In the U.S., Federal law generally prohibits phone calls that solicit your business (excluding charitable solicitations and calls to perform research). But these laws only apply after you request the business to put you on their "do not call" list. Although it's theoretically possible to earn some cash by catching violators who flaunt the law, most people would be happy if there were an easy way to cut down on these calls.
There is! Just complete this form from the Direct Marketing Assocation and send it in. Although there is no legal requirement for companies to abide by this request, the ones that do seem to make about 75% of the telemarketing calls in the country... and your cost: one postage stamp.
Several states have recently enacted "no call" laws that allow you to have your name added to an official "no call list"... either for free, or more typically, for a $5 or $10 fee. After two or three years, you have to re-register to remain on the list.
Some of these state laws have more exemptions than the federal law. For instance, they might allow real estate agents or banks to call people, even if they are on the state's no call list.
For more information on how to stop unwanted solicitations, check the anti-telemarketing page at Karen's Koncepts.
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