You’ve long been the prize in a high-stakes game of strategy waged between telemarketers and the agencies charged with enforcing the laws governing them. So far, every time the enforcement side has come up with a new technology to thwart some aspect of telemarketers’ operations, they have come up with a way to get around it.
Robocalls came into vogue a while back to enable the placing of far more calls on a single day than can be accomplished by human workers. They are also a lot more irritating when you’re on the receiving end. Dealing with robocalls to rid yourself of them completely is a pretty tall order, but these steps can at least help you reduce the volume that gets through to you.
Don’t Answer Numbers You Don’t Recognize
An answered call is construed as a number to call again — from a different number — by the algorithm upon which robocalls work. Simply put, your phone rings, you answer and even if you hang up when you realize what the deal is, the bot logs your number as “active” and sets it to be dialed again — and again and again.
And yes, we know, not answering your phone isn’t really much of an option when you’re trying to run a business, but it’s one of the best ways to minimize the calls you get.
Look Carefully at the Number Before Answering
Spoofing your phone number and that of your friends and relatives is possible. In most cases, they’ll copy your area code and the prefix of your number, hoping you’ll glance at it, think you recognize it and answer.
The only way around this is to set your phone to forward any number not in your address book directly to voicemail. This gives you an opportunity to look at the number carefully before returning the call.
Block Numbers That Get Through
Smartphones give you the ability to block callers with ease. The procedure varies from operating system to operating system, but every smartphone has this capability. You can also avail yourself of the filtering services offered by your service provider. These include Sprint’s “Premium Caller ID,” AT&T’s “Call Protect” and Verizon’s “Call Filter Free.”
However, keep in mind you do have to be careful, lest you inadvertently lock out a close friend or relative who just got a new phone. This is part of what makes this marketing tactic so insidious. As a result, you must risk missing important calls from loved ones and potential clients and business associates just because someone has decided calling you without your permission is an OK way to curry business.
If you’re being hounded by debt collectors from unknown numbers, the only real way to make them stop is to come up with a plan to address your debts. As these Freedom Debt Relief reviews illustrate, debt collectors can be very persistent — and you’ll need a strategy to pay down your debts in order to end these stressful calls. To start, you can request collectors stop contacting you on your cell altogether and instead send you verifications in writing.
The Do Not Call Registry
While marginally effective at best, the system does cut down on calls originating within the United States. However, remember that game of strategy to which we referred above? Yeah, companies have figured out originating calls from offshore gets them around the registry.
Still though, signing up is easy and worthwhile.
Dealing with robocalls should be regarded as a simple fact of life. Further, rumors of upcoming implementations capable of imitating the voices of people you know indicate the game is only going to get more sophisticated going forward.
And frankly, there’s no way to stop them all together.
However, these tips will help you reduce their volume.