Friday, July 04, 2008

A Plague of Junk and Silent Calls

About a month ago I started receiving the "Waterloo Record Save & Sell" in my mailbox. This flimsy excuse for junk-mail advertising is as thick as a phone book and gets shoved, weekly, into my tiny receptacle. It crushes legitimate mail and leaves the mailbox lid jammed open. I don't read it and I recycle it every week. What's the point?

So I finally had enough and I called their mail-carrier line. I was on hold for several minutes, but then managed to speak to a very nice person who said she'd "take me off the list." I should have asked her how I ended up on their list in the first place -- maybe I could track my pervasive junk-mail hydra back to its roots -- but I'm glad to remove at least one source of soliciting-annoyance from my door.

Incidentally, like many people I get several calls a day from telemarketers, but in most cases I pick up the phone and I don't get an answer...the line is dead. I've discovered that this is something called a "silent call" (or an "abandoned call") which means that a computer has randomly dialed the digits in my phone number and -- when I picked up the receiver -- it notified the telemarketing company that my phone was active. But since no bottom-feeding, scum-sucking telemarketers were available to respond to the pick-up at that moment, the call was simply abandoned.

Incredibly rude.

This happens about six times a week. It's a relatively slight annoyance but I can't help wondering: who regulates this stuff, and how much money do they receive from call-center lobbyists?


scott said...

I've read somewhere that if that 'dead calling' happens to you, you can press the '#' key repeatedly several times and the computer will boot you off the list.

Muffy St. Bernard said...

Really! I'll give it a can't hurt, they already know I'm there by that point.