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Cell phones added to do-not-call directory

November 18, 2010
Telemarketer intensions to publish a directory list this year of the nation's cellular telephone numbers would expose those numbers to entreaties that would heighten unwanted interruptions and gobble minutes from monthly plans. In response, the government is here, and it wants to help. The Federal Trade Commission now includes portable telephone numbers on its national do-not-call registry. Posting a phone number on the registry stops most, but not all, telemarketing calls. Persons who register with the FTC still are subject to calls from political organizations, charities, telephone surveyors, and companies with which they have an existing business relationship. One group of names that won't appear in the directory are Verizon Wireless's 39 million customers. Verizon decided not to participate in the directory, citing privacy concerns. The problem with other wireless carriers is that millions don't realize they have already agreed to be listed. The fine print on some service contracts says so. Phone companies, then, must be taken at their word that they won't enforce those contracts or sell the numbers to telemarketers. Many people will want to be listed, like small businesses that depend on the cell phone for example. The directory service should become available on a growing basis as the wireless services submit the names of their subscribers, probably this spring or summer. To register a cell number on the National Do Not Call list , managed by the FTC, go to or call 888-382-1222 from the phone you wish to register.