Tuesday, May 20, 2008

National No Effect Whatsoever Registry

So we registered our phone number with the so-called National Do Not Call Registry. I, like many Americans, feel that telemarketers are one of those substrates of humanity that are probably most directly responsible for gangs, drugs, oppressive tax codes, global warming, and Michael Moore. Hence they serve absolutely no productive purpose whatsoever, and I have banished them from my phone.


Turns out that there are a couple of loopholes, and certain callers have taken full advantage of them.

Since signing the Registry late last year, Mrs. Woody and I have been perplexed by continuing annoyances in the form of "credit protection." If you have a credit card, you've gotten these calls. It's always a recording.
Hello, we're calling you about your credit accounts. There's no problems...
They always say that. "There's no problems." Which leaves us with the Big But.

We always end the call immediately after that phrase so that the entire conversation goes like this:
Me: Hello?

Unknown Number: "Hello, we're calling you about your credit accounts. There's no problems..."

That's because we've gotten enough of these calls to know that the next paragraph in their script will offer us "credit protection" in the event one or both of us loses our life and the credit company finds itself in very real danger of not receiving any more money from us. Oh, and maybe they can help our survivors while they're at it. How helpful.

Anyway, we'd just about gotten trained to know that whenever our Caller ID flashes "UNKNOWN," we're probably going to get one of those calls. Mrs. Woody had just gotten to the point where the [CLICK] came even sooner than what I depicted above. Then they changed tactics.

This morning we got a call from a "DAVID SMITH" calling from the 904 area code. I always do a quick brain scan to see if an area code resonates. I work for an international corporation, and I get calls from all over the country (although not generally on my home phone) which means that I can identify a fairly hefty number of codes. Ah, 435. Overlay for Utah. Whoops, 314. St. Louis. 410, that's my daughter. And so forth. 904 didn't register. (Florida, it turns out.) Neither did "DAVID SMITH." Nor, I must say, did the caller sound anything like "DAVID SMITH," unless "DAVID SMITH" has been taking copious amounts of "FEMALE HORMONES."
Hello, we're calling about your...
You know the rest.

So it disturbs me that the credit protection racketeers have taken this battle up a notch. Now they're taking individual business numbers and assigning them names in order to defeat our Caller ID defense. I suspect "DAVID SMITH" is a concocted name. It's too generic. I might know a David Smith, after all. Sounds familiar. Maybe he was that gent in Irvine (now what was Irvine's area code again...? Can't remember!) that owed me some information for Church. No, that can't be it... I know that name from somewhere. Better answer it.


So, thanks for next-to-nuthin', FTC. The Mongols have breached the Great Wall and are bearing down on us once again.

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