One of the few good things our federal government has done for us in the realm of domestic policy in the last, oh, fifty years or so was the establishment of the National Do Not Call Registry. This registry allows you to declare your desire to not receive annoying telemarketing phone calls, and the nation’s telemarketers are required to comply (lest they be levied significant fines).
There are a couple of loop-holes. Politicians and non-profits can still bother you, for example, as can companies with which you have an ‘existing business relationship’ (whatever that means). But in my experience, I used to get tons of telemarketing calls on my cell phone (even though it was always illegal for them to call cell phones), and those calls have all-but-stopped since I signed up for the ‘do not call’ registry.
There’s one festering loop hole that I’ve run into a couple of times though. Companies can apparently call you with-impunity from Canada. For example, 204-975-3301—a Manitoba number—has called me thrice in the last week. I don’t answer numbers I don’t recognize, and they haven’t left messages, but a quick Google search reveals that lots of people get annoying, repetitive calls from these people.
Canada does have a ‘do not call’ registry, but it won’t accept U.S. numbers. I can file complaints with the appropriate U.S. and Canadian authorities, but I doubt it’ll do any good. A company in Manitoba is not subject to U.S. law, and what does the Canadian government care if a few people in the U.S. are being annoyed by one of their businesses?