We should eliminate a program that has done little or nothing to solve the problem which they were organized for.

Many of us don’t answer the phone anymore if we don’t recognize the caller. The reason is that it is likely to be a telemarketer.

Never mind that we are on the NO CALL lists. Those lists are generally worthless.

The calls double or triple when you get older and qualify for Medicare. Right now I have received 37 cold calls from scammers that want to sell us a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy. Add to that the extended warranty on my car cold calls. I have offered to come by their office to pay them and get my policy, but that is darn hard to do when they are calling from India.

I’ve asked these scammers if they would trust anyone who called them if they were on the no-call list? This is a pointless question as their pitch just keeps coming.

It is not just Medicare. Have you ever gotten a call from someone with an Indian/Pakistani accent to buy anything? I am amazed at how many curse words these jerks know after you take as much of their time as possible and then tell them to buzz off. (Turn around fair play of a retired guy like me). How about the extended car warranty buggers who will call you over and over again to sell you a car warranty for only around $4,000 to $5,000? When I take up their time and then tell them to bug off, I am amazed at their vast knowledge of vulgar curse words.

We know not to answer if we don’t recognize the caller, but recently I have been experimenting just to see what is happening.

Every state pays workers to man the agency that protects us from these cold-call jerks yet they seem totally impotent?

Recently I called the Kansas Attorney General’s office to voice my concern and to ask a question. My question was, “Have you guys prosecuted anyone for making thousands of unsolicited calls to Kansans who are on the no-call list? The fellow I talked to was an expert in the art of the “government dodge.” He knew every dodge in the book. He started by explaining that these calls come from overseas. Next was that they are “robocalls.” Then that they are just not able to track them down. His replies were nothing more than a total confession of his agency’s worthless existence in the matter of stropping unsolicited calls.

Give me a break. My response was that you guys are not worth a bucket of spit and haven’t done one damn thing but to collect a paycheck. Then the guy told me not to swear and went into another dodge. I guess that he failed to know that “damn” is a transitive verb:

2a: to condemn vigorously and often irascibly for some real or fancied fault or defect damned the storm for their delay

b: to condemn as a failure by public criticism

At that point, I said that you guys need to hire someone that knows how to go after these bums. I am pleased to report that he took offense to that and again told me that there was nothing that could be done. I worked for the State of Kansas for many years and the fellow that I was talking to had the “government shuffle” down pat.

Then I really stymied him.

Here is my suggestion:

Put out a reward for anyone who bought any kind of insurance via a cold call.

Then secure an affidavit from that person that they were cold-called

Next, require that the Insurance Commissioner goes after the insurance companies who are indeed licensed to sell in the State of Kansas. I will wager that the company so charged has done thousands of cold calls to citizens on the no-call list. PUT IT TO THEM BIG TIME.

I shared this with the same man as mentioned previously. I said to give the Insurance Commissioner a chance at these do-nothings and see what he can do.

At that point, after sharing my idea, the man at the Attorney General’s office had another dodge. His first comment after my suggestion was, “The Insurance Commissioner for Kansas is a woman.” HOLY SMOKES why waste my time.

Now my next attempt is via the good work of The Emporia Gazette to see if our state representatives will:

De-fund the State no-call program if they are impotent and have no ability to do what they are funded to accomplish.

OR

Go after any insurance company that is licensed to sell in Kansas and attempt to remove their license or fine them.

I hear a constant refrain about how terrible telemarketers have become. Now let’s see if our elected officials will either reply or better yet do something to put it to these bothersome scammers?

(11) comments

create

Well done, Bill, you've touched a hot wire with this topic. So many of us are on the same side of this one. Shall we all start reporting the calls plus time received each and every time we receive them? Maybe that will get some office off its laurels. Finally, you made my English teacher's day. You had me with the word damn being a transitive verb. Thank you for the example.

sail

I encourage all voters to call Congressman Manns office and voice concern over robo calls,,,,,,this is simple to stop,make it illegal for computers to call......put the heat on the tele industry,,,,,they the con men run those calls over the tele industry ,lines,,,,ive been calling dc about once a week for over two years,,,,,,,,,,,and AIM HIGH i even say this is a true bipartisan issue,,,, all parties would agree on!! Mr Hartman you have hit a hot button we can all come together on...

CSD

Respectfully, I think Bill called the wrong agency. The Federal Trade Commission enforces the Do Not Call Registry. And K.S.A. 50-670a.(l) specifically states, "The national no-call list established and maintained by the federal trade commission shall be designated as the Kansas no-call list."

The statute exists to give the Kansas Attorney General the ability to protect Kansans if the FTC doesn't do its job. The Kansas Attorney Generally reports the number of Kansans who've made complaints about the Do Not Call registry to the Legislature annually and, if it's thought that the FTC isn't sufficiently protecting Kansans, the Legislature would budget money to attempt to prosecute violators themselves.

For it's part, the FTC states on its website that "The FTC takes aggressive legal action to make sure telemarketers abide by the Do Not Call Registry. To date, the Commission has brought 153 enforcement actions against companies and telemarketers for Do Not Call, robocall, spoofed caller ID, and assisting and facilitating violations. To date, 150 of these FTC enforcement actions have been resolved, and in those cases the agency has recovered over $180 million in civil penalties and $112 million in restitution or disgorgement."

Lawsuits are costly and lawsuits against international parties are impossible as a practical matter. In this case, it's wise that the Attorney General and the Kansas Legislature are relying on the Federal Trade Commission to enforce violations.

Aim_High

What if the DNC registry is actually effective in blocking 90% of these calls, and defunding would actually increase telemarketing calls by 10x? It would also encourage future telemarketers to start calling you. Bashing something because it's not 100% effective sounds like Republican vaccine logic.

Louis

Read the Suggestiion. Go forward to remove their license. That would sure get their attention.

Mrs. W

Thank you for a great suggestion. Why do we have a “no call” list when it obviously isn’t working to stop all these annoying calls. Just get rid of it!!

sarelon

Nobody likes spam calls but I’m afraid Bill is off the rails on this one.

First, he called the Kansas AG’s office and expected it to be productive conversation. You know better Bill. The guy you spoke with did give you some valid information though. Most of the calls are originating from overseas and most are robo-calls. That puts it into some complex jurisdictions.

The 2014 Kansas no-call statute is another of those feel-good laws that will never hold much merit unless a company in Kansas is dumb enough to violate it. Genesis Health Clubs did just that and got slapped with a $15K penalty in May of this year. Steven Motors in Wichita was hit with $10K in penalties in February 2020. Don’t get me wrong, Schmidt’s office isn’t worth the ink it takes to put his name on a letterhead but they have actually stopped a few violations but only where they have end-to-end jurisdiction.

I suspect there isn’t even a budget for the “Kansas no-call program”, they are simply rolled into the AG budget. Also, even if there was an insurance company licensed in Kansas that some of these spam calls represent, they will be 3rd party companies and the insurance company will play the blame game if called on it. The telemarketer is likely overseas so again we are into those complex jurisdictions. The statute wasn’t written to allow anyone to go after a company who hired another company even if the contractor didn’t follow the statutes.

Lastly, when was the last time you bothered to report a robo-call? If you don’t report it then how do you expect it to be taken care of? Also, don’t get me started on the capabilities of our state representatives. You might as well talk to a wall.

Louis

Sarelon implies that the guy who answered the phone was free, that all the construction of the "no call" website was free, that citizesns time answering junk calls if of no account, that in many instances fraud might be involve, and a dozen other reasons that Mr. Hartrman's suggestion is sound. In addition I cannot think that he did not file several complaints.

I for one say go after their license.

sarelon

No I wasn't implying that the guy who answered the phone was free - I'm suggesting that the guy answering the phone is filling a position in the AG office that existed well before the 2004 statute was written. The construction of the "no call" website was a copy/paste job of websites that exist in every state and has already been paid for. There is no "license" to go after under the current legislature.

Louis

So doing nothing is the way to go???. I wonder if Sarelon works for a government agency as helplessness would fit right in

Louis

Wow, Billl is right is the Kansas AG office that manages our no-call list. Here it is!

https://ag.ks.gov/complaint-center/no-call

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