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How to stop unwanted sales calls?

Original post made by Upset, Palo Alto High School, on Jun 16, 2015

I gave some information in November and they sold our phone number and we have been getting we solicitor calls at least 3 times per day. Many of them are silent, then hang up. All I wanted was to find someone to hang holiday lights on our house but all these contractors are calling us! One of them said he would take us off his list, but these calls could continue for years! We have already used all our 20 blocked numbers slots from ATT.

I've seen call filters/blockers I can buy - do those work?

My only solution seems to be to disconnect the ringer and tell people to wait for the beep and speak into the answering machine if they are not solicitors so I can pick up the phone.

I wish I could tell others which website started this all, but cannot remember. This is a serious issue that is affecting my quality of life since I work at home.

Anyone? Help, please.

Comments (2)

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Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 17, 2015 at 6:07 pm

Those calls have become pretty annoying, and joining the National Do Not Call Registry does zero good. You can sign up and then submit complaints about the offending callers. Again, it does zero good. For one thing, the number that appears as their caller ID is often spoofed (i.e. faked).

One thing a coworker tried that seemed to decrease the call frequency a bit was to feed the callers back their own numbers. When a telemarketer calls you, write down the number reported by caller ID. Now call the number. If it connects you back to the telemarketer, put a check mark by the number. The next time a telemarketer calls you, tell them the connection is bad, and to call you back at (give them one of the other telemarketer's numbers). Also use the telemarketer's numbers when signing up for anything that might put you on a calling list, such as loyalty cards. Then you will get the telemarketers calling each other, at least to some extent. I have not tried this yet, but it seems like an interesting concept.

If you have a smartphone, there are call blocking apps available. They typically won't work on spoofed numbers, but do work when a telemarketer repeatedly calls using the same number.

You could always mess with the telemarketer a bit and tell them using solar is against your religious beliefs, solar panels cause global warming, the Earth is flat and therefore solar is not cost effective (most telemarketers these days seem to be hawking solar panels). The puzzled reactions are often quite amusing.


2 people like this
Posted by tweet
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 17, 2015 at 8:12 pm

Or you could do as I did one time: A telemarketer called while I was preparing for a backpacking trip and had a whistle handy, when he started his script, I blew the whistle into the phone and hung up. A couple of minutes later, the phone rang and, when I picked it up, the fellow asked: "Is this the A*****e who blew the whistle in my ear?" I blew the whistle again and hung up. No more calls.


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