Fielding cold calls about credit card rate reduction during your free time can be a real drag. You spend enough of your time working, so you will most likely want to use your evenings and weekends to hang out with your partner or some friends as opposed to knocking back telephone salespeople. If you're being persistently hassled by companies offering to lower your card rate, there are things you can do about it.
Opt out of any marketing material whenever you make a purchase or sign up for a new service over the phone or online. You can even be added to mailing or calling lists when you buy something in a store, so you'll also need to watch out there. Be especially wary of any businesses asking for permission to pass your contact details onto third-party companies. You may have to tick a box to either opt in or out, so you'll need to stay on your toes and read the precise wording next to any tick boxes. If you don't, your number could fall into the hands of credit card telemarketers.
Tell any credit card salesperson who calls you that you don't wish to receive any unsolicited contact again and would appreciate it if your number could be taken off any calling lists. If you're receiving unwanted calls about balance transfers and other offers from a business with which you already have a relationship, make it clear that you only want to receive contact about any accounts you already have and do not want any marketing calls at all -- including anything to do with rate reductions.
Ask to speak to a team leader or manager if you get unsolicited calls from the same company on more than one occasion. Explain that you've already requested that your number be taken off any calling lists and that you don't want to be contacted again. The salesperson you spoke to previously could have messed up when you asked for your details to be removed. Stay calm, but make it clear that you don't want to hear from the company concerned again.
Register with the National Do Not Call Registry. Telemarketing companies have a maximum of 31 days to stop calling you from the date you add your number to the registry. You won't need to add your cell number to the register as it's against the law for companies to add mobile numbers to automatic dalliers. You can register your number on the National Do Not Call Registry website.
Go to the "File a complaint" page on the National Do Not Call Registry website to report a telemarketing call received after you've been signed up to the register for 31 days. All you'll need to do is provide details about the time the company called you and on what number. Your complaint will then be passed to the Federal Trade Commission for investigation. Any company found to have breached the terms of the register can be hit with a fine of up to $16,000 per violation.
- Your number will not be removed from the National Do Not Call Registry unless you request that it is or you stop using it.
Michael Roennevig has been a journalist since 2003. He has written on politics, the arts, travel and society for publications such as "The Big Issue" and "Which?" Roennevig holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Surrey Institute and a postgraduate diploma from the National Council for the Training of Journalists at City College, Brighton.