Tips for Consumers: The Cell Phone Directory--Internet Hoax?

Tips for Consumers
The Cell Phone Directory--Internet Hoax?

The Internet in the Hagerstown area h as been flooded with e-mail warnings which claim that all cell phone numbers will soon be published in a directory. It says that this will allow telemarketers to call cell phone customers, using up our minutes with their sales pitches. It warns consumers to register their cell phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry quickly to be protected against all these telemarketing calls.
The warning sounds serious and important - except that most of the claims are false. The whole thing started when several cell phone companies announced that they would be compiling directories of customers for use by their own 411 directory assistance employees. There was never a plan to compile and publish a book of cell phone numbers. In fact, the numbers listed by the companies would only be from consumers who voluntarily agreed to have their number listed.
Also contrary to the e-mail, cell phone numbers are NOT being released to telemarketers, and you will NOT soon be getting telemarketing calls on your cell phone. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phone numbers. Since such dialers are standard in the industry, most telemarketers are barred from calling consumers on their cell phones without their consent right now.
There is NO deadline by which you must register your cell phone number on the Registry. You can do it anytime and registration lasts five years.
If you still want to place your cell phone number on the government's DNC (Do Not Call) Registry, this is no problem. It does accept registrations from cell phones, as well as land lines. Call from that phone number (the toll-free DNC number is 1. 888.382.1222). You may also register online at
www.donotcall.gov and respond to a confirmation e-mail. However, there is no need to be concerned that your personal cell phone number will be released to telemarketers at any time in the near future. In fact, all this publicity made several major cell phone companies pull out of the program and it may be scrapped entirely.

To file a complaint visit: www.baltimore.bbb.org or write: BBB, 1414 Key Highway, #100, Baltimore MD 21230. Their office serves Baltimore and all of Greater Maryland.