Defeating Telemarketers

Defeating Telemarketers

Donald Trump called the other day. At least, it sounded somewhat like him, though not quite like the voice I’ve heard on radio and television.

The reason I’m not sure is the introduction to his greeting got cut off, presumably the victim of a communication malfunction between the robo-generated call and my voice mail.

So, when I retrieved the message it started, “I want to update you on my presidential campaign.” At first, I thought, “Whose campaign?” When he reached the part about remaining in first place in the polls despite media opposition, I assumed it was Trump (or his alter ego) and hung up.

“Do Not Call” Lists

donotcallThere’s a reason I quickly registered for the “Do Not Call” list when Kentucky organized a statewide registry. I dearly loved being able to opt out of nuisance calls.

By the time we moved back to West Virginia, the Federal Trade Commission had enacted a national system. Engulfed by moving details, I initially neglected to register our new number.

An hour after the phone company switched us on, a telemarketer called. That evening, my own computer not yet hooked up, I got online at our daughter’s home and registered. When I got a local cell phone number, I registered that one as well.

Ignoring the FTC

However, it didn’t take long to discover that thousands of businesses and other parties willfully ignore the “Do Not Call” registry. As politely as I could (as smoke rose from my ears), I told such parties, “I’m on the ‘Do Not Call’ list.”

Many of the non-profit solicitors replied, “We’re exempt.” To which I would say, “I don’t care. I do not want these calls. So if you have your own ‘do not call’ list, please put me on it.”

Some of the irritation subsided several years ago, after we got caller ID. Now, I didn’t particularly want this option. However, when I switched to a flat-rate, nationwide calling plan (meaning no more long-distance bills), caller ID came with it.

In the past, I didn’t think I wanted this service. Now, I adore it.

Pre-Recorded Pap

Do-Not-CallWhen robo calls ring at our house. We never answer. because we can see where the call originates from, and we don’t particularly care to listen a pre-recorded spiel.

Nor do we want to talk to “Rachel from Card Services.” Or Telefund (which recently called from 805-897-1183 eight times in three days). Or any of the other 800, 855, 866 or whatever other toll-free exchanges have been invented lately.

Nor do I answer when a “private party” calls, a “caller blocked” or “caller unknown” rings. I know all of their identities—someone I don’t want calling me.

Wasting Money

I must confess the truth: I enjoy deflecting these pesky people (or computers). I enjoy frustrating their attempts to bother me. Sometimes I wonder how many times they must listen to my voice mail before they will give up: 20? 30? More? It doesn’t matter. I won’t answer.

Although we are a year away from the next presidential election season, it won’t take that long for all manner of candidates to call. I hope, like me, the folks running for office have free long-distance. Otherwise, they’ll be wasting a lot of money.

One Response

  1. Doug Ferguson says:

    Robo-calls are handy for learning for whom you will definitely not vote.

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