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Old 07-12-2011, 10:07 AM   #21
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It has gotten to the point where I dread the phone ringing these days!

No, no. You're doing it wrong.

Unsolicited phone calls are opportunities for endless entertainment!

For those credit card calls, try asking them "Just how does this credit card work?", and no matter what they say, reply "I don't understand."

Ask them what they're wearing. "Is it tight? I bet it's tight. Do you like... wet leather?"

If they ask to speak to someone else, start crying. "Oh, God... Why did you have to remind me of him/her? Ohhhh...."

Think of it as an informal improvisational theater...
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:26 AM   #22
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M Paquette, I appreciate that for others, an unsolicited phone call such as the ones we have been discussing here can be a source of entertainment. But for me, I have other ways of entertaining myself. And none of them include being on the phone with someone I don't want to be on the phone with.

I hate it when the phone rings, even when it is someone I know on the other end. I usualy want the call to be nice and short. So when the caller is someone I do NOT want to speak with, I simply want to end the call as quickly as possible.

My patience with these unsolicited calls has, after all these years, worn very, very thin. Adn if you think I am rude or impatient, you should hear my ladyfriend when she gets a call from an unsolicited caller. She goes off on the caller, shouting, "How did you get my number and why are you calling me? I am on the DO NOT CALL LIST and you are violating the law. Get me OFF your list and NEVER call me again!" She makes ME look polite and genteel LOL!
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:30 AM   #23
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I've posted this before, but here's another suggestion for those who are especially bothered by these calls, at least if you have caller ID on your home phone.

About a year ago, I bought a new phone system for the house. It has a base unit with answering machine, and several remote wireless units. It's a very good phone system in its own right, but it has a feature that no other system has, to my knowledge.

This one lets you put a block on up to 20 specific numbers, in addition to any number that has caller ID blocked (like the ones that just say "unknown number" in the caller ID window). There are a couple of other systems that do the same thing, but this system is unique.

Here's the thing that makes this system unique: Since caller ID information is transmitted between the first and second rings, other phone systems will ring once, then block further rings and disconnect. I didn't want even that initial ring. This system always suppresses the first ring, so you're not bothered at all. If you hear it ring, there's a reasonable chance you actually will want to answer.

Whenever I get a questionable call, I simply block that number. When I get up to the limit of 20 blocks, I just delete the oldest few blocks and keep adding new ones as needed. I maintain a list of blocked numbers and when I blocked them, and find that when I need to delete the oldest ones, they are always more than six months old. Those generic "unknown number" calls don't count against your 20 blocks.

If you're interested, it's the Uniden DECT 6.0 system, model 2188-3 (there are various systems with different numbers of remote wireless units so you can buy the number you need), and the whole thing cost me less than $100. Amazon and others carry it. Well worth it in avoided aggravation, and I highly recommend it.

Amazon.com: Uniden DECT 6.0 Corded/Cordless Digital Answering System with Three Cordless Handsets (DECT2188-3): Electronics
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:02 AM   #24
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And most of these charities supposedly representing police and firefighters are a sham anyway, often barely (if at all) connected to actual public safety workers and usually with 80% of the donations going to fundraising overhead. But they prey on the public goodwill for those occupations, especially since 9/11, and sell hard.

There are some good ones, but usually you should ask your local police and fire department what their favored charities are. They almost certainly won't be these ripoffs.
I have found that if you ask if the caller himself or herself is a police or firefighter they will answer NO. Probe a little further: Do you have a policeperson or firefighter in your immediate family? NO. Are you a volunteer? NO. About then you have them in the position of telling you that they are compensated by keeping a portion of your "contribution" most of them will give up without a fight. Just tell them that you choose to make your contributions directly to the cause and not to a third party that gets a cut off the top.

By far, the quickest way to get somebody asking you for money off the line is to tell them nobody in the house w*rks. Doesn't necessarily have to be true. It is very effective.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:59 PM   #25
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I don't think these laws are enforced much. What can you expect when the politicians themselves ignore the robocall laws?
I think they can expect to lose their next election...

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I do not have caller-ID but do have an answering machine.
It has gotten to the point where I dread the phone ringing these days!
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
I've posted this before, but here's another suggestion for those who are especially bothered by these calls, at least if you have caller ID on your home phone.
I didn't want even that initial ring. This system always suppresses the first ring, so you're not bothered at all. If you hear it ring, there's a reasonable chance you actually will want to answer.
We have an older cordless Uniden phone system, and it's one of the best we've ever owned. (Thanks, Gumby!)

But we've come up with a cheaper, simpler alternative to Caller ID and blocking systems. We've shut our ringers off.

We've been doing this for nearly a decade, and I can't remember ever regretting missing a single call. We're never overridden by our Pavlovian reflexes. No more interrupted dinner conversations. No more wrong numbers or teenagers making multiple attempts to get our daughter to pick up. No more 4 AM rings from Mainland callers who can't subtract the time zones correctly. The telemarketers usually give up by the second ring (they can probably detect the answering machine). Robopoliticians happily chat away to dead air until the machine times out. Friends & neighbors never need an immediate response, and they don't mind if we call them back in 5-10 minutes.

Another side effect is that people stop calling "just to touch base" or because they're lonely. They've learned that they can get a faster response by e-mail, or they'll call someone else, or they'll (*gasp*) figure out the answer all by themselves.

We'll turn on the ringers when we're expecting a call or a callback. But nowadays even our daughter e-mails us to let us know when she'll be calling.
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:24 PM   #26
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For a little comic relief, I thought this would fit with this topic. It came from the Bob and Tom morning radio show. I'd give it a PG-13 rating.

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Old 07-12-2011, 06:45 PM   #27
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Here's the thing that makes this system unique: Since caller ID information is transmitted between the first and second rings, other phone systems will ring once, then block further rings and disconnect. I didn't want even that initial ring. This system always suppresses the first ring, so you're not bothered at all.
That sounds very useful. My Panasonic phone does ring once on blocked calls, so maybe next time I'll try Uniden.

Unlike many of you, the DNC has worked great, for me. For the first few years, I did get a fair number of bogus calls, which I immediately hung up. But then they tapered off, and now, I get very few unwanted calls. Maybe one every couple of months.
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:55 PM   #28
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Thanks Gindie. Mostly I've stopped answering the phone but on the rare occasion I get caught by a telemarketer I consider it my civic duty to keep them on the line as long as possible, as MPaquette suggested I have fun with it.
Though I'm aware of the futility of my thought process. I've concluded that if everyone did this and we collectively erode the # of calls per hour they can execute we can damage the business model and in my dreams it drys up and blows away.
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:17 PM   #29
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My land-line and cell phone are both registered on the DNC list and have been for years.

I was unaware that the DNC had a complaint form. I've been using the FCC site at FCC Consumer Complaints

Comparing forms shows the one at the FCC to be a bit longer. I've always received a letter from the FCC stating that they have received my complaint and whether or not it qualifies for any action on their part. Most do. I can't figure out what triggers the 'action' on their part, as each complaint is very similar to the ones that have proceeded it. I do not recall receiving a second call from any of the numbers for which I filed a complaint.

When a complaint is filed at the DNC site -- do you receive some type of acknowledgment/confirmation?

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Old 07-12-2011, 07:18 PM   #30
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I have found that if you ask if the caller himself or herself is a police or firefighter they will answer NO. Probe a little further: Do you have a policeperson or firefighter in your immediate family? NO. Are you a volunteer? NO. About then you have them in the position of telling you that they are compensated by keeping a portion of your "contribution" most of them will give up without a fight. Just tell them that you choose to make your contributions directly to the cause and not to a third party that gets a cut off the top.

By far, the quickest way to get somebody asking you for money off the line is to tell them nobody in the house w*rks. Doesn't necessarily have to be true. It is very effective.
I once asked one of these guys if he could fix a parking ticket that I just got that day. I seem to recall that I promised that I would buy whatever her was selling if that ticket would go away.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:03 PM   #31
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I've been on the DNC list since it's inception and it has worked fine for me.

I get a call from a computer once a month telling me about a new interest rate and I immediately hang up but I wish I could stop it, don't have caller ID.

I sometimes get a call soliciting for the state police. I either act afraid sounding like an old confused person questioning why the state police are calling me and jerk him around as long as possible or I say I hate the police and wouldn't give them a nickle then wait to hear the response.

For months I was getting calls for my ex wife for Soap Opera Digest and told them at least 10 times she doesn't live here anymore. Each time they said ok and wouldn't call but then another couple of weeks and another jerk would call. I finally put an end to it by giving them her current number.

I got several calls from a collection agency but they wouldn't tell me much. Apparently the ex again was the culprit. When I explained the situation they stopped calling.

My biggest problem is a doctor has a phone number similar to mine. You wouldn't believe some of the calls I get on the answering machine!

Also some dumb a$$ kid can't dial the phone right so I started to play along keeping them on the phone for as long as 20 minutes telling them the kid they wanted to talk to was coming. Finally they learned to dial that number correctly.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:28 PM   #32
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Yesterday we were without electricity and wouldn't you know a call came through our wired landline from some window washing outfit that we have never used? Being hot, tired, and stressed out, for the first time I lost it and just banged the receiver against the door jamb about 10 times, hard, and then hung up. I'm sure it accomplished nothing but I did feel a little better when I was done, and the phone and door jamb survived.
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:51 AM   #33
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Just a suggestion.
When I get a call from someone who is ignoring my DNC status, I go to donotcall.gov and file a complaint on them. You just have to give your phone #, the time of the call, and the offending number (from your caller ID).

I have never received a second call from anyone I filed a complaint on.
I never knew this...thanks. We get quite a few even though we have been on the list for years.
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Old 07-13-2011, 07:08 AM   #34
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I'm on DNC but "Rachel" and some other similar company still calls me, usually when I'm at work. I hit the prompt to speak to a live person - if at home, I'll blow a whistle into the phone. At work, I feign interest, then in an eager tone I ask them to hold on while I close my office door - then put the phone on my radio and quickly raise the volume.
These tactics have not stopped the calls, but I have to admit I sure feel good each tiem I do it. [on a side note, being a telemarketer must be one of the worst jobs one could have].
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Old 07-13-2011, 07:23 AM   #35
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Just a suggestion.
When I get a call from someone who is ignoring my DNC status, I go to donotcall.gov and file a complaint on them. You just have to give your phone #, the time of the call, and the offending number (from your caller ID).

I have never received a second call from anyone I filed a complaint on.
I'm in the DNC registry, but still get calls. I just re-registered to see if that helps. Didn't know that I could file a complaint at dontcall.gov so thanks for that tip!

When I get a telemarketing call, I just interrupt them and say "please put me on your do not call list" and that immediately shuts them up. And I think it works.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:18 AM   #36
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When I get a telemarketing call, I just interrupt them and say "please put me on your do not call list" and that immediately shuts them up. And I think it works.
Exactly!

All these people saying they hang up or keep them on the line or whatever - that's unlikely to stop the calls. Telling them to "put me on your do not call list" is EXACTLY what you are supposed to do. You can also file a complaint, but this should be enough and it seems to work.

Plus, I think it is really the politest way to handle it - just saying 'no thank you' means they are going to waste their time calling back later. You're doing them a favor by telling them not to call you.


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Understand that some calls are not covered. Once your number has been on the registry for 31 days, most telemarketing calls will stop. However, you still may get:

calls from — or on behalf of — political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors;

calls from companies with whom you have an existing business relationship. A company may call you for 18 months after you make a purchase or three months after you submit an inquiry or application. However, if you request that the company place your number on its own do-not-call list, it must honor your request. You should keep a record of the date you make the request;

calls from companies you’ve given permission to call

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Old 07-13-2011, 10:33 PM   #37
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When a complaint is filed at the DNC site -- do you receive some type of acknowledgment/confirmation?
I've probably turned in around 30 DNC complaints on the website in the past five years (75% from Texas State Troopers and the rest primarily from Rachel). I've received only three acknowledgment letters from them. I don't know how they figure who gets letters.

This was a 2008 letter: "This is in response to your complaint filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) alleging a violation of the FCC's Do-Not-Call rules. We received your complaint, which appears to contain all necessary information. Thank you for filing. The matter is now under review. If you have further questions....." They included a printout of my online complaint. This particular acknowledgment was about the "Extended Warranty Activation Processing Center" for a car warranty.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:27 AM   #38
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Just as I was reading some of these posts, I received a robocall from some "Rachel" who wanted to clean my carpets. I did my usual thing to hit the "#" sign a bunch of times which ended the call at the other end. Not sure if it works but I get a small joy from confusing the robocaller. I do that when I get dead air from a robocall, as that is often done to log a time when the answerer is home to receive an actual call later.

I did not know that I can ask a business with which I have a current (or recent) relationship to stop calling me with unsolicited offers for additional services. I get those from my cable and phone companies as well as my credit card holder.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:15 PM   #39
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[on a side note, being a telemarketer must be one of the worst jobs one could have].
You are correct sir!

I was between jobs in 1993 and worked for a telemarketing outfit for a few months just to see what it was all about. This was the absolute worst job that I have ever had. I have nothing positive to say about the experience.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:38 PM   #40
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We also have been getting collection agency calls from day one when we moved to WV. It's been nine years now. I tried telling them the guy is dead but that didn't work either.

The last time a live human called I said "We've had this number for eight years and you haven't had any luck yet. Dont'ja think it might be about time to give up?" The lady did say she'd take our number off their list, and there is no evidence that she didn't.
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