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Asked by: admin
admin on Nov 16, 2010
For years now there has been a back and forth battle with mass email forwards regarding the existence of a national cell phone directory. The email would go on to call you to act and register your cell number with the National Do Not Call Registry. The email campaign would then ask you to protect your friends and family by sending it on. The false statements inspired low levels of panic and caused the campaign to spread like wildfire. The claim that telemarketers would be able to contact cell phone numbers with the release of a national directory remains untrue for a number of reasons.
For instance, the use of telemarketing auto-dialers to contact individuals in a compounded directory is illegal . Meaning, telemarketers would have to punch in the numbers themselves one at a time. For telemarketing companies this is not a justifiable means of operating a campaign. National associations representing telemarketers, such as the Direct Marketing Association, have even stated that their members do not intend to start calling consumers’ cell phones .
Furthermore, the Wireless 411 services that have been proposed (which undoubtedly encouraged the panic), were to act strictly as an opt-in service and would not be made available anywhere but with directory assistance .
There have also been preventative laws proposed over the years. One in particular was championed by Senator Barbara Boxer. The Wireless 411 Privacy Act was requiring cell phone companies to give their customers clear notice on rights to be listed, prohibit charges for remaining unlisted and prohibited other companies from assembling cellular directories. Though this bill was not passed and a serene limbo still exists in the cellular 411 question.
1) FCC Consumer Advisory;
2) Snopes.com, “Celling Your Soul”;
3) Division of Consumer Services, “411 Wireless Cellular Service”; http://www.800helpfla.com/scams/dnc_hoax.html
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