Tag Archives: do not call registry

The effectiveness of voter robocalls and other technology.

The election is over and the robocalls have stopped. Well, at least the political robocalls have stopped. Those annoying, but effective, calls are just another example of how technology is influencing our lives, making businesses and other organizations more productive and having an effect on the unemployment rate.

During the week before the recent election I must have received at least a half-dozen robocalls per day asking me to vote for either a certain candidate or for or against a certain initiative. The calls sometimes contained the voices of the candidates themselves, but more often than not they were infested with the voice of another politician, usually an elected official, asking me to vote for a certain candidate so that “we can work together” to either stop some political movement or to move forward on certain issues. After a while, these calls got so annoying that it was tempting to vote against the candidate responsible for the calls. One state senator capitalized on this by sending out e-mail messages to supporters offering “another reason to vote for” the senator was that he did not do robocalls. A local political commentator tweeted his disdain for robocalls by saying that if he received another robocall he would call politicians at 4 a.m. every day for a week after the election.

Are political robocalls effective? It depends on whom you ask. Yale political science professors Donald Green and Alan Gerber have been studying voter mobilization efforts for the past 10 years and have conducted about a dozen experiments explicitly examining the effects of robocalls, according to an online CNET News Oct. 23, 2008, article entitled “Election Day brings invasion of robocalls.” Green said there is no evidence that robocalls are effective if paired with political mailings.  Read the rest of this post at the Mississippi Business Journal. 

Urban Legend Update: Cell phone “Do Not Call” Registry

It seems that about twice a year the word goes out that cell phone users must register their cell phone numbers with the National Do Not Call Registry because those numbers are “…about to be given to telemarketers.”  Another urban legend that is false.  Check it out at Snopes.com.

Having said that, it probably would not hurt to register your cell number anyway.  Here’s what the pertinent Federal Trade Commission Web page said about the subject:

  1. Can I register my cell phone on the National Do Not Call Registry?

  2. Yes, you may place your personal cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. The registry has accepted cell phone numbers since it opened for registrations in June 2003. There is no deadline to register a home or cell phone number on the Registry.

    You may have received an email telling you that your cell phone is about to be assaulted by telemarketing calls as a result of a new cell phone number database; however, that is not the case. FCC regulations prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phone numbers. Automated dialers are standard in the industry, so most telemarketers don’t call consumers on their cell phones without their consent.