General Question

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

How do survey telemarketers get phone numbers?

Asked by shpadoinkle_sue (7188points) August 27th, 2010

I keep getting the same people calling my house. I keep asking them to take my number off the list and it takes a few times for them to get it right. It’s an unlisted number, so I can’t figure out how to stop them from calling.

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10 Answers

Vortico's avatar

Have you signed up for the Do Not Call Registry?

Seaofclouds's avatar

I’m not sure how they get our numbers, but have you put your phones on the National Do-Not-Call Registry? If not, you should do that (the number to call to do it is about a quater down the page). If you have, the link I gave also has the process for filing a complaint against telemarketers calling after you’ve asked them not to call anymore (it’s at the bottom of the page).

actuallery's avatar

Phone numbers are just numbers.. 888 0000 to 888 9999. Some proper telerketing agencies will buy a book of registered numbers that are not blocking telemareters. There is a registry where a person can register there phone number so that telemarketers do not call them. This seems to be the rule nowadays but some unscrupulous marketeers are still using the old system, the phone number counter 0000 to 9999.

aprilsimnel's avatar

The entire process is a bit of computer software, including questions, answer collection and generating numbers for the telemarketer or survey researcher to call. I imagine a line is programmed in that cross-checks the number with the Do Not Call Registry.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Watch out for online games, quizzes and contests where you have to enter your cell phone number to win the prize or get the quiz result. Somewhere in there you are agreeing to be contacted, if not by that company, then by a third party company who obtains your information.

lillycoyote's avatar

They also buy lists. There’s a pretty good market in buying and selling contact/phone lists and just about any time you give some company or organization your phone number it gets onto some list. I would go with @Seaofclouds suggestion of registering your phone number with the Do Not Call Registry. I’ve had very few problems with telephone solicitors since doing that. They’re are laws governing who can call you once you do that and you can report violators. I think certain charities may be exempt but I’m not sure about that and companies that you have a prior business relationship with can call, but you can request that they stop. e.g. I have my home phone service with with Verizon so they are permitted to call me and try to sell me FIOS because I have a prior business arrangement with them but if I request that they stop calling and trying to sell me FIOS they stop.

lilikoi's avatar

You probably gave your number to someone who sold it to someone else.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

Thanks, everyone! They call about 3 to 5 times a day. Some say they’re a courtesy call and I ask for what and it’s a research survey. I’ll be glad to get rid of them. It’s only been the last couple weeks or so.

8Convulsions's avatar

My job is to call registered voters in California. It’s optional to put your number down when you register, but if you do, that’s where we get your information. The Do Not Call List also does not apply to us, since we are not selling anything. All I can say is that if you contact your local voter registration office and ask them to remove your number from your name, that should do the trick. It’s tricky though. For example, we call people who say “No” up to three times over a few days. We code a casual “No” as someone who’s going to be called back. It’s only when someone asks to be taken off the list, (even though we can’t do it permanently) is really rude, or is too sick to take part in our survey, do we code them to not be called back. Although, I hate dealing with rude people, the polite No’s don’t cut it. Try to be polite and firm, and maybe that will work in the future.

AshlynM's avatar

The Do Not Call Registry is a joke. My number is on it and I’m still getting calls. I realize certain organizations and companies are exempt from the Do Not Call list but I’m still getting telemarketer calls.

I’m pretty sure telemarketers and the like buy lists of phone numbers and names from someone else. That has to be the only way these people are getting our numbers. If you know you personally didn’t give them your number, then they got it from some other means.

Just asking them to stop calling you probably won’t get you any results. You need to specifically ask for your number to be put on their do not call list. Even though they obviously have your number, you should still verbally verify the number to be put on the list.

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