Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My Rant Against Junk Calls

When I sat down in front of the computer yesterday to decide what to blog about today, the phone rang.

It was one of our three current landlines--the one with the number that, after having it for decades, we’re about to drop. 

Why?  Well, for two reasons.  First, the cost keeps going up, and we just started using an inexpensive Magic Jack line tied to our computer as our home phone number.  I’m keeping my long-standing business line, too, so we’ll have a genuine land line as well.  Not to mention our cell phones. 

And second? Because of all the junk calls we get on that line.  Sales calls.  Political calls.  Phone surveys.  Enough!  And, yes, we’re on the supposed “do not call” list.

For months, we’ve been getting calls where the caller claims that she--it’s usually a she--talked to me last January about having some remodeling done in our house, and I was so receptive and asked her to call back soon.  Baloney!  It’s the same spiel over and over, and it’s a complete lie, so why do they keep using it?  I’m not sure whether it’s the same company or not; I get off the line up before they identify themselves.  Before, I used to simply hang up.  Now I question them about why they’re lying about this and why they keep calling.  Now they’re the ones to hang up first!

The call I received while deciding what to write today was one of those calls.  And this kind isn’t the only type of sales call we get.

The political calls I may listen to if an election is pending, as it is now.  Or not.  That depends on my mood and who the caller is promoting.

Regarding surveys, for years I’d try to participate.  That was out of sympathy for the person asking the questions.  I had a job just like that one summer while I was in college, and I know how difficult people who respond--or don’t--can be.  Now, it depends again on what they’re inquiring about and my mood as to whether I respond or not.  

There are times when I wish my dogs were as obedient to me as I am to them.  If they were, I’d tell them to “speak” as soon as one of those calls come in.  At least then the callers would have someone to talk to.  Or not. 

In any event, it’s really annoying when those calls come in while I’m trying to write and they interrupt my train of thought.  

So... I’ve given out our new phone number to a lot of people and companies--hopefully all the ones I choose to have follow us.  If some don’t have the new number, they probably can track us down by email or via acquaintances in common.

 And I’ve now given my husband my consent to terminate that old, familiar number. It’ll be missed--but the callers won’t be. 

How about you?  Do you get a lot of junk calls?  What do you do about them?


Katreader said...

I'm on the do not call list as well. I know I can still get those annoying political ones and charities, but those are few and far between. The past week however, I've been getting calls from a siding company that's in the area and will give a free estimate. I hate phone calls-they always interrupt me. And I'm certainly not going to buy siding from you! Ugh.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Glad the do not call list is working better for you, Katreader. But those home improvement calls seem to be getting worse!

Linda O. Johnston said...
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Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, I was the same about having sympathy for the survey takers because my mother had that job once. She had to do the surveys in person (I went with her some of the time) and she got paid by the survey.

My favorite junk calls are the ones I get in Chicago where they ask for my father (he's been dead for over 40 years) and they want to sell him cable service.

NL Gassert said...

We gave up our landline when we moved to Japan in 2001. We've long since returned to the US, but we never did get another landline. Cell phone only. No calls. Also, I don't ever give out my phone number online (you know, sweepstakes forms, account set-up for this 'n that). Last year I got a few calls from someone wanting to sell school loan consolidation. I reported their number to my state office for scams etc.

:-) I'm a firm believer in not picking up the phone when I don't want to be bothered. If it's an emergency, the person will call back and/or leave a message.


Linda O. Johnston said...

I did a change of address form specifically for first class mail after my dad passed away last year, Betty, in case he received something important that I needed to deal with. His name was apparently sold to lots of junk mail places, so I keep getting garbage mail for him at my home address. I used to be in advertising but now I rather dislike at least parts of the industry!

Linda O. Johnston said...

You've done it right, Nadja--including reporting scams. I'll try to take a lesson from you!

Michelle said...

I used to work for an answering service and when telemarketers were calling a block of numbers, we'd literally get (and hang up on) the same person a hundred times in a row. Once I'd politely explained that they were OUR numbers, that he or she was always going to get one of us and they kept calling anyway, we stopped being nice.

The calls I hate these days are the pre-recorded messages about our past due credit cards. Hubby and I both know that nothing is past due, but the kids answer and think it's something important and get worried.

Linda O. Johnston said...

What a waste of time that must have been for you, Michelle--and the telemarketers, too, although I suppose they were just following their nonsensical orders. And it's really unfair for those stupid calls to worry your kids.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately, I just got the kind of caller ID that flashes on the tv screen; if I don't know the name or number, I just don't answer.

Linda O. Johnston said...

We've got that kind of caller ID on one of our lines, Anonymous--but not the worst one. And we don't always have the TV on to check it. But caller ID is definitely handy.