NATIONAL — You’re sitting down to dinner, or you’re pouring your morning coffee and your phone starts to ring, but the number isn’t one you recognize. Do you pick it up or ignore it?
It’s an issue millions of Americans are dealing with daily. It’s hard to think of something more irritating than a robocall; a computer-generated call which always seems to come at the wrong time.
“They call at the weirdest times. I mean, they might call at 6 in the even, even when I’m sitting down having dinner.”
The FCC says, each month, 2.4 million calls like this are made. It’s more than seven calls daily for some.
“I just don’t answer the phone most of the time.”
Dozens want to know what happened to the “do not call” list which started in 2003.
“I did it, was like five years ago, but, like I said, I can’t find that number anywhere since we’ve moved, since then and the number could be between here and there.”
The do not call list actually has exceptions. The FTC says calls from political parties, non-profits and charities, survey organizations and calls from companies you’ve done business with in the past are not blocked by the list.
“I just will ignore it and then I’ll listen to it later on voicemail and, if it’s a robocall, I’ll put a block on that call.”
So, what is the solution to getting fewer of them? There is no one solution, but there are tools which can help cut down the number of calls coming in.
A cellphone app, Nomorobo is an example of one. When a telemarketer hits your phone, it will identify it as a robocaller so you know to avoid it since, sometimes, you might not know who’s on the other end.
“I’ve had them from Texas. I’ve got some from Ohio. I have some from Seattle. I don’t know anyone in Seattle.”
Another option is blocking the call yourself. It’s a function on your cellphone to make sure those pesky calls go away.
“They’re annoying. They don’t care when it’s just boom, right then and there.”
The reality is billions of calls each year are still reaching phones and phone companies continue working with lawmakers and the FTC to put a stop to them for good.
Ask your cellphone provider for other options offered to customers.
The FTC is working with law enforcement to track down callers and building better tools for investigating where the calls are originating from. They’re also pursuing technological solutions.