Telemarketers are bothering me!
I might have figured out a way to stop it!
In the Philippines, I don’t ever remember getting a call from a telemarketer. Except for one. More on that in a minute.
Since returning to the States, though, I get these robocalls all of the time, and frankly, I am tired of it!
My friend, LeRoy, is on the no-call list, but when we are together, I think he gets a lot more marketing calls than I do. He tells me that the marketers don’t care if you are on the call list, they call you anyway.
You can’t figure out who they are!
The way these calls are being done now, it is very difficult to figure out who is actually calling you.
Firstly, they clone phone numbers, and every time they call it is from a different number. Usually, the call comes from a local number, and you think that somebody in town is calling you.
Secondly, they won’t tell you what company they are calling for. About the only way you can actually find out who is trying to sell you something is to actually go all the way through the call and make the purchase. Even then you may not know who you are doing business with.
If you don’t know who is calling you, how can you report them for violating the no-call list? If they clone numbers, you can’t just block their number because the next time they call you they will be using a different number.
It is a conundrum.
I might have figured out a way to stop them!
In order to really understand how I think I can stop them, you really should read this article that I wrote years ago. It is a hilarious incident that happened to me when I lived in the Philippines. It also involves that ONE sales call that I received while living in the Philippines, the one that I alluded to earlier in this article.
So, how will I try to stop them?
If you did not read the article, here is a quick synopsis.
Shortly after VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) came into play, I got a Vonage phone in the Philippines. With Vonage, I was able to have a US phone number in the Philippines. People here in the States could call me without the need to pay for International long distance, the call came to me through the Internet.
One day shortly after getting the Vonage service, I got a call from Sears Siding, saying they wanted to come to my house and give me an estimate on getting siding installed. When they found out where I lived… well… you can imagine that they were surprised.
Anyway, again, how will I stop these US Robo-calls? I think I’ll try turning that Sears siding call on its head.
When I get a robocall
When I get a robocall, I will listen patiently, I will act like I am very interested in the offer. I think this will be fun because I will be looking forward to their reaction when I say…
“Yes, I am interested in your car insurance offer! Do you need my address?”
Then, I will give them my old address in the Philippines. I will also say, “can we take care of this quickly because it is 3 AM here.” The Philippines is 12 hours ahead of US Eastern Time Zone.
I expect that the robocaller will be upset that they just wasted 10 minutes of their time for a “customer” that they cannot service. I will enjoy hearing their reaction. But, I also think that perhaps they will add me to some kind of internal do-not-call list because they will know that they are wasting their time calling somebody who lives in another country and just happens to have a US phone number.
Will it work?
Well, I don’t know if it will work or not. However, I think it will be fun to do this a time or two and see what happens. Those robocallers waste my time, so I might as well waste their time.
If it works, I might have to spread the word to a few friends and let them institute such a robocall policy themselves! LoL
Bob New York
These calls have become so frequent I don’t even answer the phone anymore. When I got Verizon FIOS for phone and internet, the phone came with voice mail. Now, I never answer the phone I let everything go to voice mail.
The few times I have answered one of these robo calls, I too have used the Philippines line and say they are on a secure tie line to the US Embassy in Manila and should not be using this number LOL. About 95% of the calls I get are robo calls, scammers etc. It really is an annoyance. The Do Not call list is useless.
Something I like about having FIOS all fiber optic right to the back of my modem is I no longer worry about lighting striking the phone lines as it will not travel on a glass phone line.
Hi Bob! Interesting that you are using the Philippines as an “alibi” like what I had in mind! Ha ha… great minds think alike!
Yes, you are right, same here, almost all of the calls I get are robocalls! I hate it!
Be careful; acting as an employee or agent of the US government is a felony with a three-year prison sentence. 😮
About 5 years ago. I ordered some medication online and it came from India. The now call 3 or 4 times a day with spoofed numbers I have tried everything to stop them. But have gotten to where I just have fun with them in some way. But I am very annoyed with them.
Have a wonderful day.
Hi Nathan – Ha ha… well, if you can’t beat them.. have fun with them!
There are ways to stop these people, but unfortunately the technology and laws are not in our hands. Personally, I do one of three things depending on how I feel. One is to just let it go to voice mail. Another one is to answer and when the caller asks for something like what is your make of car, I’ll ask which of my cars they are talking about. They will insist I tell them about my car and I’ll insist that since they called me they tell me which car or credit card, or what ever they called about. They usually give up very frustrated. My last ploy is to ask, “Does your mother know you are a thief?” I get varied responses on that one, but I feel better afterwards.:-) I usually ask this one when someone from a computer vendor calls to tell me my computer has a virus and they want to fix it.
Ha ha ha… go get ’em, Tony!
A friend, Charlie, lives in Toronto, Canada. His home phone is a MagicJack. I called him when I returned from Bayawan. His phone has a simple, but effective solution to robocalls.
When the phone answers you get the following message, “This call is filtered. Enter the number x.” The number x is chosen randomly. You enter the number and you are connected.
Seems like quite a simple app. I would certainly pay a one time fee for it. Not certain I would pay a monthly fee, though.
Wow, that seems like a great app!