Tag Archives: National Do Not Call Registry

Robo Callers can Robo Suck It

27 Dec

What follows is a rant.  For those of you that like my funny ones better and not my ranty ones (ahem Dad, I am talking to you) then maybe you should just stop reading.  Although there is a possibility that this post will contain at least a small percentage of humor, meaning that there is the admittedly outside possibility for this to be the funniest blog post I have ever written and you would have missed it because you are biased against my rants (because you have been hearing them for the past three decades in loud volume).  I’m just saying, choose wisely.

So listen.  I know that I have written about this definitely once but maybe even two times.  I believe it is important enough to warrant some repetition.  These goddamn spam callers are making me crazy!  Seriously.  I have been on the National Do Not Call Registry for so many years and yet I still receive these calls at least two times a week.  This is how it goes.  I get a call from a number I do not recognize.  I immediately get rage-filled.  Depending on my mood I either let the call go and research it on the internet to discover that it is some company trying to lower my interest rate or I answer the call and play the following game:  try to get the individual on the other end of the line to identify the name of their company before they hang up on me.  This game is really not that fun for the following two reasons:  (1) I always, I mean always, lose; and (2) the result is that I get even more rage-filled.  It’s as if I am a super hero and spam calls to my cell phone are my kryptonite.  I might be in complete control of my temper and my reaction to things and then my phone rings with some random 616 number and BAM any modicom of restraint I had flies right out the window.

So at work the other day I was talking to my one customer about my disdain for spam callers.  This came up because my dislike for spam callers is matched by my dislike for people who sell things on the television that are obviously pieces of crap but they market them towards people who are elderly, unwell, or stupid.  I think that is really mean-spirited.  So when my grandpa was all hopped-up on end-of-life pain medication he was watching TV and found this advertisement for newly minted nickels.  So my grandpa, bless his heart, spent something like $1000 on $500 worth of nickels because the commercial told him they would appreciate in value.  They were fucking nickels.  A nickel is worth five cents.  It does not matter how nice of a box you put them in or how shiny they are they are worth five cents from now until the end of time.  The only thing that changes about the value of a nickel is that it becomes less valuable because of inflation.  In his better days my grandpa knew that because he was good at things and also smart but when you’re sick and on medication and watching late-night television because you can’t sleep your judgement tends to go out the window.  And these people are there like little vultures, circling around just waiting to feast on you.  Seriously, fuck those people.  They make me so mad.

So anyway, I was talking to one of my customers about this and he said to me something that people say to me all the time because I have opinions and express them often and animatedly:

Why don’t you tell me how you really feel?

I hate that.  It’s like, I just told you.  That IS how I really feel and if you wouldn’t have made that “joke” I would have run out of steam and moved on to something else.  But now we both have to suffer because I am going to continue to get myself all worked up about spam calls and the value of nickels and you have to listen to it while you drink the vodka and orange juice I’m pretty sure you’re now regretting having ordered.

Anyway, in mid-rant this customer, who has obviously become accustomed to my antics or else is very skilled at blocking me out until there appears to be a break in the rant at which time he can sneak in a comment, said something about feeling badly for the people that work for the cold calling companies.  He pointed out what a terrible job it is and you know what?  He had a point.  In all the time I spent being mad at people who call me and tell me they can lower my interest rate it never occurred to me that I should be angry not at the person calling, but at the person who owns the company because, really, there aren’t that many jobs out there and maybe having a job, albeit an inherently dishonest one, is better than nothing?  I mean, who knows, maybe the grandpa of the woman who called me a few weeks ago also bought nickels at a wildly inflated price.  Or, maybe the woman was a robot.

And, actually, you should go read that article I just linked because it explains EXACTLY why these calls piss me off so much.  They piss me off because if you try to talk to a real person after dealing with a robot and ask them questions about the robot, themselves, or the company then they hang up on you.  It’s like, you called me so why are you being a dick?  No one will give you any actual information because the whole thing is a fucked-up scam.  And then when you finally do manage to get information* and then publish that information online, all of the phone numbers associated with the “company” go to busy signals when you call and the company’s website comes down off the internet.  The whole thing makes me see red.

In the next edition of things that make me crazy, I will write an open letter to both Chase Bank and Discover about the psychological damage their constant credit card come ons have caused me.  Stay turned.

*Apparently calling and telling them that you work for Time yields better results than telling them that you are the editor-in-chief and main (read: only) contributor at FranklyRebekah.com.

No, I Do Not Want to Lower My Interest Rate

17 Sep

Okay, so, someone told me that I already posted about this topic.  There is a strong possibility that that is the case but I have a sort of bad memory and also I don’t feel like going back through all my posts to see whether or not there is any truth to this claim.  Also, I don’t really care because this is a topic I find so frustrating that I am perfectly happy to post about it more than once.  What could possibly be so important, so frustrating, as to necessitate possible repetition?  Why, the inefficacy of the National Do Not Call registry, or course!

So first of all, in doing some research to write this blog post, I encountered the following important message from the National Do Not Call Registry:

Scammers have been making phone calls claiming to represent the National Do Not Call Registry. The calls claim to provide an opportunity to sign up for the Registry. These calls are not coming from the Registry or the Federal Trade Commission, and you should not respond to these calls.

I have to say this does not instill me with a lot of confidence, not that I really had much before hence the need for this either first or second post on this topic.  But seriously.  Scammers have been pretending to be the National Do Not Call Registry?  What do these scammers say when they get you on the phone?  Do they ask you if you want to be included on the Registry and then when you answer in the affirmative they yell “psych!  You’ve been scammed, mother fucker!”  Do they some how manipulate the Registry so that you can never be added to it, no matter how many times you attempt to register either by phone or through the internet?  Do they then call you daily, rubbing in your face the fact that you fell for their cruel, cruel joke thereby aiding in the development of a very real and deep seeded fear of your cellular telephone? There are so many possibilities.

Anyway, I went onto the site once again to be certain that my phone number has indeed been registered because I get a lot of sales calls and it makes me mad.  It makes me mad not only because they are annoying, not only because I get excited when I get a phone call, only to have that excitement extinguished when I am faced with the pre-recorded voice on the other end of the line, but also because I think that the “companies” that make these calls are mean-spirited.  In my experience, most of the calls are attempts on behalf of the call-ee to get the caller to do something involving their credit.  If memory serves it has something to do with lowering interest rates.  I am actually not sure as to the nature of the call because I am always planning what I am going to say to the actual person on the other end of the line when I finally get the opportunity to speak with a representative.  I always opt to speak to someone.  I then attempt, always fruitlessly, to gather some information.  I have found that if you ask any of the following questions, or make any of the following statements, the person on the other end has been instructed to immediately hang up on you:  what is the name of your company; where is your company headquartered; this call might be recorded for quality insurance purposes; I am going to report you to the FTC.  The other day I was in a particularly saucy mood when I got one of my hated calls.  I, as always, chose to speak with a representative.  The lady I spoke to was, coincidentally, also feeling saucy.  Or maybe she is always saucy, I don’t really know.  Anyway, this happened:

Lady: Hello, would you like to try and lower your interest rate on your credit card?
Me: Which credit card are you referring to?
Lady: Do you want to lower your interest or no?
Me: Yes, but I doubt you can help me with that.  You need to stop calling me.
Lady: Need is a very strong word, ma’am.
Me: Yea? Well, so is ‘asshole,’ which is what you are because you called me during dinner.
Lady: Click.

It actually wasn’t during dinner at all.  It was the middle of the afternoon.  But what does she know?  I might have to go to work at 4. I might have a very strange schedule.  I might eat dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner.  I might have just lost my temper and made a stupid word choice error, a word choice error which I then beat myself up about for the following three days (actually the case).  You see, I was fully expecting to sass, but what I was not expecting was to get sassed right back.  Because usually the response to my sass is a hangup, which I also find very rude. It’s like, you called me, not the other way around.  If I had called you and sassed you, then you therefore possess the right to hang up on me.  But since you called me, I think the only party in the interaction that should, by the laws of phone etiquette, be allowed to hang up on the other person should be the callee.  You see, I was going about my day, minding my own business, thinking about rainbows and unicorns when you interrupted my day with your bullshit, and not to mention illegal, sales call to my personal cellular telephone and then you had the nerve to hang up on me, leaving me feeling not only angry but also rejected?  That’s really fucked up.  Anyway, I just really think that hanging up on someone you called, and also sassing someone when you are imposing on her day, is simply beyond the pale.  I am getting all worked up again.  Fucking lady and her fucking bullshit imposter credit card company.

So here’s another thing.  Those sham companies make me really angry because they prey on stupid people and that is just not right.  Most people find these calls to be just annoying.  Some people like me find them to be absolutely infuriating but I’m an extremist.  But then there are some people who think these calls are being made by people who actually want to help them and they give the person on the other end of the line all the information to totally fuck them over.  I mean, there must be people that share their personal information or else these companies would not be able to pay their employees, and therefore they would cease to exist.  There are some people in the world who are stupid, and it isn’t their fault.  There are also some people in the world who are NOT stupid but who lack basic financial literacy because for some reason teaching people about money and saving and investing and budgeting is not something that is considered important in this country.  (Well, I think some could fairly make the argument based off recent strikes, budget cuts and policy changes that teaching anything at all period is not important in this country but that is a discussion for another day.)  I just think that most people work hard for what they have, be it a little or a lot, and it is really not right to go and call them and trick them into thinking you are trying to help them and then take advantage of their stupidity or financial ignorance or whatever and steal from them.  And then what do the owners, or employees, of these companies say when asked what they do?  What if they were on a first date and the person on the other side of the dinner table was all, “what do you do?”  Do they say “I own a company that blind calls people and hopes they’re stupid so I can relieve them of all their savings?”  I would hope that if I were on that date I would pick up my drink, throw it in the persons face, pick up his drink, throw that in his face also, and then storm out.  Or, better yet, I would smile, pretend like I thought that was cool and then, when he was in the bathroom, register his email address on like every pornography site ever.

As you can see I have given all of this quite a bit of thought.

Oh, but the point of all of this that I totally forgot to make is that I registered my phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry sometime in like 2010 or 2011 and I still receive all these phone calls!  What the hell am I even on the damn list for if I am going to get the calls anyway?  Or am I on the sham list and I just never realized it?  While writing my thesis I wasted more time than I care to admit researching different phone numbers that had scam called me and then reporting them to the National Do Not Call Registry.  It really just isn’t right.  The National Do Not Call Registry owes me a lot of time.

So, yea, National Do Not Call Registry, get your shit together.  Protect the stupid people.  Also the people who get extremely angry about receiving scam calls and then find it necessary to spend an hour writing about it on their blogs. I am sure I am not the only one.