3OYS: How political calls dodge the 'Do Not Call' list

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- It seems like you can't turn on your TV these days without seeing a political ad. But while you might be able to mute the TV set or change the channel when a political commercial comes on, there's very little you can do when it comes to political phone calls.

Jeff Roselli says he is being bombarded by political "robo-calls."

"On a daily basis, we'll get anywhere from a minimum of six calls to 12, 15, 20 calls, constantly, from different political parties or candidates," he says.

Jeff says the phone calls, which started before the primary election, are annoying, particularly since he and his wife have health problems and the aggravation is something they don't need.

“We need our phone for that main reason, for people to get through to us or for us to call for an ambulance in case of an emergency," he says.

Jeff says he's on the "Do Not Call" list, but it just doesn't seem to matter

"So there's no opting out," he says.

He's right. There is no way of avoiding political calls. “In this case, unfortunately, consumers can't do anything about it but simply hanging up the phone," says Felicia Thompson with the Better Business Bureau. She says people get angry because they're on the Do Not Call list, but they're still getting political calls.

Well, there's a reason for that. "Unfortunately, the FTC's rule does not apply to politicians and political calls, when it comes to robo-calls," she says. This robo-calling exception happened back in 2003, when federal lawmakers voted to exempt themselves from the do not call list.

“Even if you're signed up for the Do Not Call list, you will still likely get those calls,” says Thompson.

That's discouraging news for Jeff, who fears it’s only going to get worse during the next couple of months.

"We know that because of the upcoming election it's going to be that much more again, or maybe even double what it was for the primary," he says.