Cellular Do-Not-Call Registry
No one needs to conduct survey research to realize that most Americans have some level of familiarity with the federal Do-Not-Call list that was created to help prevent the spread of unsolicited telemarketing via traditional land-lines.�As discussed in past issues, it has been against the law to conduct unsolicited calls via cell phones for some time, with the general rational being that the cost (plan minutes) for the unsolicited call should not be forced upon the cell phone user.�
As a interesting aside, it has always been a fascinating phenomenon that mail surveys have not suffered the same fate as cell phone surveys, because whether it is realized or not, there are costs (direct garbage disposal fees/local taxes) for unreturned (typically 80-90 percent of total surveys mailed) surveys thrown into the garbage.�There are additional environment costs for producing survey forms and envelopes, printing and delivering surveys as well.�But since those costs are largely unseen and absorbed by those other than the consumer, mail surveying as a methodology has not met much resistance.�It is a curious fact that email spam (including email surveys) has gotten far more resistance and has led to the CAN SPAM Act, even though the hard costs are arguably less to the consumer compared to mail.
Since the costs for unsolicited cell phone calls are so apparent to both consumers and businesses, the negative reaction to cell phone surveying has been much more decisive.�One recent rumor that has concerned a number of cell phone users is the proposed publishing of a directory of cell phone numbers. The fear is that this will open the doors for all sorts of solicitors to call and use up their precious few minutes. Is the rumor true and do you need to register your cell phone with the federal Do-Not-Call registry?�The answer is yes and no.�
Six national wireless carriers have banded together in an effort to produce a Wireless 411 directory service. Their justification is that the service would save money for the 5 million customers who pay to have their cell phones listed, mostly because it is their primary telephone line at this point. The other justification is that just as with traditional land-line owners who decide not to be listed (approximately 28 percent nationally), cell phone users can opt to do the same.�Finally, since cell phone companies intend to only make the service available through operator service centers, this would significantly limit unscrupulous solicitors from acquiring cell phone numbers.�These certainly sound like very valid reasons for producing a cellular directory, but whether you agree is a matter of personal opinion.
So, while it appears certain that some sort of cell phone directory will eventually be produced, there is no reason to worry that your number will be sold to the unscrupulous soliciting masses so that they can call you on Sunday night during dinner.�But, just in case you want to go ahead and register your cell phone number with the Do-Not-Call registry anyway, check them out at https://www.donotcall.gov/default.aspx.
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