Telemarketers & Solicitation

Telemarketers

Under Washington law, residential telephone customers have the right to keep telephone solicitors from calling back. (A solicitor is someone who calls you to ask you to buy something or donate something.) The law requires that solicitors identify themselves, their company or organization, and the purpose of the call within the first 30 seconds.

If at any time during the conversation you say that you do not want to be called again, or want to have your name and number removed from the calling list, the company or organization may not have a solicitor call you for at least one year. Also, the company may not sell or give your name and number to another company or organization.

The office of Washington State’s Attorney General is authorized to enforce this law. In addition, individuals may sue the solicitor for a minimum of one hundred dollars per violation. If the lawsuit is successful, the individual may also recover court and attorney’s fees. To file a complaint, or request more information on the law, you may contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-551-4636 or visit the Washington State Office of the Attorney General’s website at www.atg.wa.gov.

Note: If you’re filing a complaint, you should include the name and address of the calling individual, business, group, or organization, the time the calls were received, the nature of the calls, and any additional information available.

National Do-Not-Call Registry

Whidbey Telecom is pleased to provide you with the following information about your right to register an objection to receiving telephone solicitations under the National Do-Not-Call Registry maintained by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Your registration may limit the number of telephone solicitations you receive but it does not prevent calls from non-profit entities, political groups, debt collectors, information and survey calling groups, and companies with which you have an established business relationship or to whom you have given your express agreement in writing to receive their calls.  If you ask a company to stop calling you, the company must honor your request.  You may register your objection to receiving telephone solicitations online at www.donotcall.gov or over the phone by calling toll-free 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-290-4236). Please note, when registering by phone you must call the National Do Not Call Registry from the phone you wish to register.  You can register up to three phone numbers at a time. To register more than three personal phone numbers, you will need to complete the process again.  To revoke your registration you can delete your telephone number only by calling the toll free number listed above from the telephone number you wish to delete.

Annoyance Calls

Under both Washington State and federal law it is a crime for anyone to make a telephone call of an obscene, anonymous or threatening nature to any person with intent to harass that person, or for anyone knowingly to permit any telephone under his or her control to be used for such purposes. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • When answering your telephone, if the caller doesn’t say anything after you have said “hello” twice, HANG UP.
  • Don’t give out information until you are absolutely certain you know who is speaking. Be extremely cautious about giving personal and financial information to anyone over the phone.
  • Be skeptical of offers that sound too good to be true; they usually are.
  • Make sure that children know that they shouldn’t give any information to strangers over the phone.
  • Hang up if someone uses obscene or threatening language.
  • Be extremely cautious about revealing the fact that you are alone.
  • You should report calls of a threatening nature to your local law enforcement agency, immediately.
  • Contact a member of our Customer Service team if you would like information on how to handle obscene or harassing calls.

Recorded Calls

If you hear a short beep tone on your line about every 15 seconds, it means that the person you’re talking to is recording your conversation; the signal is provided for your protection. In the State of Washington, it’s generally unlawful for any person to record any telephone conversation without first obtaining the consent of all persons engaged in the conversation. There are several circumstances under which you’re considered to have given your consent, even if you don’t say so explicitly. For example, if you contact a company and its inbound calls are received with an announcement indicating that they may be recorded, you’re considered to have given your consent if you proceed with the call.

If you want to know more about this, you may find it helpful to refer to the Washington State Legislature’s RCW 973.030 online at apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw.