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Consumers can now place their home and mobile telephone numbers on a free, national "do not call list" of households that do not want to receive telephone sales calls, by logging on to http://donotcall.gov or calling 1-888-382-1222.

Are you bothered by telephone calls from telemarketers? Do you think these calls are just an unavoidable part of modern life? Well, there's good news about gaining the upper hand with these calls. You have the right to stop these callers, and it will cost them if they don't play by the rules.

If you don't want another call from a particular company, just tell the telemarketer to place your name and number on the company's 'Do Not Call' list. Your name remains a part of this company's 'Do Not Call' list for the next ten years. If that company still calls you back, they have broken a new federal law and can be held accountable with fines up to $25,000.

You can also reduce unwanted telephone sales calls by having your name taken off national marketers' mailing lists. Send a letter of request with your name, address and telephone number to: Direct Marketing Association, Telephone Preference Service, P. O. Box 9014, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014.

If you encounter a telemarketer who does not play by these rules, you should contact the Ohio Attorney General at 1-800-282-0515. You can also report suspected fraud through the National Consumers League hotline at 1-800/876-7060 or at www.fraud.org.

So the next time the phone rings and it's a telemarketer, tell them - "put me on your do not call list" and hang up. Take control of your telephone lines again.

By Kathy Oliver, OSU Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences, Hardin County.
Reference: Federal Trade Commission website: www.ftc.gov.
 

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