Oklahomans are becoming more vocal about robocallers, data show

by Silas Allen Modified: January 20, 2014 at 11:00 pm •  Published: January 20, 2014

Four or five times a day, Virginia Glancy gets a call from a number she doesn't recognize.

When she answers, she hears a recorded message. “Each one is a little different,” Glancy said.

The number on the caller ID changes each time as well, Glancy said. But the calls have one thing in common — they're annoying.

Glancy isn't alone. More and more Oklahomans are filing complaints about telemarketers through the federal Do Not Call Registry, according to data from the Federal Trade Commission.

Several years ago, Glancy, of Clinton, registered her phone number with the federal list. She guesses she filed between 30 to 50 complaints about the so-called robocalls last year. But no matter how many complaints she files, nothing seems to change. Glancy, 58, never gets a reply. Meanwhile, the calls keep coming.

“It does no good,” she said.

The number of complaints Oklahomans filed through the federal Do Not Call Registry more than doubled between the 2010 and 2013 fiscal years, climbing from 13,996 complaints in 2010 to 31,014 in 2013, according to Federal Trade Commission data. That's a 122 percent increase in complaints.

But in the same period, the commission saw a much more modest 11 percent increase in Oklahomans who were enrolled in the registry, data show.

That means those Oklahomans enrolled in the registry made more complaints on average in 2013 than they did in 2010. In the 2010 fiscal year, the commission received about six complaints per 1,000 Oklahoma consumers. By the 2013 fiscal year, the total was about 12 complaints per 1,000 Oklahoma consumers.

Nationwide, there has been a similar increase. In the 2013 fiscal year, the commission received 3.7 million complaints across the country, up from 1.6 million complaints in the 2010 fiscal year.

Bikram Bandy, the commission's Do Not Call Program coordinator, said new technology is at least partially to blame for the increase in unwanted phone calls consumers have received in the past three or four years. That same technology has also made it more difficult for the commission to track down those callers.

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by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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