Predictive Dialing:
Silence on the Other End of the Line

Information from the FCC

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) receives many complaints about predictive dialing by telemarketers.  Here's what happens: the phone rings and when the person receiving the call picks up the phone, he or she is met with silence or the "click" of the calling party disconnecting the call.  This can be caused by predictive dialing, which is what happens when a telemarketer's automatic dialer simultaneously dials many more numbers than the telemarketer can handle if all of the called parties pick up at the same time.  The first to pick up is connected to the telemarketer while the rest are disconnected.

FCC rules require that companies identify themselves to consumers and also that telemarketers maintain "do-not-call" lists for people who do not wish to receive telemarketing calls from a certain company.  The practice of predictive dialing, and the resulting abandoned calls, often do not allow consumers to identify the company calling and, therefore, do not afford consumers the opportunity to make a "do-not-call" request under FCC rules.

Consumers who wish to avoid all telemarketing calls may want to contact the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection to be placed on the "do-not-call" list www.state.ct.us/dcp .  Also, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) maintains a "do-not-call" list that is used voluntarily by its 4,500 member companies.  DMA can be reached at (212) 768-7277.  Their address is:
          Direct Marketing Association
          Telephone Preference Service
          Box 643
          Carmel, NY 10512