For those of you suffering from unwanted telemarketers, your message might be getting through. While phone numbers registered on the federal Do Not Call list reached an all-time high of 201 million in fiscal year 2010, the number of complaints about Do Not Call violations actually dipped to 1.6 million, down about 175,000 from the year before.
These tidbits come from the 2010 National Do Not Call Registry data book, a publication of the Federal Trade Commission, whose slogan is "Protecting America's Consumers."
Minnesota's 3.8 million registrations represent about 73 numbers for every 100 people, making the state 10th in the nation for its per capita hatred of dinnertime interruptions. Still, that means at least a quarter of Minnesotans still welcome urgent calls about irresistible deals on window blinds, vacuum cleaners and oil changes. To get your number on the Do Not List, call 888-382-1222. File a complaint at 888-225-5322.
Lest you think the FTC is stuck in the 20th century, the agency has begun to explore the possibility of a "do not track" list that protects online consumers from marketers that invisibly track their online browsing and buying habits. For more information on that effort, go to ftc.gov.
Feds: Blow up those fireworks
Four companies that imported fireworks with a little too much bang have to stage their own display of destruction in front of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The importers in Kansas and Washington state were ordered to pay a $100,000 fine and carry out government-monitored disposal of illegal fireworks.
What caught Whistleblower's eye was the list of the offending fireworks, whose names reveal wry pyromaniac humor: "Big Sexy," "One Bad Mother," "The Big Dog," "Megabanger Megatron," and my favorite, "Not In My Yard."