Stop Autodialers and Telemarketing Calls from Invading Your Privacy

It seems there are a lot of autodialed telemarketing calls intruding in our lives, and if you’re being pestered with numerous, interruptive and unsolicited calls then here are some suggestions on how to effectively stop autodialers.

Telemarketing companies and collection agencies use the autodialer tool to streamline their cold-call process. They don’t want to waste their customer service representative’s time by dialing hundreds of numbers without ever communicating to an actual person. Instead, computer software dials your phone, waits for your live response, and then connects you with the customer representative. Meanwhile you may receive dozens of autodialed phone calls per day, picking up the phone only to hear a pre-recorded message asking you to hold. We are all familiar with the annoyance.

There are legal preventative measures you can take to stop autodialers from invading your privacy. The first step you should take to stop autodialers is to register your phone number with the Do Not Call Registry. Once your number is on this national registry, telemarketers are required to recognize that it is on the list, and then remove it from their internal autodialer lists within 30 days of the discovery. They are allowed one “mistake” call per year after identifying your number on the list, and if they persist in calling after the 30-day period, they may be subject to federal penalties and fines.

There are also hardware solutions to stop autodialers. You can install a call-blocking device to your phone. This device recognizes autodialed calls and answers the call with a digital tone signifying the line is disconnected. This signal usually triggers the autodialer system to remove your number from that specific call list.

If the previous suggestions fail, then you can answer the phone and personally request that the agent remove your number from their list. If this does not work and you continue to be harassed by the same telemarketer, then you can request the company information, and report their abuses to the FTC. In this case it is advisable to keep a record of all the phone calls, voicemails, and attempts made by the offender to call you.

There are federal laws, like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) that protect your consumer rights. The TCPA restricts telemarketers from making unsolicited autodialed calls if your number is on the Do Not Call Registry, or if you have formally requested that your number is removed from their list, either verbally on the phone, or through a written letter sent via certified mail to the telemarketer. They must observe the removal request.

The TCPA does restrict all telemarketing calls from autodialing your cell phone number, unless you give consent for them to do so. Telemarketers are also restricted to make their autodialed calls between 8 A.M. and 9 P.M. They are legally obligated to give you their company information, and to indefinitely remove your number from their lists if you request it.

The TCPA does not provide the same restrictions on autodialed calls from tax-exempt non-profit organizations. Telemarketers who are making sales calls solicited by you, or if you have a working relationship with them are not restricted by the TCPA from making autodialed calls.

If the telemarketer does violate the Do Not Call list, or ignores your request to remove your number from their lists, they are subject to federal penalties and fines. If you have grounds to file a complaint with the FTC, then consulting with a consumer law attorney can be beneficial. The TCPA establishes clear fines that come with violating the federal law.

If you continue to receive autodialed calls from a telemarketer after you have requested your number is removed, or registered with the Do Not Call list, then you may be able to sue the offending party up to $500 per autodialed call after your request was made. The TCPA grants the consumer the right to take legal action in a local court. In some cases the courts can levy triple the amount in damages, if the offender is egregious in their violation of the federal laws. There are also circumstances in which suits may be filed for the violation of other provisions in the TCPA, such as; abuses with faxes, prerecorded and artificial messages, calling multiple lines at an office or business, and calling cell phone numbers.

Everyone is affected by autodialed telemarketing calls. They are annoying, invasive, and in some cases, illegal. You can stop autodialers by registering your landline phone number with the Do Not Call Registry, and you can also directly request the telemarketer to remove your number from their list.

Remember, that the telemarketer must remove your number from their list indefinitely if you make the request. If they persist in calling you after 30 days of your number registry and request to remove your number, then you are entitled to take legal action. You may be able to get compensated for your troubles. If all other preventative methods have failed; then consulting with a consumer law attorney may help you find the relief you need to finally stop autodialers from harassing you.

What to Do if your Consumer Rights are Violated

In the modern consumer society there is no element with greater importance than a consumer himself or herself. In order to make sure your consumer rights are not violated, you first have to be aware of what those consumer rights are.

Almost every single moment you hear or read about certain rights related issue. The field of consumer rights is not an exception in that sense. Nevertheless, it is entirely up to you to make sure that the violations of your rights as a consumer do not go unnoticed and without a proper reaction. People are often unsure of what to do when their rights have been violated. The first step is to identify the violation, then contact a consumer law attorney. A consumer law attorney will be able to tell you if in fact your consumer rights were violated and what to do about it.

Here are some of the most common consumer laws where consumer rights are violated:

FDCPA (The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) – The economic crisis brought us the debt trouble. We cannot negate the right of the debt collectors to do their job. On the other side, they should be pretty much aware of our rights while exercising theirs. The FDCPA is to ensure that they do not harass you during the debt collection process.

FCRA (The Fair Credit Reporting Act) – The next place the crisis can hit you hard is your credit report. Did you know that you have a right to request a report about your credit report? If certain decisions are being made according to the findings of a particular credit report, you have every right to know what is the content of such a report. This is one of the most important rights the FCRA provides, but definitely not the only one.

TCPA (The Telephone Consumer Protection Act) – Is your phone ringing? Well, it better be with a good and justified reason. The cases regulated by the TCPA include besides unwanted calls, the automatized or recorded voice or text messages, and junk faxes. If someone is taking away your time by using your phone number without an authorization, do not forget that you are fully entitled to request a financial compensation for it.

EFTA (The Electronic Fund Transfer Act) – With so many transfers on the way it is easy to lose count or to become completely disoriented. The EFTA’s purpose is to ensure that the small fees you are paying do not include big troubles for you. In addition, according to your consumer rights you are entitled to a proper proceeding, if the money from your account is taken without your previous consent.

Know your Rights, Fight your Fights.

It may come as a relief knowing that there are so many legal acts with a sole purpose of protecting your consumer rights. On the other side, this can also be pretty much confusing for a customer who is not used to fight legal battles. If you are not sure whether or not the rights you have as a customer are actually being violated, you can get additional information from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) section for consumers. The next thing you can do is to hire an attorney. Nevertheless, it would be wiser to consider the services provided by the professional consumer law lawyers. The importance of your decision is directly influencing your chances of obtaining the appropriate compensation for your troubles.

Phasing In Pension Auto-enrolment

There are various ways to put money aside for your twilight years as there are many different types of pension schemes. Any saving for retirement that is arranged by an employer is called a workplace pension, which can fall into a number of categories: occupational, works, company or work based, for example. Workplace pensions work by automatically deducting your pay by a small percentage which goes into the pension scheme in order for you to be paid an income when you retire. Often, an employer and the government add money into the pension scheme too. Workplace pensions are designed to provide security later in life during retirement, which is why for the most part; money can’t be taken from the fund until the employee is at least 55.

According to the government, many workers have been missing out on pension benefits because they failed to apply to join their employer’s scheme or they were not offered access to a workplace scheme. It is because of this that the government decided to make automatic enrolment compulsory.

Automatic enrolment requires employers to automatically enrol any eligible jobholders into a workplace pension scheme. This scheme must meet certain requirements and employers will also have to provide a minimum employer contribution. All arrangements are entirely the employer’s responsibility.

The scheme is being phased in, with larger companies having earlier ‘staging dates’ (the date it becomes effective for them) and smaller companies later ones. Staging dates for all companies are being staggered over six years with more and more employers being included with each month. Eventually, it will extend to employers with just one worker.

The ‘earnings trigger’ or level of earnings to qualify an employee for automatic enrolment is £8,105 or higher a year. Other eligibility conditions include age; the employee must be aged from 22 to state pension age. People who do not earn the required amount to qualify for auto-enrolment can choose to opt into the scheme but their employer is not obligated to make a contribution.

For all workplace pension schemes, the minimum contribution level is 8% of all qualifying earnings, 3% of which the employer must pay as a minimum. The employer can pay more, in which case the individual will make up the difference and they will receive tax relief on all their contributions. This contribution level is being phased in with a gradual increase so as to help employers adjust to the costs.

For some employers, preparing for the new plans has meant a lot of work. Those without pension schemes had to create one and many companies have chosen to keep existing schemes and set up a separate auto-enrolment pension in addition. Usually, staff will be able to move to the main scheme after a specified amount of time has passed.

For employees, there is the possibility of opting out of the scheme; they will be allowed to leave it at any time. To get their contributions back however, an employee has to leave the scheme within one month, otherwise, contributions made from their wages and any made by their employer will stay in their pension pot. It is also noteworthy, that employees will be auto-enrolled every three years and every time they change employers.

What is an Online Payment Solution? Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

If you are new to online shopping, you may or may not have heard of the online payment solution. You may have even used one yourself if you bought something online recently. If you don’t know what an online payment solution is, we will break it down into a series of questions and answers in hopes of educating you about this practical and secure internet-age invention.

Q: In as few words as possible, what is an online payment solution?

A: Essentially, an online payment solution is a platform through which you can make and accept electronic payments. It includes an electronic wallet you can use in virtual stores. It holds your personal information (name, phone number, address), as well as your credit card details. You can even add money to your ewallet to make non-credit card payments. You can also use your online payment solution to send money to anyone almost anywhere in the world with just their email address.

Q: Is my personal and financial information safe?

A: Online payment solutions are very safe to use – safer that just entering your credit card details on a merchant’s website. The reasons for this is that online payment solutions often have around-the-clock fraud monitoring, and store your encrypted information on secure servers that are safeguarded against interception.

Q: Are they free?

A: Most online payment solutions are free to open and use for making payments and sending money. However, most will charge a fee if you receive money into your ewallet; this is more applicable to merchants and remittance recipients. You will have to shop around to find an online payment platform that charges fees you find reasonable for their services.

Q: Can I make payments in any currency I want?

A: Most online payment solutions will give you a choice of currencies to choose from, but not all currencies will be available. Again, you will have to shop around to find a payment platform that offers all of the currencies you are looking for.

Q: How many online payment solutions exist?

A: This is a hard question to answer because new ones are popping up all the time. There are hundreds to choose from, which is why the concept of using one is daunting to people who are new to the world of online shopping.

Q: How do I choose the right one?

A: This is fairly simple. You can either go with the online payment solution your own friends and family use, or you can look for one that fits the following criteria:

Offers easily accessible customer support through various channels (phone, email, chat, social media).
Free to open and make payments/send money.
Offers at least 20 currencies for international purchases and remittances.
Accessible to at least 190 countries worldwide.
Easy-to-use website and ewallet.
Informative blog that keeps you educated about important topics, like internet security and product/service updates.
With the above criteria, you should find an excellent online payment solution you can use widely and for many different purposes, such as selling, sending and receiving money, invoicing, etc….

Q: Why is it a good idea to sign up for one?

A: It’s a great idea to sign up for an account with an online payment solution because they make online shopping very safe and convenient. Also, once you enter all your information, including credit card details, you never have to enter it in again. This will make the checkout process fast and seamless.

The only time you may have to re-enter anything is when updating outdated information, like an expired credit card.

Now that you have a better idea of what an online payment solution is, go out and find one that you can use in online stores and for sending/receiving money online.