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Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem
Old 03-17-2006, 03:10 PM   #1
 
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Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem

For the last week or so, every day I get a phone call on my business line around 9:35 AM and another at 12:35 PM. I answer the phone and there's nothing there.

So, obviously some automatic dialing system is calling my number by mistake every day. Because of the regularity, I doubt it's just a telemarketer.

So far, the phone company has not been helpful. They suggested I order call screening. I have a call into the Annoying Call center, and we'll see if they can help. If I could just contact the caller, I'm sure I could solve it.

Anybody dealt with something like this?
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem
Old 03-17-2006, 03:26 PM   #2
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem

Well if you don't mind spending the money you could dial *69 , I believe that dials the last number called to you, then you could find out who it is.

I have the same problem on my cell only it's an automated fax, my cell shows the last number called in and when I call it back it says it's no longer in service so I know it's some kind of spam fax. I have to upgrade my phone to be able to block those calls and I don't want to do that, why should I pay to stop annoying calls. Oh and I get these calls all hours of the day or night.
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem
Old 03-17-2006, 03:56 PM   #3
 
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem

Tried *69 with no luck. Ah, sheesh, now this thread is going to get sidetracked.
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem
Old 03-17-2006, 03:57 PM   #4
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem

*57 does a 'call trace' that is reported to the phone company for nuisance calls. On some systems. Ask the phone co what it is for your provider if that doesnt work, or check in your phone book.

And since this is a nuisance caller, the phone company had best do something to help you other than buff you off. Asking you to buy something isnt the correct answer.

So I take it theres no caller ID or you dont have caller ID?

My bet is going to go on it being a fax machine that someone has put your number into by accident and its attempting to call and talk to another fax machine. If you have one, put it on that line and the next time it calls, have the fax machine answer it...then you'll find out who it is and it'll possibly stop...unless its a junk faxer who will then start doing it every day...but you'll be able to call them and tell them to cut it the @#$%^#$ out.
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem
Old 03-17-2006, 04:08 PM   #5
 
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem

*57 didn't work either. I don't have caller ID.

I'll try the fax trick next time, but if it were a fax machine, I'd expect to hear a tone. Right?

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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem
Old 03-17-2006, 04:29 PM   #6
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem

Hey Al,

Quote:
So far, the phone company has not been helpful. They suggested I order call screening.
It is quite obvious to me that this is just another phone company marketing campaign aimed at those w/o call screening.
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem
Old 03-17-2006, 04:32 PM   #7
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
*57 didn't work either.* I don't have caller ID.

I'll try the fax trick next time, but if it were a fax machine, I'd expect to hear a tone.* Right?

Not always... some faxes wait to hear a tone from the called number before they start thier tone... but more than likely you would hear a tone... so, do you hear nothing?? How long do you hang on the phone... there are those telemarketing calls that only switch you to a person AFTER you answer.. it takes a few seconds to get switched... maybe 4 to 8...
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem
Old 03-17-2006, 04:36 PM   #8
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
Not always... some faxes wait to hear a tone from the called number before they start thier tone...
None of the ones I've used ever peeped until there was a sound from the other end...
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem
Old 03-17-2006, 05:10 PM   #9
 
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem

Right. I'll sic my fax on it next time.

It's complete silence. I've waited long enough for the telemarketer to pick up, but there was none.
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem
Old 03-17-2006, 08:31 PM   #10
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
It's complete silence.* I've waited long enough for the telemarketer to pick up, but there was none.
The first question would be whether or not you can refrain from answering the phone at those times.

We get telemarketing calls that connect to our number until the computer senses that we have an answering machine on the line, at which point it "hangs up" (we haven't even answered the phone at this point). In the time it takes for the system to connect & disconnect, our phone rings twice. If we answer it, no one is there and presumably there's no number to call back to.

So now we barely even move until the phone hits its third ring. If we're too far away then we just give up.
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem
Old 03-17-2006, 08:41 PM   #11
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem

Now that we're back on SBC, i'm experiencing the joys of telemarketing calls. Apparently in the year+ they couldnt get through, they didnt give up. :P

That 'callvantage' VOIP thing had one nice benefit. When you called, I had its 'do not disturb' set so that you heard me say "if you're a friend or family member, press 2 to ring your call through, otherwise leave us a message". Press 2 and the phone rings, if we dont get it, you go back to voicemail. Dont do anything and you got voicemail. About once a month I'd get one of those messages about redoing my mortgage (bet you can imagine how receptive I am about that). Other than that, this system stymied the telemarketers completely.

I spent a couple of hours this morning looking for some technology to simulate this with a regular POTS line. SBC offers some stuff that the telemarketers have figured out how to get by. The old 'telezapper' doesnt work anymore, the telemarketing dialers have been upgraded to ignore its tones. Several hundred dollar products are somewhere in the range, although they require separate telephone and answering machines hooked to different ports, and they dont ring the phone, the box itself rings. I just bought a 4-handset 5.8GHz phone with a built in answering machine, so a no-go on that.

Not even a phone with this sort of thing built right in. I'd think there'd be a HUGE demand for a product that gave an announcement and made you press a digit to ring through, like that callvantage system did. Voicepulse also seems to have it. Didnt see it on any of the other VOIP providers.

I'm afraid I cant conceive of the mindset where a telemarketer says "Hmmm...these people have spent money buying devices and setting up services from the phone company to stop me from calling them...how can I circumvent that so that I can call them anyhow?" without it occurring to them how irritating it is...

The national "Do Not Call List" is all but worthless. Anyone you've done business with or their 'affilliates' are allowed to call you. I think there are 3 businesses in North America that I havent done business with or that someone hasnt 'affilliated' themselves with. :P
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem
Old 03-17-2006, 10:53 PM   #12
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem

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Originally Posted by Cute 'n Fuzzy Bunny
The national "Do Not Call List" is all but worthless. Anyone you've done business with or their 'affiliates' are allowed to call you.
True, but they can only call you once. If you tell them you don't want anymore calls ('put me on your do not call list'), they are required to stop.

But that 'affiliate' definition can get pretty loose. And our politicians made sure to exempt themselves from the laws - ain't that sweet?

One more telephone rant - the recorded messages that are sent out. I had an important call to make, and I could not manage to hang up on their announcement machine. It went on for a couple minutes telling me about the sale I don't want to miss and I keep trying to hang up and I could not free the line. Good thing it wasn't a 911 call I had to make.

-ERD50
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem
Old 03-17-2006, 11:43 PM   #13
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Right.* I'll sic my fax on it next time.

It's complete silence.* I've waited long enough for the telemarketer to pick up, but there was none.
I've learned to speak enough fax to fool fax machines. If you squeal or whistle your best imitation of a fax, it will fool most of them into giving themselves up. Of course after a few seconds the calling fax machine comes to the conclusion that you are a retarded fax and they hang up on you. But it really does work.

Occasionally, when I've tried this some telmarketer picks up just about the time I'm in mid-squeal. But that just makes it easy to hang-up on them while they are stunned.
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem
Old 03-18-2006, 12:45 AM   #14
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
But that 'affiliate' definition can get pretty loose.
Pretty much....like "hey, if I pay you a dollar per name on your customer list, does that make me an affilliate? Ding ding ding...YES!

Today I got a postage card from SBC with an 800#, a customer code and pin#. I needed this, for some reason, to order a new yellow pages. Now, last time I was in bed with the phone company, thick recyclables just showed up on your doorstep every year...and I was fresh from a document that described the myriad ways companies can call you based on just emailing them, calling with a question, or buying something. At that point you're a telemarketing candidate, and you remain one for a period of time.

So what happens if you tell Bob from "Beaver Cheese Third Layer Investment Foundations" that you dont really want to talk to him a want to be off his list, and the next night...a suspiciously similarly sounding "bob" from the "Load Yourself Up With Debt But Pretend You're Making Money Associates...ya got no recourse, right? "Bob's" your uncle?
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem
Old 03-18-2006, 07:48 AM   #15
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem

Al, you sold you business. Time to cancel that business phone line. Problem solved.
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem
Old 03-18-2006, 09:51 AM   #16
 
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem

I'm still doing the tech support until Aug 1. So the problem will be solved then.
But there will be about 120 of these call before then.

In this transition periods, I tape record all the calls for training the new owner. I thus answer "___ Software on a recorded line." This adds a new dimension to the telemarketing calls, because when they don't follow the rules of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, I have a record.

I'll say "Reminding you that we are on a recorded line, I now need the address and phone number of your business, and you must send me a copy of your do not call policy, blah blah blah, take up their time."
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem
Old 03-18-2006, 09:55 AM   #17
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem

Try to order a pizza from them.

Or say "I'm glad you called! I sell life insurance and I'm a little underquota this month and I had no idea who to call..."

Or one of my ex-girlfriends favorites...keep talking to them, softer and softer and moving the receiver away from your mouth until you're sure they've turned the volume on their headset all the way up, then start talking really, really loudly into the receiver.

Just dont give them a fake name. I'm still getting junk mail for Haywood Jablowme.
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem
Old 03-18-2006, 11:23 AM   #18
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
One more telephone rant - the recorded messages that are sent out. I had an important call to make, and I could not manage to hang up on their announcement machine. It went on for a couple minutes telling me about the sale I don't want to miss and I keep trying to hang up and I could not free the line. Good thing it wasn't a 911 call I had to make.
At the end of one of those I was able to press a number to be placed on their "Do Not Call" list.

So now when the recording starts, I press all the numbers on the keypad in sequence until the recording stops.

I probably signed up for offers from their marketing affiliates...
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem
Old 03-19-2006, 02:32 PM   #19
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem

Maybe caller id IS worth $7/mo...
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem
Old 03-19-2006, 09:09 PM   #20
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Re: Help Me With an Annoying Telephone Problem

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Maybe caller id IS worth $7/mo...
I gotta say, I hate to sign up for monthly charges, but caller ID has been great. I got it in a bundle when I cut my second line (got high speed wireless for the computer), so I don't remember exactly what it really cost me, but it couldn't be much - I am fairly cheap.

Now, the problem is, all the cell phones have no ID (but we pick those up figuring it is someone we know - has not been an issue), and the VOIP just give 'Illinois Call' and the number. Again, not too many people we know have VOIP, so we recognize the number w/o the name.

I need a way to set me answering machine to not record a blank 5 seconds and beep at me when the telemarketers hang up a few seconds after the machine picks up.

-ERD50
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