It’s a strange love-affair we have with the telephone. The cell phone lets us communicate with anybody, anywhere, at any time, at a reasonable cost and, in my case, with reliable service. All I do is place and receive phone calls and text messages with my cell phone. No need for games, apps, GPS, internet, none of that stuff. I’m a dinosaur.
But this convenience has a price, in terms other than dollars and cents.
A few weeks ago some young lady, Crystal, gave MY cell phone number (by mistake, I hope) to about six million of her closest friends, and I’m still getting calls for her. Got one the other night right in the middle of Lindsey Vonn’s fabulous downhill run at the Olympics. A telemarketer.
Crystal’s real human beings, with one exception, stopped calling as soon as I explained she’d given them the wrong number. The other fellow, who may have been her father, called no less than a dozen times until I finally laid an insult on him that would cause any father’s blood to boil.
A couple months ago, for business reasons, I had to re-install one of my old land-lines for my home office. Didn’t need any bells and whistles: didn’t want caller ID but got it anyway; part of the package. So was a bunch of other stuff I don’t care about. Part of the package.
Can’t I just buy/rent/lease a damn phone line?
Voicemail available: no thanks. On and on, the telephone salesperson went down the list of options. Want it unlisted? Sure, that sounds good…this line is 100% for business purposes, 99.9% of which will be outgoing calls, and I don’t really want it in the phone book or available through directory assistance. That will be $5.95 a month. Seventy-two dollars a year for unlisted service? No thanks.
Now, every telemarketer in the known universe has the phone number of my land-line, and they use it. Auto warranties. Home improvement loans. Siding for my house. Computer training. Police charities. Life insurance. Health insurance. Car insurance. Homeowners insurance. Pet insurance. Unemployed Rodeo Clowns Retirement Fund.
I signed up for the no-call list from the state Consumer Protection Department when the first telemarketing call came in, but my number doesn’t go on the list until the first of April. And, it will come OFF the list in two years.
A couple questions: why does it take so long to get your phone number on the no-call list? Lord knows the telemarketers can find you in a few hours, once you put a phone line in. And what kind of idiot crooked politicians made it so that your phone number comes OFF the list in two years, and you have to go through the whole “registering” rigmarole again?
Of course, after the first few days, I just shut the ringer off on the land-line phone. But the caller ID shows me that the telemarketers haven’t given up.
I wish I could find Crystal’s real phone number, and give it to the telemarketers.