Ever just let the telephone ring?
These days, there are so many telemarketing calls (yes! my phones are on the do-not-call lists) that it is not worth rushing to answer the telephone to find out it’s a call you would not have taken anyway. I let the answering machine pick up the calls.
Caller i.d. is one of the most useful functions now available. If I see an area code outside the U.S., or UUU as the i.d., I ignore not just the call but also any message.
Sometimes, a robo-message tells you to press, say, 1 for more information, and then later, press, say, 9 to be put on their do-not-call list. As if I wasn’t on a do-not-call list already. And if I’m not home I can’t press ANY button to respond to their unsolicited unwanted call. So guess what? They call back!
Sometimes, I return a missed call, and I get either a busy signal or a notice that the number has been disconnected. Very helpful.
I am tempted to include in my out-going message: I do not respond to solicitations over the telephone. Would that help? Not in most cases, because they hang up when they hear an answering machine. And they call back.
There are times when I am so incensed with repeated calls from the same number at all times of day, that I report the number to the Federal Trade Commission hotline. They are notoriously swamped with complaints like mine, but if we do not report these calls, the FTC has no way of tracking them. So I report them. It takes a few minutes to do it, but if nothing else, I feel better afterward: I did my part.
Alexander Graham Bell, I thank you for the remarkable convenience called a telephone. Now how about coming back and restoring the simplicity and relative privacy of your invention.