It is time to stop unwanted calls

August 25, 2020

Gordon Mullin

OPINION by GORDON MULLIN

“Hello Gordon. We’re excited to tell you that you qualify for a $10,000 loan from … .” And it’s about here in this seemingly endless parade of exasperating intrusions that I start yelling profanities into my phone then hang up and wildly search for the “block” icon with the optimistic yet unfounded hope that they won’t call me again.

Ha. And yet you and I know from endless, painful experience that we’ll hear again soon from these unwanted callers for we know they will have moved on to a fresh phone number next week and the cycle will begin anew.

Now I’ve called my cell phone and home phone providers and begged them to do something to limit this endless intrusion but despite their claimed earnest efforts, I still receive a handful of these electronic annoyances the next day. And of course various politicians have promised “to do something” but have they? No they have not.

What to do?

How can we put an end to this daily, dripping sore?

Well, I’m glad you asked for I have an answer. Charge them.

More precisely, I want to deal with a phone company that gives me the right to charge anyone who calls me anything I want.

Here’s how it would work.

First, I’ll have an approved list of callers. I’ll put all the folks I want to talk to on the list, which will be shared with my phone provider. If you are on my approved list, you can call me for free any time you want. No restrictions. No cost.

As for anyone not on that list who calls my number, my phone will not ring but they will hear a recording something like this-

“Hi.You’ve reached Gordon’s phone and if you’re hearing this message you’re not on my approved list. If you want to have me answer your call or even if you want to leave me a message, you’ll have to pay me 5 cents. Agree to do so and then my phone will ring, we’ll have a chat and, if I later choose to do so I’ll put you on my approved list and you’ll never be bothered by this again.

If you agree, your phone company will charge you 5 cents on your phone bill which will show up as a credit on my phone bill. To agree, hit the number 525. Thanks, we’ll talk soon; or not.  Whichever you choose.”

Think about this.

Currently, you can block a number, any number but as we all know, these pests just move on to a different number.

However, if they encounter this block before my phone even rings, do you think they’ll pay the 5 cents? I suspect they will not. And if a nickel ain’t enough, up your price. How about a buck?  You decide.

Naturally your phone company will set up a web link where you can download all your buddies phone numbers so they won’t have to go through this hassle.

Yes it will be a pain in the keister for a while but eventually you’ll have all your friends and your banker on the list and you’ll not be bothered by the pests again.

And if you miss somebody, so what?  It’ll only cost them 5 cents, or whatever charge you pick, to get connected to you the first time and you will then add them to your list and it’ll be seamless thereafter.  Or consider this- if it’s one of your annoying relatives, you can collect the five cents, answer the phone call or they’ll leave a message and you will promise to put them on your list.  However if it’s your cousin Harold who still owes you 50 bucks, you can, maybe yes, maybe no add him to the list only after you get your 50 bucks back.  It’s up to you.

And just why will your phone company do this? Because they can and they know you and I will switch in a heartbeat to a company which is smart enough to offer this service.

And don’t you lust for just such a deal? I do and I know a few others who would jump to sign up for such a stress relieving opportunity.

So, Verizon and all. Who’s going to be first?

 

 


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Boris

I think the cell phone companies make money off every single call. They have no incentive to stop it. It might be only .00015 cents per call so the 500 calls I get per month, adds a little bit of money to Verizon or whoever. They don’t want it to stop.


r0y

Unfortunately this really will not work, as most every call is via computer. I rarely, if ever, give out or use my cell number for things (forms, etc); instead, I use my landline (ok, boomer) and an old piece of tech once known as an answering machine. What’s nice is I have the machine pick up on the first ring, so the other wireless handsets don’t ring more than once. If I notice the number (very rarely), I can grab it before the machine; otherwise, it gets the answering message.


The robo call software detects machines and most will drop and move on. The others will leave their spam message.


If you have your cell phone blown up from giving your number out too much, I’d say get a second phone (even a burner) and only give that number to friends. Unfortunately, if your friends are prone to scams and downloading bad apps, your info is compromised via them (not even you!).


I knew the government would be ZERO help when they had the “Opt Out” privacy stuff years ago. No, opting OUT is not how privacy works. Ideally, companies should be limited to customers opting IN to allow the farming of their personal info.


mercut1469

Sometimes when my granddaughter catches me complaining about something, she simply rolls her eyes and says, OK, boomer.


Rambunctious

As long as the telemarketers have more money for politicians than you do the calls will continue….


fat chance

I pretty much don’t answer unless I recognize the number but if they call again right away than it is usually legit.


Jorge Estrada

I have my aged Mother’s phone forward to me and what is going on is beyond what should be legal. This CRAP should be disallowed and or be a liability to the companies that provide these nefarious actors access to your vulnerable elders. Elder abuse will eventually reach out and touch everyone if our legislators continue to allow this access to your lonely parent.


cfk420

My buddy tells me “I got this cool app…I’m gonna call you from your gf’s phone number”. I’m like “yeah ok. How you gonna do that? She’s not even here right now.” Then my phone rings. “Incoming call from “My Baby”” it says. I answer the call “hey beautiful, what’s up?” completely forgetting what my friend just told me. Her picture pops up everytime she calls. “It’s me dumbass!” My friend exclaims on the other end of the line. I called her from her own phone number to tell her what just happened


cfk420

Call spoofers dude…allows the caller to change their number to any number they want so the person receiving the call sees whatever number the caller changed it to. Even active lines. So I can call you from my phone but it shows up on your end as one of your approved contacts…all they need is the phone number of 1 of your approved contacts which they can get phone numbers and addresses of your family and other associates just by google searching your name or phone number


Mark

I to get about 4-5 of these calls a day. Usually an Indian voice pretending to be the IRS.


But the problem with doing something like you suggest are the emergencies in life. I would worry that maybe one of my kids is in a hospital somewhere and the hospital calls me and they are not on the approved list of numbers. So I just cannot do it.


By the way, have you noticed that many of the callers simply hang up when you answer the phone? The reason for this is to see if the number has a human that answers the phone. If so,then the fraudster will know they can bombard you with phony calls.


chocolate_addict

Actually I heard that sometimes no answers because they dial several numbers at once and they speak to the first person who picks up. If true that ought to be outlawed. I think the phone companies love these people because they generate revenue for the phone company and they are really not on our side. Our land line phone broke or something and it is not even hooked up.