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Unlisted Number = No Telemarketing Calls?
Old 04-10-2012, 11:47 AM   #1
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Unlisted Number = No Telemarketing Calls?

We're seeing a sudden increase in telemarketing calls. They are blatantly illegal (robocalls, do not call list violated).

The standard techniques (get them to put you on their do not call list, waste their time) do not work because you can rarely get through to a real person, and they usually hang up (also illegal) as soon as they realize the call won't be productive. I've got some strategies that work, and get me the company information, but it's not worth. I can report them, but nothing happens, and there's always a new telemarketer to take their place.

I'm ready to change to an unlisted number if that will solve the problem. Anyone done this?
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:08 PM   #2
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Or maybe you should consider giving up your phone altogether
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:24 PM   #3
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I got a prepaid cell, which the number is known by no one. Get several robo calls a week. I've read that whether a number is listed or not, is no longer relevant as telemarketing is concerned. They have "predictive" dialers that just assemble digits until they hit a live number. Think of a large fishing net, that requires little maintenance.

Good luck with enforcement efforts. Likely more trouble than tolerating the calls.
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:26 PM   #4
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Al, you are so right - - the telemarketing deluge is awful these days. Even though I am on the "do not call" list, I still get them. In fact, yesterday I got another one from "Rachel at cardholder services" who is supposed to be out of business, I thought. Telemarketing calls are especially annoying when one is retired and sleeping late.

I haven't had an unlisted number since my 1998 divorce, but I suspect that even with an unlisted number you will start getting telemarketing calls again a couple of years if you give it to businesses, list it on forms, and so on, as we all tend to do from time to time.

I am thinking of ditching my landline, since the price went up to a ridiculous $27/month for nothing and since my cell phone doesn't get telemarketing calls (even though I have had it for 12 years). But then, that is probably at least partially because I don't give out my cell phone number to businesses, on forms, and so on. Once I do, I suspect I might start getting telemarketing on that phone, too.

My interim solution is not the best, but better than nothing. I have located my landline phone right next to my easy chair. At least I don't have to get up every time it rings, and I just hang up on robocalls.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:16 PM   #5
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Two minutes ago I got another telemarketing call. Long delay before the recording came all telling me to call a toll-free number to get my free gift.

I used *67 to block my number and call the toll-free number, but it won't let me through unless it knows my phone number.

So, do I call and tell me to remove my number, or will calling simply add my number to the suckers list (people who respond)?

I decided to call and allow it to know my phone number. It asked me to press 1 to speak to a live operator, and then it disconnected me. When I call back, it disconnects me at once. Googling shows that others have seen the same thing.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:28 PM   #6
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There used to be products you could buy that would block a list of 100+ "repeat offenders" which keep calling from the same number. I haven't seen them available for quite some time. I wonder if the manufacturers got paid off by the telemarketers to stop making them, or by the telcos to stop competing with their own products.

What the telcos should understand is that many people are ditching their land lines not ONLY because of cost, but because of the deluge of junk calls and phone spam that the telcos are not interested in helping us stop. If we ditch our land line, it will be all the junk calls and telemarketing robocalls, moreso than the cost. The best way to keep me as a customer is to help me deal with this crap.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:52 PM   #7
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Per the thread about being unable to filter moderator posts, some would say everyone should just ignore robocalls...

Unlisted won't stop all the junk calls. One idea is to list your number under a different name. Then if a person asks for "Mr. Smith" you know they are merely phoning based on the directory. Choosing a name difficult to pronounce might cause some to skip past your listing entirely.

To stop the robocalls on wired lines, for a small cost there exist devices you connect between the wall jack and your phone (or where your phone line enters the house). These devices answer all calls and announce "Press <some number you choose> to speak with us." The device hangs up if the number is not entered within a few seconds. Since the robocall machines can't press the correct number, they never get through.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:53 PM   #8
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I didn't realize that our (basic) phone service includes caller ID, and I'll see if that will help (though most telemarketers illegally spoof their Caller IDs).

In the meantime, I've just recorded a new outgoing answering machine message that starts with this, followed by "Hi, you've reached Al & Lena, please leave a message, thank you."
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:57 PM   #9
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Or maybe you should consider giving up your phone altogether
That's what we did eventually. We now only have a cell phone, and Skype (not for incoming calls).

With Skype we have it set up to display our cell number on the receiving person's caller id so they know who is calling.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I didn't realize that our (basic) phone service includes caller ID, and I'll see if that will help (though most telemarketers illegally spoof their Caller IDs).

In the meantime, I've just recorded a new outgoing answering machine message that starts with this, followed by "Hi, you've reached Al & Lena, please leave a message, thank you."

The other problem you might have (I do) is that someone from offshore gets your number.... they do not have to follow the law at all... and they can show you almost any number from what I can tell...


I also dislike them even if we ignore them... first, you have to pick up the phone to see who is calling... and if it is not someone you want to talk to listen to the phone ring 4 times... then the machine picks up the call... and sometimes your machine is talking to their machine.... it can be a minute or more before you can get back to watching TV...
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:32 PM   #11
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In the meantime, I've just recorded a new outgoing answering machine message that starts with this, followed by "Hi, you've reached Al & Lena, please leave a message, thank you."
Excellent! I bet you won't have many robot callers getting past that!
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:40 PM   #12
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That's what we did eventually. We now only have a cell phone, and Skype (not for incoming calls).
But how does that solve the problem? Robocalls to cell phones are apparently illegal, but they are also illegal to my phone (because it's on the do-not-call list, and in California), and that is not stopping them. The offshore companies can call your cell phone.
The FCC has implemented a strict rule requiring that predictive dialer campaigns to those numbers only be placed with the express consent of the subscriber. Even so, telemarketing calls to cell phones are not illegal under federal law provided the call complies with other applicable laws.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:43 PM   #13
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Concerning the enforcement of the do-not-call list:
...out of 2,884,474 registered complaints, the FTC and the Justice Department has brought only 25 cases.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:57 PM   #14
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I get far fewer robocalls to my cell, though I very rarely give that number out. I use caller ID on the landline and have a few ID displays where I can usually see one without getting up. If I don't recognize the caller I don't answer the phone and let the answering machine take it.

We used to have a "Privecode" device that would answer the phone and ask for a four digit number. Kind of a hassle for the legit calls.
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:05 PM   #15
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I didn't realize that our (basic) phone service includes caller ID...
I was wrong, I have "Caller ID Selective Blocking" which means I can block my number display for outgoing calls, but Caller ID would cost $3 per month more.
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:11 PM   #16
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not saying that I've personally done this (ahem-ahem, childish I know but I've gotten so upset that I'd fight a little fire with fire and ironically over time my telemarketing calls have diminished - Only Lord knows how.. ) but what you can do is act interested go along with the whole pitch, slowly act enthused so they think they have a hot lead.. get the person's name, e-mail,website, direct phone and fax like you're going to buy that second.. let them feel awesome and then at the very last second once you've gotten all this information from them see if you can get anything more out of them - kinda like a reverse rapport build if you will then drop the bomb on them that you're on the DNC, you have their name, company name, direct phone # and web address (depending on how you play them out you can get their physical address- i.e. " I don't have a problem buying I just wanna look you up while I have you on the phone so I can make sure I'm buying from a real person...." lol!.
Usually that will stop them pretty flat, now if that doesn't work here's where the ultra childish stuff comes in (I know.. I know..) search for a referral website - ideally something exactly along the same lines they're doing -i.e. - if they're calling you for an auto-warranty then google auto-warranty and a site that will "have you contacted immediately for multiple quotes" and put in that persons information- name number and e-mail. even though they don't know who put the information in there, it ticks them off pretty bad when they have another autodialer clogging up their lines as well.. Crappy part is that sometimes there are good businesses that buy internet leads like that and it may cost them.. =(
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:32 PM   #17
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I've heard that when you call or push a button to talk to a live person, it puts you on a list of known valid numbers and you'll get called more. Still, once in awhile I'll get the live person, and blow a whistle into the phone. I don't know if it takes me off the list of puts me on a list to get called at 4am (has never happened) or what, but I figure if it makes one telemarketer quit his job I've done well. Mostly I've decided not to let it bother me since there's apparently nothing I can do about it. Almost certainly they are not in the US so trying to track them down with the FTC is futile.
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:47 PM   #18
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But how does that solve the problem? Robocalls to cell phones are apparently illegal, but they are also illegal to my phone (because it's on the do-not-call list, and in California), and that is not stopping them. The offshore companies can call your cell phone.
The FCC has implemented a strict rule requiring that predictive dialer campaigns to those numbers only be placed with the express consent of the subscriber. Even so, telemarketing calls to cell phones are not illegal under federal law provided the call complies with other applicable laws.

I only know that I have had the same cell phone number since 2004 and have never had a robo-call, or even a sales call from a person. No political or charity type calls either. (I've probably just jinxed myself now....)
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:48 PM   #19
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I just hang up. Not gonna pay for extra screening and can't stop the flood of lawbreakers flouting the regulations. Like bad drivers and bad habits of people I like, no matter what I say or do, they're going to continue. Sorry I can't help.
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:55 PM   #20
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I just hang up. Not gonna pay for extra screening and can't stop the flood of lawbreakers flouting the regulations. Like bad drivers and bad habits of people I like, no matter what I say or do, they're going to continue.
+1

If I don't recognize the area code calling - or if it isn't displayed - I hit the 'reject call' button.
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