Rumors about cell phone numbers going public, or in other words, being released to telemarketers have been circulating around the Internet for years. In most scenarios users are sent an email informing them that “cell phone numbers go public this month” and are advised to dial the National Do Not Call Registry at 888-382-1222 in order to have their cell phone number blocked for 5 years. I think that it’s high time to put this rumor to rest once and for all…
First of all, let me assure you that cell phone numbers are NOT going to be released to telemarketers. It didn’t happen in 2010 and it won’t happen in 2011 either. Here’s why; The FCC has blocked telemarketers from using autodialers to dial cell phone numbers. This means that even if cell phone numbers were to be made public, that telemarketers would have to manually dial each and every cell phone number that they wanted to call. The increased overhead that the telemarketing firm would incur just wouldn’t make any business sense. Also, if you visit the National Do Not Call Registry website, you will notice a banner on the top of the page which tells you flat-out that your registration will not expire due to the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007, which became law in February 2008. So its safe to say that the 5 year time limit for National Do Not Call Registry registrations is quite simply not accurate. Lastly, this rumor has been exhaustively explored by other organizations over the past few years and has never been proven to be true.
So where did the cell phones go public rumor originate from?
There was once an effort to make a 411 directory for cell phones by a company called Qsent. The cellular 411 directory that Qsent had intended to build would in fact make cell phone numbers available to the public, BUT on an opt in basis only. News of a cellular 411 directory quickly spread around the Internet creating concern that cellphone numbers would then be sold to telemarketers, hence the rumor that “cell phone numbers are going public…”
Is There A Do Not Call List For Cell Phones?
Although there isn’t a dedicated do not call list for cell phones, the National Do Not Call Registry works for both landlines and cell phones alike. If you don’t want your cell phone, or land line phone to EVER be called by a telemarketer then all you need to do is visit the National Do Not Call Registry website, click on the Register A Phone Number link and follow the simple on screen instructions. Be sure to check your email for a verification notification from the National Do Not Call Registry with the following subject line;
National Do Not Call Registry – OPEN AND CLICK on Link to Complete Your Registration
Click the link included in the email and your registration will be completed.
Update: January 10th, 2011
- Some readers have reported seeing rumors about cell phone numbers going public on Facebook. Don’t worry, it’s still not true!
- It should be pointed out that a national 411 directory for cell phone numbers will most likely one day come to fruition. When this happens, the directory will be opt in only and it will not be sold to telemarketers or even exist in print format. The national cellular 411 directory will be available on the Internet only.