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They Got My Number


   On March 23, 2017 the FCC announced a plan against "robo" calls.  Unfortunately
   the act is not consumer friendly.
  1. You can agree to accept "robo" calls if such language is part of any agreement
    you enter into.  So many people sign up for "free memberships" or other legal
    documents without reading them first and carefully.  Expect this language to creep
    into documents.  There is no established process to revoke this right you are giving
    should you change your mind.

    Be concerned about vague clauses that include others by reference and not by
    name.  Some companies will use wording that includes "business partners" without defining who they are or the business relationship that will exist.  This can include advertising and marketing partners with no other involvement with the company you are entering into an agreement with.

  2. Rescinding such agreements is a non-trivial activity is often rescind everything or nothing, prohibiting your exclusion of certain companies or their "business partners."

  3. Providing your number, in any form or manner, to someone has been viewed as granting them implicit authorization to call you without restriction between personal or business calls.  If you communicate with a company, remove your telephone number from any Signature Block you use for your e-mails.  One time is all that is required to establish your implicit permission.  The same applies for Business Cards, casual conversation, Business Reply Cards, etc.

  4. There is a lack of definition on how aggressive the telecommunications providers will block "robo" calls.  The law does require callers who are not registered as a phone line consumer or is calling without an Area Code to be blocked.  These are actions dependent on the telecommunications carriers.

    It is anticipated the actual law will be published around July 2017 where more details should be provided and thus what protections will go into force, starting when, what enforcement and actions can be taken and many other factors will begin to be understood then.

    Meanwhile, start watching what you sign now for granting people to call you!

   Do you show your mobile phone number in your:
   -  e-Mail Signature Line
   -  Business Cards
   -  Pizza or other Take Out Orders
   -  Required Field for Phone Number

   Did you know there are third party data providers who will sell your phone and
   other information to anyone with money?

   Did you know common sources for your data come from you from sources like:
   -  warranty registration cards
   -  on-line purchases
   -  Searching for numbers on-line

   -  calling 800, 888, or 900 numbers as they capture your telephone number
       This is often cross matched with street address directories, your name, address
       and are often added to marketer's database.
       And they also can sell your information for their profit.

   -  Applications for credit
       How do people make up for 0% offers, immediate spending power, discounts?
       -  Your information is used to make up for the potential losses

       -  Nearly any personal information they capture can be resold multiple times
           including your spending history

   -  Donations
       -  If you provide a name, your name may be worth more than your donation

       -  Charities often use third-party telemarketers to collect funds, then they keep
           a percentage of what they collect.  But the telemarketers keep your personal
           information to sell and resell to other telemarketing companies creating a
           value far larger than your original contribution.

   -  Inadvertent Disclosure
       -  Did you sign up for a contest or drawing and provide your telephone number?

       -  Their promotion may be more gaining your number for sales pitches.

   -  Checks
       -  Look at what you give away with each check:
           -  Your name, address, telephone number easy to scan, store, and sell quickly 

   -  Automatic Dialing Devices
       -  These can determine all possible phone number combinations, even unlisted
           numbers, then dial them much more rapidly than any person can.

   -  Requests for Information
       -  Whether you call in or e-mail or ask for information in other means on a product
           or service, you have opened the door for them to call you to sell you something.

   -  Smartphone Payments
       -  You pay the bills but you cannot control unwanted calls
           -  Take advantage of services to report unwanted calls and texts, such as
               the FTC and FCC.
               The Federal Government is not necessarily going to do anything except note it.

          -  For cell or mobile phones calls, limit where you provide your number to and
               always read the "fine print" on disclosures so you know where your personal
               information is going.  If the fine print abuses your number, consider
               not signing the agreement and making a complaint to the management.