Ah, the no-call list

Never signed up for it. The home phone was the one that got all the sales calls (and we don't even have a phone plugged into it right now), and since we only had it for the dsl (which I understand is no longer the case), we never saw the need to get on it.

But for those of you who did, better get on the renewal, because apparently, it doesn't last. It makes sense that there would be a renewal period, seeing as phone numbers get recycled all the time, but what doesn't make sense is that the federal government is crying that they're too poor to let it be known. I smell a lobbyist or ten at work here.

The five-year limit was set in place to purge the list of Americans who invariably move or change numbers. But for telemarketers, a lack of awareness about the expiration date signals new opportunity. "Will we attempt to touch people no longer on the list? Of course." says Tim Searcy, CEO of the American Teleservices Association. The "mass expiration," he argues, will also let customers decide whether they want to opt out. "New offers might be compelling after five years," he says. Most households probably don't see things that way. "I bet 99.9 percent of people who swear off calls never want to get them again," says Baicker from Pennsylvania.

I imagine comedians will have some fun with this, too. All those jokes about telemarketers will be new again.

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