can lead to larger problems.
Do not provide any personal information including bank information, Social Security Number and contact information.
If you are registered with the Do Not Call Registry, your registration does not expire. You can verify if and when your number was registered by going to DoNotCall.gov.
The Federal Trade Commission does not allow private companies or other third parties to register consumers for the National Do Not Call Registry.
As automated dialers are standard in the industry, most telemarketers are barred from calling consumers on their cellphones without their consent. However, you can still register your cell number if youd like.
Finally, if you are still receiving unwanted phone calls after your number is on the registry, you can file a complaint. Record the date and time the calls were made so that you can include that information in your complaint. File at complaints.donotcall.gov.
You also have an opportunity to help stop these calls. The Federal Trade Commission is offering $50,000 to any person or group of people that create a solution to block unwanted robocalls.
Although the national Do Not Call Registry still exists and has stopped many robocall attempts to reach consumers, scam artists dont really care about the law and continue with their fraudulent attempts to reach people.
Consumers have from Oct. 25 through Jan. 17, 2013, to submit their application to the FTC. The solution should block unwanted calls to both landlines and mobile devices.
Entries will be judged on three criteria:
Does it work? (50 percent)
Is it easy to use? (25 percent)
Can it be implemented now? (25 percent)
For details and official rules, visit http://robocall.challenge.gov/.
Robb Hicken: 947-2115