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They’re Back: 866-266-9317

I honestly did not expect to hear from these people again. As I noted last year, I informed them to place me on their “Do Not Call” list, which, according to the “Do Not Call” laws as I understand them, means they are never supposed to call me again.

Well, on June 20, 2008 at 5:20 PM the phone rings and the Caller ID displayed the classic “Unavailable” along with telephone number 866-266-9317. Since it’s been almost a year since I have heard from these idiots, I did not recognize the number and just let the answering machine get it. The only problem with that strategy is that these telemarketing idiots will just continue to call back every day or so after they get an answering machine.

The very next day at 12:45 PM, I’m in my garage working on my pickup-truck. I am literally upside down inside the cab of the truck with my head on the floor and my feet up on the seat in an effort to access the shaft that connects to the brake pedal so I can try to figure out why my brake lights were not working (turned out to be an easy fix, by the way!).

At this point, I suspect you can guess what happened next. The telephone rings. With an old fashioned phone in the garage that has no Caller ID, I maneuvered my way out from under the dashboard of the truck and dashed into the house to check out the Caller ID. I rarely answer the phone without doing that first.

I see the same number that appeared the day before and decided to pick up and see who these morons are. As soon as he said he was calling “on behalf of CitiMortgage,” it all came back to me.

These were the same people that called me last summer and caused me to climb down off a ladder outside my house to answer the phone! This time the same morons interrupt me while I am wedged upside down in my truck trying to fix my brake lights. I was not happy!

I allowed the guy on the other end babble for a few seconds so I could be sure who it was and sure enough, they were talking about the same “home warranty” crap they were peddling last year.

I stopped him in mid-sentence and informed him that I had requested to be placed on their “Do Not Call” list last summer and I was assured that I was. I then informed him that I intended to report this incident. He uttered a rather subdued “OK” or something to that effect and I hung up.

Back in my real estate days, Coldwell Banker drilled it into our heads that we were to never call anyone that was listed in the national “Do Not Call” or the company “Do Not Call” list, which we all had access to. I remember being told that it could result in a fine of something like $11,000 in the event of a violation, and they made it very clear that we better be sure we never make the mistake of calling someone on that list, unless they had given us permission to contact them.

I had contemplated reporting a similar violation of the “Do Not Call” laws sometime back and even went as far as visiting the Federal Trade Commission web site and filing a report.

Imagine my surprise when a message pops up on the screen after I submitted the report that informed me that the FTC really does not have any authority to enforce the “Do Not Call” laws but might make the report I submitted available to law enforcement agencies. My conclusion was that I had wasted my time submitting the report to the FTC.

This time however, I am a bit more determined to report this latest incident to someone who can do something about it. I returned to the FTC site and filed a report there in case their agency had been given some teeth since last summer, but that was not the case. I decided to dig deeper.

This time I came up with the FCC website that seemed to offer a little more hope that they may actually do something about a “Do Not Call” violation. In addition to telling the caller last summer that I wanted to be added to their “Do Not Call” list, I also contacted CitiMortgage through their website and informed them that I wanted to be on their “Do Not Call” list just to be sure I covered all the bases. I received an e-mail from CitiMortgage — which I still have — informing me that they “have added your name to our list of customers who do not wish to receive calls of promotional items and products.”

I filled out the complaint form on the FCC website, which requested a lot more information than the FTC site and gave me the impression that they might actually be able to do something about this nonsense. When I submitted my report via their online form I even received and official complaint reference number. Sounds promising.

Time will tell if anything ever comes of this, but at the very least, I hope I never receive any more telemarketing calls from CitiMortgage or any of their “partners” or other weasels they associate themselves with.

If you want to file a “Do Not Call” complaint with the FCC, it is my pleasure to provide the following link:

http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/donotcall/

At this time, the section of the page regarding complaints is about half-way down the page. Have fun!

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