About 800 and 900 Numbers

Your Number May Be Disclosed

When you call an 800 (888, 877, 866, 855) or 900 telephone number, your number could be disclosed to the party you are calling and could be recorded in a database and sold to telemarketers!

The California Public Utilities Commission wants consumers to know that some companies listing 800 or 900 numbers are now using Automatic Number Identification (ANI) which is approved by the Federal Communications Commission. When you dial their number, ANI equipment can automatically add your phone number to their database - AND companies are not required to tell you if they have ANI.

Companies with ANI can then use your phone number to get information such as your address, income level, items purchased and similar information from other marketing databases. Or they can sell your number to telemarketers who can then pitch their products and services to you.

If the 800 number uses ANI, you may reach a recording advising that you will be called back collect. Or you may be told to call a 900 number. In either case, the call would be billed to you!

If a person answers an 800 or 900 number, you can advise them that you do not want your number, name, or address kept in his or her company records. You may want to make it clear that you do not want this information rented or sold to other companies. You may also advise them that you do not want the company to solicit future business from you.

To complain about a company using ANI, write to:

Office of the Attorney General - Public Inquiry Unit
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
or call (800) 952-5225
Web Address: http://caag.state.ca.us/consumers/mailform.htm

You may also contact the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) at:

Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
445 12th Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20544
Web Address: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/