If the telemarketers start calling, there is only one thing I know of that you can easily do every day to reduce the amount of telemarketing calls you receive. When you answer the phone and are greeted by that familiar 3 or 4 seconds of dead silence while their auto-dialer system routes your call, be patient. When the poor clod from their phone bank does finally speak to you, ask who is calling. Ignore the response unless you want to get into the legal process. But, in either case, immediately recite the following: "I'm sorry, but I don't accept tele-marketing calls. Please put us on your Do-Not-Call List," and then hang up immediately. The phrase "Do-Not-Call List" lets them know that you are aware of your rights under state and federal laws and are possibly just waiting to sue them.

It is true that many groups are exempt from the new Federal Do-Not-Call laws - charities, political groups, and pollsters, for example - but even they may actually stop calling you if they know you aren't going to speak to them anyway or might be annoyed enough to never contribute to their cause or candidate. This is not a perfect defense to telemarketers, but it has been reasonably effective in our household. As the operator of a home business, I still get a lot of automated calls, but the auto-dialers connected to phone banks are gone. If you get repeated automated calls, you can report your experience to the FTC online or by calling 1-888-382-1222.

Thanks to the Do Not Call Registry Improvement Act of 2007, once you register, your phone number remains on the list permanently and you no longer have to renew. And once your phone number has been registered for 31 days, if you do get a call in violation of the Do Not Call Act, you can file a complaint on the FTC website.

The Federal Communications Commission is considering a new rule that would allow users to block so-called "robocalls" with an opt-out feature from telephone companies and cell phone carriers. They are slated to have a discussion on June 8, 2015 and make a final decision in October. You should keep an eye on these meetings to learn how it will affect you and your family.

If you have the time and inclination, there are situations in which you can actually sue companies that make unsolicited calls and receive compensation. The process is tedious, convoluted, and time-consuming, but it has been done. Most of the stories you will hear of people that have successfully sued under state anti-telemarketing laws will have been directed against companies that have a presence in the home state of the plaintif. You can obtain judgements against out-of-state companies, but there is seldom any mechanism that will allow you to collect enough to be worth the time and effort. This is one reason why telemarketers hated the idea of a Federal law. A judgement in a Federal court can be enforced across state lines much more easily. Not painlessly, but at least within the realm of possibility. For more information, see our Stop SPAM and Telemarketing Links Page. There are websites shown there that will have information on how to keep the proper records you will need to file suit and other details.