SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — As robocalls ramp up in the final days of the election, some voters are probably wondering how to put an end to those political calls.
Volunteers supporting the presidential candidates as well as local races and measures have phone banks full and busy.
According to Privacy Star, complaints to the Federal Trade Commission though its robocall-blocking app increase by 20 percent between mid-September and early November.
Privacy Star’s Jeff Stalnaker points out that, while the do not call list does not protect consumers from political calls, there are some rules and protections which vary depending on which type of phone the campaigns call.
“I would say the spike is greater than it has been in the past,” said Stalnaker. “It’s very important in the industry to recognize the difference.”
For instance for cell phones, all robocalls or autodialed calls are illegal unless you’ve given the calling party written consent.
“If I have an autodial making hundreds of calls and people picking up when they answer, that still is an autodial making phone calls,” said Stalnaker.
But political campaigns can call your cell if they physically dial the number. And on your land line, all robocall bets are off.
“They can robocall your land line, yes,” admitted Stalnaker.
But there is a way to stop this season’s political calls altogether. According to Political Data Inc., which complies and sells voter lists, all you have to do is vote.
The company confirmed that once you send in your absentee ballot, they take your name off the eligible voter list they sell to campaigns.
They say the list is updated daily, so pending mail delivery, consumers can end political calls and even the political mailers within two or three days.
That alone may be the best argument for consumers to vote early.
Of course, like with any charity or business, you can ask to be taken off their internal list, but that won’t stop other campaigns from calling.