1

Background

According to Lifehacks #1777, pressing "9" on a phone will apparently add your number to an internal do not call list on the other end. This is also apparently verified by a very hoaky looking website. But I cannot find a solid confirmation or denial of this Lifehack.

Question

Is it true that I can press "9" on a phone to put a telemarketer on a do not call list?

  • A real lifehack would be 1. Move away from your home area code. 2 Get a call blocker app. 3. Block all numbers from your home area code except those on contact list. -- Blocks 99% of all telemarketer calls for me. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ – Benjamin Sep 20 at 0:55
5

Short answer: no.

Pressing "9" by itself while in dial-pad simply stores a 9 to be dialed along with whatever other numbers are entered afterward when you press "Send".

Of course, this and the sketchy website call into question everything else advised by "Lifehacks #1777" -- and more generally in any unsupported or anonymous advice source.

If you do this while connected on a call, the number isn't even stored for later dailing -- it's just sent as an immediate tone, as if you were using a tone-controlled system (entering your account number on your bank's service line, for instance). This is uncomfortable for someone on the other end who might be wearing a headset, but won't put you on a "do not call" list -- and, depending how bad a day the caller has already had, might get you entered as a "good prospect" to receive ten times as many "spam" calls.

If you get a call you won't want to listen to (robocall, telemarketing, etc.) just hang up.

2

As a former telephone researcher and call center employee, probably not.

You have to consider that there are two basic types of calls you may be receiving from "telemarketers". There are real "robocalls", where you hear an automated message play. These calls are very common, and are typically used for advertising industries, or scams. The other type of marketing call is where you're in contact with an actual person, albeit a person reading a rather awkward script. These are more frequently used to recruit people for surveys (especially during election periods), or for smaller-scale local advertisement.

If this "hack" works, it almost certainly only works in the first case. Phone numbers are randomly generated for both of these systems, and there is an account created in association with this phone number. Several different "codes" can be applied to numbers in this system, letting employees (or more often, computers) know what to expect. These numbered codes (generally 1-9) are associated with things like interest level, and how aggressively the person reacts to a pitch. The number 9 is generally associated with the option "Do Not Call". In the case of robocalls, the assumption is that by entering a number on the keypad, you are accessing a rotary version of this coding system.

The legitimate "Do Not Call Registry" can be accessed online, and only applies to real "telemarketers" (people trying to sell you things). If you still get calls, the best option is to pick up and clearly say "Please do not call me again. I am not interested. Take my number off your list". This allows anyone on the line, or listening to the recording, to code your response as such, and move on. If you simply hang up, the responses is coded as a "soft refusal", and you will get more calls.

TL;DR: If this hack is true, it still only works for a small number of calls.

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