There’s little doubt that the federal Do Not Call list is a good thing for most people throughout the United States. All you have to do is sign up with your phone number and a valid e-mail address, and you will be protected from most dinnertime annoyances (besides your children)…
… for five years. For many people that signed up when the Do Not Call list first came to existence, those five years are almost up. What does that mean? Well, all you simply have to do is renew your phone number’s registration at the website linked above.
At first, I was wary about entering my phone number on this form. In effect, the Do Not Call list is a massive database of valid phone numbers. Theoretically, if the program ends, or even as five-year registrations expire, marketers can be sure that numbers newly off the list can be legally called.
I own a only cell phone and I rarely get telemarketing calls, so I have not signed up for the Do Not Call list. I’m too skeptical about what can be done with the numbers once the registrations expire. I may be too cautious, but I don’t receive enough calls for it to be an issue for me.
If the Do Not Call list has worked for you, don’t forget to check your registration to determine your expiration date, and renew your registration a little more than a month before it expires. Companies have to verify phone numbers are not on the list only once a month, so if there is a lapse in registration you could be setting yourself up for avoiding calls every night for 31 days.
Updated June 23, 2016 and originally published October 4, 2007.