|Image from Tumblr|
I remember when the telephone used to be SO much fun--as a pre-teen and teenager, I welcomed calls from my friends, especially on snow days. Or how about that cheerful ring on the holidays that signaled a call from a long-lost relative; say, your Uncle Joe in Chicago? The telephone in its early days was used for communication among family and friends. What was that Ma Bell slogan? "Reach out, reach out and touch someone."
Now, then the phone rings, 9 times out of 10 the caller on the other end isn't a friend or a relative. It's almost always someone I don't want to speak to; a business trying to sell me something, someone trying to get me to participate in a survey, or a charity asking for collections, or it's a scumbag scam caller asking for the routing number to my checking account. Things got so bad during this recent election with automated calls being received daily, and sometimes multiple times a day, that everyone I know on Facebook was complaining about it.
I am soooo sick of it.
We have a National Do Not Call Registry, but in my opinion it does little good considering charities, political surveyors and telephone survey takers are exempt, plus your number has to be registered for 31 days before you can file a complaint against a business.
Some callers are relentless. Letting the answering machine pick it up does no good--they simply won't give up. So I've started to research a lot of the numbers that I don't recognize that call multiple times, and most of them are survey companies and scam operations. But some charities are no better--I looked up a number today that had called me several times and it was a cancer charity with numerous complaints logged on it. It even made a Forbes magazine list of the worst charities to donate to, since most of the money collected doesn't go to help cancer patients.
When I'm home and trying to get things done or relax, the last thing I want is a telemarketer interrupting my day. Can I have my time and solace, please?
And I know it might be easy to point fingers at the rise of cell phones and the Internet, but I think they have little to do with the proliferation of unwanted phone calls--I could be wrong, but I believe that for whatever reason (the economy, etc.) too many companies and charities have become so desperate for money that they've resorted to cold calling. I guess it could be worse--they could be soliciting door-to-door and ringing our doorbell all day long.
Anyways, nothing would make me happier than to see the Directory make some amendments that would at least limit the amount of times in a month that any kind of charity, survey taker or political organization can call your registered number.
Let's leave the phone line open for Uncle Joe in Chicago.