Wednesday, December 04, 2013

1261 What Ever Happened to "Do Not Call"?

1261 What Ever Happened to “Do Not Call?”

We all quickly grew tired of those sales pitch phone calls.  For awhile, it seemed that some NSA-like secret organization knew exactly when you were about to sit down to dinner and rang you.

The “do not call” list was supposed to stop most of that.  It hasn’t.

All those call centers with all those autodialers weren’t going to be stopped by some stupid law.  They just changed the way they pitched things.

So now, you get a lot of calls from people conducting “surveys.”  They’re “not selling anything.”  Yeah, right.

There are and always have been exceptions to the law.  Politicians get a free pass.  So do companies with which you initiate business.

With the surveys, the exceptions and the law breakers, the rate of incoming baloney has slowed but not stopped.

And now they call your cell phones.

Cell numbers are unlisted.  So how do they know your number?  They don’t.  They dial random numbers and may hit more paydirt than they miss.

Tangent:  You used to have to pay extra for an unpublished number.  Now, every wireless phone is unlisted.  No extra charge.

Quiz: why do the phone companies do that?
(a) because it’s too much work to provide a cell phone directory.
(b) because half the cell phones in America are “throw aways?”
(c) because there are just too many phones?
(d) because they’re lazy?
(e) because you can get the numbers from pay-per-use websites?
(f) all of the above.

The correct answer is (f).

Some of the modern callers give you a chance to “opt out.”  They’ll tell you “If you no longer wish to receive these calls, press 2.”

Don’t do that.  What pushing 2 does is tell them that a live body answered the call. Proof that you exist. (I push two, therefore I am.)

Talking Caller I.D. is a beautiful thing.

When your telephone tells you “call from 305-368-8870” and you don’t recognize the number, you can decline to answer.  The caller will not leave a message.

Tolerate this.  Chances are the autodialer will hang up if you don’t answer by the second or third ring.

Sometimes, though, the calls are fun.

A friend received a call for a state office seeker from New Jersey.  The friend does not live in NJ.  And the automated call was made a week after election day.

Shrapnel:

--Jim Lovell was aces and he was one of the four people who died in the derailment of the Metro North train derailment in the Bronx the other day. Besides being aces, he was a husband and father and a union brother. The other three were James Ferrari, Kisook Ahn and Donna Smith.

--We disagree with columnist David Brooks when he says --tongue in cheek -- his three month absence from the pages of the New York Times was “an act of amazing public service.” But we agree with his assertion that politics has become a form of tribalism and occupies too much brain capacity in too many people.  And we agree with him when he analyzes the primary purpose of government and concludes (our words, not his) mental infrastructure.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them.(R)
Please address comments to wesrichrds@gmail.com
© WJR 2013


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