I swear if one more person calls to offer me $500,000 for my business, I’m going to scream.
It used to be as cell phone owners, we were free from telemarketing calls. Now none of us are immune.
What can you do to make your phone a telemarketer free refuge? (Non-profits are still allowed to call you, my college certainly does.) Here are a few things you can do.
Download a call blocking app.
It didn’t occur to me an app could do this until one of my friends mentioned it. I have one on my phone and it actually says ‘Spam’ on it when I go to answer!
Ask to be placed on the ‘Do Not Call” list…. or wait until the end of the recording to take yourself off it.
So if you get a real live human on the other end of the line, you can be asked to put on their do not call list. You can also add yourself to the main government list here: https://www.donotcall.gov/
What about robocalls? If you wait until the end of the pitch, you’ll hear a brief “… or press 2 to be placed on our do not call list”. I actually did this about ten times and seem to have gotten a lot less calls.
(Kassie Note: I recently received an automated phone call from a telemarketer about credit cards, and there was no “do not call list” prompt after staying on the line. So I pressed “1” to go through the “talk to a representative” motion, and just asked the person I got on the line to take me off the list. After said representative declared “You are obviously unhappy with your current credit provider” I think he realized his mistake and took me off the list. In other words, it may take a few extra minutes but you can usually find a workaround).
Send spam calls directly to voicemail.
This doesn’t exactly solve the issue but will cut down significantly on your annoyance. Most phones will allow you to send people not in your contacts list directly to voicemail.
Get Google Voice.
We recently switched to Google Voice for Anchorspace calls and it has been great. Voicemails are transcribed, and I get an email when I miss a call. I even get to have a sweet cordless phone on my desk to answer calls (P.S. you can also have these go to your cell phone; I just like that mine don’t). Much like Google is good at filtering email, it’s pretty good at filtering voice spam, too.
Escalate to your phone carrier or the FCC.
Most phone carriers have a process you can go through to get rid of unlawful calls; Verizon’s is here. Remember chances are if you’re getting harassed by a person or company, others are as well. If you aren’t the kind of person who complains on your own behalf, complain for those other people.
The FCC also has a way for you to complain about harassing calls (well, all harassing communications really): https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us
Maybe it’s never occurred to you that you can stop annoying calls to your cell phone, but think about it: if you even save yourself fifteen minutes a week, that’s fifteen minutes you could be doing something else. Take back your time, and your phone.