Why telemarketers are calling even after you register on the do-not-call list

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PITTSBURGH - You're on the National Do-Not-Call Registry, but telemarketers are still calling you.  So, how is it legal??

Channel 11’s Katherine Amenta reported that you may be agreeing to a lot more than you realize.

“Seems like the National do-not-call registry doesn’t work,” said Koppel resident Michael Oravitz.

Michael and his wife said they are fed up and can’t stop the telemarketing calls coming to their home.

Amenta went to the Better Business Bureau of Western Pennsylvania and found out there are three ways telemarketers get your phone number.

First, you may be allowing companies to share your information with a third party.

“They are legally able to do so,” said Caitlin Driscoll, public relations director of the Better Business Bureau of Western Pennsylvania.

For example, people give out their phone number when they fill out a credit card application or sign up for a store's extra deals.  Driscoll said they probably aren't reading the terms of agreement.

“A majority of consumers are guilty of doing that,” said Driscoll.

That means you might be agreeing to share your information.  The same goes when buying smartphone apps; you have to read the privacy policy.

Second, charity calls, political messages and surveys are all legal.  You can't stop those with the national or state registries.  You have to call them directly and ask to be removed.

The Oravitzs also learned that the time of day plays a role in what's legal.  Most of the calls they get are in the afternoon and that is legal. Telemarketers can only call between 8 am and 9 pm.

Finally, keep in mind, the National do-not-call registry does not automatically kick in the day you sign up. A telemarketer has 31 days to remove your name and information from their file. 

LINKS: National do-not-call registry and Pennsylvania's do-not-call registry