"Our Phones Are Held Captive"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, August 11, 2018

Does anyone else think our telephones are being abused and held captive?

"What phones?" you may ask.

Until just recently it was the landlines — which everyone canceled. That is probably why the abusers have begun to send constant calls to our cell phones.

I guess the cellphones have been renamed, “Smartphones," but guess what? They are not smart enough to avoid those nuisance calls.

When election time rolled around, we were inundated with political hopefuls calling and asking for our votes. We thought once the election was over, the political calls would cease. Not to be, they continue and we are asked how we voted and could we please take a short survey.

I’m sure the sore loser calls will cease soon but that will only clear the lines for the full-time pest to pester us daily — all day long, especially at dinner time because they are guessing we will be home.

If “Ann,” — who is happy to announce her company has received the authority to offer us added insurance from a long list of insurers — happens to read this column, perhaps she may find the time to look up the meaning of the word "no." The calls I have been referring to are “robo” ones of course. The company that repeatedly makes the calls should have to pay “Ann” each time they use her voice. I have received that same call daily for about two weeks.

If you actually stay on the line with some of them, you are given an opportunity to be placed on their “do not call” list. The automated robo guy apparently forgot to check the list my name is already on. Some people say if you take them up on that offer, you are providing your number to at least 100 more callers.

Another current pest call making the rounds is the delightful person, once again a lovely sounding female, who wants to give me a new credit card. Is this call actually coming from a financial institution? That is difficult to believe because those types of businesses are pretty astute, unlike the one who keeps calling.

My wife takes a different route with them — just slams the phone down. I wonder if they keep calling because I actually stay on the line and politely ask them to stop. Most annoying is if I am talking to someone I enjoy having a conversation with on one phone and hang up to answer the other phone only to have it be a pest call. I bet this has happened to lots of people who still have their landlines. Sure you can put your call on hold, but that seems rude.

Since we have to buy our telephones AND pay for the time we use them, why can’t we be allowed to know who is calling and stop them from doing so? Caller ID is of no help if all that appears is a phone number. The callers don’t seem to understand "no" or what a "do not call list" means. How about a way to reverse the call so the pest gets it right back at them. Could we at least enforce a stop to them calling at meal times?

How about we set up a receiving system that has a list of all callers we will accept calls from? If a caller’s number is not on the list, the call will be refused but a message may be left if it is urgent — like a death in the family. Or let’s try this; every uninvited caller should be charged triple for the call and then the call should be refused. Let’s make the phone companies who are making a gazillion dollars from us work a little for their money.

I have canceled credit cards, stopped dealing with retailers and others who kept calling me to make offers I had no interest in. I know people who screen all their calls by not answering, letting them go to voicemail. Doesn’t that defeat the idea of having a phone? We have tried unplugging the phone to grab a nap, but then we risk missing an important call.

As I see it, our privacy is a thing of the past and phones may be the next thing to go. They can join all the other dead electronics we had to have: typewriters, printers, adding machines, fax machines, etc. I guess some medical facilities still use the fax, and I have a printer, but most people do not.

We really should be able to answer our phones without the constant annoyance of unwanted calls.

Return to Home Page of Tipsforboating.com


Copyright © Fred Davis. All rights reserved.