How to Stop Annoying Telemarketers

by : Dean Vesuvio

Many people in the United States have noticed a decline in the effectiveness of the once-vaunted Do Not Call registry in past years. Calls from telemarketers have returned in full force, alongside those from political candidates and nonprofits. Many people now complain about getting so-called "robocalls," where a computer is on the other end saying to click a button if interested in a product or service.

Several solutions exist in the marketplace for ending this nuisance. Many phone companies now offer a convenient, albeit expensive, service which will screen out calls. Vendors also sell boxes that do the same thing. Each of these systems works by requiring the caller to say his or her name before connecting them to the user's phone. Then, the user can decide whether or not to accept the call.

Alternative methods exist, such as simply not picking up the phone when anyone calls, or screening out all callers who do not provide caller ID. Unfortunately, there is no perfect solution, as many telephone salespeople have figured out ways around such systems. According to industry statistics, 90 percent of solicitors do actually provide a caller ID on their calls, though frequently when one attempts to call that number, no one picks up.

One innovative service has tied web-based reporting of telemarketer sales calls to automated blocking of those calls. This free telemarketer blocking service, provided by, allows individual users on the web to report annoying telemarketers. Then, other users can view these comments on a website.

But most importantly, offers a mechanism by which telephony providers can automatically query's database of known telemarketers. Much like the collaborative filtering employed by modern e-mail spam filters, this system uses the knowledge of all telephone users to block the right incoming calls.

The system is very simple to implement using such PBX software as the open-source Asterisk. And it has already been adopted by several Voice-Over-IP providers. Hopefully, this new offering will put an end to annoying telemarketers once and for all.

Of course, no matter what happens, it probably makes sense for angry consumers to notify the government about illegal telemarketer calls. Unfortunately, however, many such calls are not even illegal, due to carve-outs in the Do Not Call legislation. offers one of the few solutions out there to eliminate even these annoying calls.