The End of Telephone Fun

Monday, November 12, 2012
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It isn't fun to get telephone calls anymore. Do you agree? 

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. 


  1. The phone is definitely no fun anymore. That's why my husband and I consciously decided not to have cellphones. When you receive a call, it's rarely someone you want, or its someone you know calling you every two seconds with every little thing. A phone call used to be a treat. Now it's just another annoyance. And people spend so much time on the phone that interacting in person is hindered. For all the phone has brought, somehow I feel less close with the advancement of cellphones.

  2. Good piece, Pam--I've actually been debating getting rid of my land-line, precisely for the reasons you mentioned above. I'm so fed up with the constant automated or marketing calls that lately I've been unplugging my phone when I'm at home.

    I sure do miss the old days of being a kid and racing my brothers & sisters to the phone when it rang--it was usually Grandma or someone else good to talk to :)

  3. Yes, the phone was such a great part of growing up! My best friend and I could see each other from our windows as we talked! So cool :)

  4. I completely agree. I recently added our two cell phone numbers to the DO NOT CALL list. 31 days later, bingo the annoying calls from Oregon and Washington stopped. I thought cell phone were off limits to all telemarking. Apparently not until they get caught.

  5. Well let's not get too old-fashioned on this one. Telemarketers have been around for quite some time. In fact, since the No Call registry, my irritating calls have gone down considerably. MY complaint has always been the "friends" who are stuck in traffic of idly shopping and call you to pass the time. Time you need to do your housework or other chores. Just becasue YOU are stuck in traffic does not mean I have to the time to chat. THAT is my biggest complaint about Mobil phones.


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