Why the Do Not Call Registry Does Not Work

Why the Do Not Call Registry Does Not Work

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) states that unwanted calls – including illegal and spoofed robocalls – are the FCC's top consumer complaint and their top consumer protection priority.

If both of those are true, then why is it that Americans continue to receive a record-breaking number of unwanted calls each and every month?

If this is not only “a” top protection priority, but “the” top protection priority, why hasn't the government done anything to actually solve the “top consumer complaint” (again, the FCC’s words, not ours)? 

And why are the telephone companies just letting this happen?

The easy answer for both of these questions comes down to incentives. 

Or a lack of them. 

Politicians are actually disincentivized to change anything around consumers receiving unwanted calls. Why? Because the government’s primary tool to combat unwanted calls is the Do Not Call Registry. But do you know what kind of calls are allowed under the Do Not Call laws? Political calls. That means that politicians are legally allowed to use robocall technology to beam directly into your home whenever an election season rolls around. Why would they want to change that?

And do you think telephone companies are letting these billions of spam callers commandeer their phone lines for free? Of course not. Telephone companies are actually getting paid for these spam, scam, and robocalls. How many companies do you know of who are willing to shut down profitable revenue streams? We couldn’t name any of them either.

So, yes, we agree with you. Somebody should be doing something about this. And with no one else stepping up to take on this huge problem, we decided to do it ourselves.

meet imp - smarter than call blocking →

What is the Do Not Call Registry?

The National Do Not Call Registry was created by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to stop unwanted sales calls.

The important distinction in that sentence is: unwanted sales calls.

Why does that matter? Because the truth is, unwanted sales calls only make up a small fraction of the unwanted calls people receive on their landline.

Under FTC rules, all of the following calls are legal: political calls, charitable calls, debt collection calls, purely informational calls, and surveys. That means the FTC and the Do Not Call Registry cannot stop a significant number of calls because they are actually legal.

Crazy, right?

Unfortunately, it does not stop there.

In the very first paragraph on the FTC’s page answering the question “How to Block Unwanted Calls” they tell us: 

“Scammers can use the internet to make calls from all over the world. They don’t care if you’re on the National Do Not Call Registry. That’s why your best defense against unwanted calls is call blocking and call labeling.“

Yes. You are reading that correctly. The FTC is saying that the Do Not Call Registry - which they tell you to sign up for - does not and cannot work against scammers. Instead, they tell you that your best defense against unwanted calls is to label calls and use a call blocking system.

Why the Do Not Call List Does Not Work

What the Do Not Call Registry Does

The Do Not Call Registry allows consumers to receive political calls, charitable calls, debt collection calls, purely informational calls, surveys, and calls from companies you’ve recently done business with.

We don’t know about you, but that sounds like the Do Not Call Registry actually allows most of the calls we don’t actually want.

The only kind of calls that the Do Not Call Registry does stop are sales calls from real companies. That’s it.

Why the Do Not Call Registry Doesn’t Work

The following is a direct quote from the FTC: “the FTC does not and cannot block calls. The Registry can’t stop calls from scammers who ignore the Registry.”

This brings up another question for you to consider: what are the chances that scammers, who are illegally trying to scam you, are going to first check with the Do Not Call Registry to ensure that their scam is actually in compliance with the Do Not Call rules?


Why the Do Not Call List Does Not Work

So, if you are keeping score at home:

  1. * unwanted calls are the FCC’s top consumer complaint
  2. * Stopping unwanted calls is the FCC’s top consumer protection priority
  3. * the FTC does not and cannot block calls
  4. * the Do Not Call Registry does not stop scammers
  5. * Political Calls are legal
  6. * Political Robocalls are legal
  7. * Charitable calls are legal
  8. * Debt Collection calls are legal
  9. * Purely informational calls are legal
  10. * Survey calls are legal
  11. * Calls from companies you’ve recently done business with are legal

The unfortunate truth is that signing up for the Do Not Call Registry is essentially a waste of your time. Doing so might spare you a handful of calls from legitimate sales companies, but it does nothing to stop the actual scammers.

How imp Stops All Unwanted Landline Calls

imp is a small-but-mighty smart home start-up with a big mission: to rid the world from the scourge of unwanted calls. 

It does not matter to imp if the call is a political call,  a telemarketer, a car insurance scam, a pollster, or any other type of unwanted caller: imp will stop them without your landline phone ringing even one time.

The result: the only calls you get are the calls you want.

Fin. Done. No more. The end.

start stopping robocalls →

How Does imp Work?

Our imp smart call-filtering system for landlines consists of three parts: the imp box (our custom hardware), the imp app (our smartphone app), and Greenlist Technology (our secret sauce). 

During our plug and play setup, imp pairs the contacts in your smartphone with your landline via the imp box. From there, powered by our Greenlist Technology, imp checks each and every call that comes in. If it is a caller imp recognizes, your phone rings. Meanwhile, everyone else is silently handled for you by imp. These callers can then leave a message, which you can access and listen to in the imp app from anywhere at any time.

the imp system a landline call blocker that works

Have questions about how imp works?

Contact us today to see how we can help →