Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Telephones: Blessing Or Curse?

The other day, Kay and I were reminiscing about telephone service in the small towns were we grew up. There's no doubt phone service then was primitive compared with what we now have. In addition to landlines, we have cell phones that are smarter than I am. It's nice to be able to communicate anywhere but sometimes I wish I weren't so available, especially to telephone solicitors.

I thought being listed on the Do Not Call Registry was supposed to prevent calls like these (and this is a sample from one day):
"Do not hang up. This is an important message about..."
"This is ### calling about your credit card. There is no problem with your current card, but..."
"The FBI tells us there are ### break-ins every day. We're offering a home security..."

If you dig deeper into information about the Do Not Call Registry, though, you find that, although the government doesn't prosecute all reported offenders, they are gathering the information into a database. Although there is information out there on how to get off individual calling lists, some calls still get through. Caller ID helps, but sometimes calls I want are from "blocked numbers." I tell you,  it's frustrating.

How about you? When balancing the convenience of phone communication with the volume of unsolicited junk calls, how are things stacking up at your house? I'd like to know.

(photo via freedigitalphotos.net)


C.L. Dyck said...

The phone at our house has mostly been rendered obsolete by email. It's my parents' generation that uses it still. And yet, I grew up in a backwoods where we still had a party line till I was about 13.

I don't know about the data collection policy here in Canada, but my internet service provider about drove me crazy recently with calls trying to get me to renew my contract with them. Their opt-out is buried on their web page and looks the opposite of most opt-outs: the box must be checked in order to say "no."

Stuff like that offends my consumerly moral principles...but I don't think businesses care about people anymore. They care about user data and financial statistics.

Richard Mabry said...

I have to agree with your last statement, with a slight modification. Although data and statistics are important to gather, the bottom line remains the almighty dollar. And telephone solicitors are scrambling for ours.