What, you thought just because they can't call you anymore, they'd stop annoying you?

With signups for the "National Do Not Call Registry" now exceeding 12.5 million, the businesses that do roughly $300 billion in annual telephone sales will simply have to find another way to market to you.

The Wall Street Journal says many of these companies are planning "to flood mailboxes and computers with an avalanche of solicitations" and to throw sales pitches at consumers who call them for other reasons.

These businesses still have time to prepare for Oct. 1, when they must stop calling people on the list. Qwest (NYSE:Q) has already cut back on telemarketing by 40% since last September, according to the Journal, and Allstate (NYSE:ALL) is beginning to redirect efforts toward television and email advertising. AT&T (NYSE:T), on the other hand, told the paper it's still planning on telephoning its 40 million customers. (Whether you're on the list or not, companies with an "established business relationship" may call you for up to 18 months after your last purchase. You can always ask them to stop contacting you, however.)

When all is said and done, we're probably receiving more peace and quiet at dinnertime in exchange for increased email spam and advertising flyers in our mailboxes.

Not a bad deal, really.