Letters to the Editor

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SOLICITORS: Make them pay for calling

Letter by Cheryle Hoskins Bigelow, Spanaway on Nov. 9, 2010 at 2:05 pm with 8 Comments »
November 9, 2010 2:05 pm

It is our telephone and our dime. Why do I have to sprint inside from the garden, kick off my shoes and slide across the kitchen floor in my socks to answer the telephone only to find the person, or the robot at the other end of the call, is no relative of mine?

We registered on the do-not-call list, but unwanted telephone calls from cheaters and organizations that are exempt continue to harass us.

The brazen callers seem to know when there is a crisis brewing in the house. Every ring of the telephone could bring life-altering news that is important to the ones who pay the bill each month. We have to pick up.

I have an idea. Punch a special code into the key pad at the receiving end of a call to signify it is an unsolicited call. This action triggers a charge back to the interloper in the form of a hefty fine. It is only fair that they pay for the use of my telephone, not to mention for getting me out of my sickbed.

Everyone else in the telecommunications and fund-raising chain benefits from disturbing our peace. The fees could go toward supporting 911, charities or people who drink tea: I don’t care.

Alternatively, eliminate the ring. Solicitors’ messages are queued until the next time we pick up our telephone receiver. An erase button would dispatch the calls we do not want to hear prior to us suffering through the warm-fuzzy greeting.

Leave a comment Comments → 8
  1. johnearl says:

    Some years back Bill Gates (Jr) suggested that we might like to have a ‘tolling’ mechanizm on our phones that would allow us to charge callers for the right to speak with us.

    Friends, family and associates would be on the ‘good list’ and be allowed to call without incurring a toll, but any unknown caller would be presented with a price list that would describe the cost of putting the phone call through to you. The caller could then decide if they are willing to buy your time at that rate.

    If i had this system in place I would put a premium ($200 per call) on solicitation attempts during the dinner hour.

  2. BlaineCGarver says:

    Geez, get over it.

  3. lgcnelson84 says:

    “Why do I have to sprint inside from the garden, kick off my shoes and slide across the kitchen floor in my socks to answer the telephone…… It is only fair that they pay for the use of my telephone, not to mention for getting me out of my sickbed.”

    So…. were you in the garden or sick in bed? I’m quite confused…, how about you invest in an answering machine, learn how it works, and then only answer the calls you want once you hear someone leaving you a message?

    More people really need to be proactive and responsible for themselves.

  4. Easy one: answering machine to screen calls, Caller ID, and never run to the phone for anyone. If you were expecting an important call, you’d have the phone near by anyway. Sheesh. Must be a lib.

  5. Don’t bother getting over it. No reason you should have to put up with it. Here’s how it’s done:

    Trick Automated Phone Bots into Never Calling You Again
    Automated phone bots keep interrupting your dinner with their pre-recorded marketing messages? Play the U.S. Special Information Tone signal for “vacant circuit” when you pick up the phone. Our brother site Consumerist says a reader who kept getting automated debt collection calls added the tone to the beginning of his voicemail greeting:

    The next time the robot called, it thought it was getting a dead line and dutifully erased the number from its system. Voila, automatons be gone. Some places have autodialers that don’t (or have been tweaked) to respond to SIT tones, but if you’ve got a persistent unwanted robot caller, it’s worth a shot.
    Of course, adding this to your answering machine greeting may confuse genuine human callers as well, but that may be worth scaring off the bots. Grab the tone as a WAV file from the Art of Hacking site. Photo by geishaboy500.
    U.S. SIT (Special Information Tones) signal: Vacant Circuit (out of service or nonexistent phone number) [Art of Hacking via Consumerist]

    And, here’s the link to the above article:


  6. A boxing glove launched at the nose of the offending caller would work first time everytime. A country that can go to the moon can surely come up with the technology. Did no one think to request funds from the SwindleUs bill?

  7. My phone requires the caller to push 1 after a recording saying that I do not accept calls from blocked numbers or solicitors. Recorded messages can’t push 1.

    My recorded message trumps their recorded message.

    No more unwanted solicitations.

  8. Sumner401 says:

    Just because it rings doesn’t mean you have to answer it.

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