Kalamazoo MI – One way senior citizens can avoid being scammed is to sign up for the national “do not call” registry. This will stop many unwanted calls (although not all since scammers are not really all that concerned about the law!). But, registering for the “do not call” registry is easy and it’s free! Call (888) 382-1222, (or if you use TTY it is (866) 290-4326 from the phone number you want to register). Unfortunately, registering by phone may not work if you live in a senior residential complex that uses a PBX phone system.
But seniors can also register online at www.donotcall.gov. If you don’t have a computer, ask someone with a computer to help you. This person will need to be able to click on a response link that will be sent from the website. The link must be clicked on within 72 hours of the message being sent.
Senior citizens are a major user of cell phones now as well. You may place your personal cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. There is no deadline to register a home or cell phone number on the Registry.
You may have received an email telling you that your cell phone is about to be released and assaulted by telemarketing calls as a result of a new cell phone number database. According to the Federal Communications Commission website, this is not the case. There are still regulations which prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phone numbers.
Registrations for the “Do not call registry” expire in five years. You will not receive any notice so keep your own records. You can also confirm that a number is on the registry and you can find out the the registration date through the toll-free number or Web site also. If your number changes or is disconnected, you’ll need to re-register. You can also take the phone number off the “do not call” registry anytime via the toll-free number or Web site.
Nonprofit groups, charities, political organizations, and survey companies are not required to use the national “do not call” list. If you do not want to receive phone calls from charities or fundraisers, just tell them not to call you and they must honor your request not to call again.
Being listed on the registry does not stop all calls from companies. Even if your number is on the registry, companies can call if: you purchased something from them or made a payment within the previous 18 months; you asked about a product or service or submitted an application in the past 3 months; or you have a “personal relationship” as a friend, relative or acquaintance. Remember though, you always have the right to tell them not to call again.
Companies can also call with your written permission, so look at contracts, order forms, contest entry forms, and other things you sign carefully to make sure you’re not agreeing to be called without realizing it. If you ever do sign up, you can always withdraw consent anytime by saying, “don’t call me again.”
It usually takes a while to notice fewer calls. Telemarketers check the national “do not call” registry every 31 days, so it may take that long before your number is removed from their calling lists.
Michigan has adopted the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registry as the state’s Do Not Call List. When you sign up with the Federal Registry, you are automatically placed on Michigan’s Do Not Call list.
If you don’t sign up for the national “do not call” registry, you still have rights. You can tell companies not to call you again on a case-by-case basis. Keep a record of their names and the dates of your requests.
You can enforce your rights. If telemarketers ignore the fact that your number is on the registry or your request not to call again, report them through the “do not call” toll-free number or Web site. You can also sue telemarketers that violate your federal “do not call” rights in small claims court for $500 (the court can triple that amount if the company knowingly broke the law). You will need to keep track of the names and the dates of the calls to be able to bring them to small claims court.
If you are a senior citizen and are feeling burdened by the stress of managing your household, call the Veenstra Team to see whether it may be a good time to sell your home and move into a residential senior living facility in the Kalamazoo area….or perhaps in a community where your children live. There is no obligation when you call for a free consultation so call today if you are interested in knowing what your home is worth. You can reach the Veenstra Team at 269-350-5514. David Veenstra has been working with senior citizens for over 25 years and is happy to include your adult children in conversations or decisions.
Thanks for reading!
Your Kalamazoo Senior Citizen Specialists
David Veenstra, REALTOR
Jason Veenstra, REALTOR
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