Friday, September 14, 2007

We're sorry, your call cannot be completed as dialed...

Ok, here's something I just don't understand. We live in the digital age, right? To me, this means that digital services are very customizable. Seriously, an awful lot of customizations can be done through software. Pretty much anything can be done via a web page these days. So, someone PLEASE tell me why my digital telephone services aren't all that customizable!

Right now, I'm speaking to SPRINT and VONAGE. I have been customers of both for YEARS. Honestly, in general, I really love both services. But there is 1 thing that I just can't seem to get past right now. These are telephone services, and I want to customize them. Specifically, I want to be able to define who can, and who cannot call me.

Anyone who has been reading my blog long enough will probably remember the STALKER BITCH episode. When I tried to get SPRINT to block her telephone numbers from calling me, I was told that this was "IMPOSSIBLE." I won't reiterate the whole story, you can read it here.

I receive a LOT of telemarketing calls. Mostly they are from people with THICK Mexican or Indian accents trying to get me to buy ridiculously overpriced, prescription medications by having an "exam" with their Dr. over the telephone. GOOD GOD are they annoying!!! No joke, I get 5-20 of those calls EACH DAY. Now, I have been on the U.S. Government's DO NOT CALL LIST since it's inception. I ALWAYS tell these creeps to take me off their call lists and to never call me again. Yet, they still do. I use a TeleZapper set on the most aggressive setting to get them to stop calling. Yet, they still do. Sometimes, they have no CallerID information (unavailable). Sometimes they have regular, 10-digit phone numbers. Sometimes I get calls with CallerID info that reads, and this is a REAL CallerID Displayed number, "111-111-1111" or "000-000-0000." Seriously, we all know that if I dialed those numbers, I'd get some rude message about there being no such number. Further, I get calls from numbers that show up on my CallerID as "101" or "43-522" or "77765" for example. Certainly those aren't real telephone numbers. They certainly don't dial back.

Can anyone say that I HAVEN'T done everything possible to prevent telemarketing calls while still having the use of my phone? I really don't think so.

Why I can't block fake numbers, or "Number Unavailable" calls from any of my phone services is astounding to me. Vonage gives me a web page that details ALL of my calls, incoming and outgoing. Why I can't just click a button on a call's number to permanently block it absolutely stumps me.

Sprint is even less help. While Vonage's call logging is basically real time and available anytime, Sprint's only details the numbers of calls that I placed, and even that only shows up on my bill, once it's generated.

I don't think that what I am asking for is unreasonable. I think it is a logical extension of digital phone services in the digital age. I think it should be an included feature on ALL digital phone services and I think that it should be widely advertised as being available. I think that ANY such service provider who DOESN'T provide it (and that's ALL of them as far as I am aware) should be ashamed of themselves, hanging their heads low and busting their butts to get it implemented...yesterday!

Telemarketing calls are a PARIAH in my life. I am a very busy person who doesn't need to be interrupted upwards of dozens of times a day to tell these people to stop calling me over and over and over and over and over again! I know that telemarketing is an industry, and a big one at that. Fine, I accept that you have to make a living. But you know what, so do I! Once I've told you to leave me alone, I expect you to do so! When you refuse to heed this, and continue to violate the peace and privacy of my HOME, I want options to make you stop. If you were acting as private individuals, I'd have you on STALKING charges!

It's time for the telephone service providers to step up and allow consumers to protect themselves from these invasions...RIGHT NOW!

I welcome input from anyone who has a reasonable argument on this issue as well as those who are in my shoes. Even better, if you have a solution, we just might become good friends!

"One ringy-dingy, 2 ringy-dingy"
"We don't have to care, we're the PHONE company!"



Emoly said...

I'm in 100% agreement with you. Why can't we stop them? And why can't this be considered stalking? I hope your voice is heard over at the phone company. They are taking our money and running, and not giving us much in return...

Mike nee Pistolotto said...

We have home phone through Charter Communications (you know, the over-priced cable company) and their service allows you to block up to 12 phone numbers from calling you. Not the best, but a start. You can also set a list of callers who can call and it will block the rest, but I believe it is only 10. Pick your best friends and family wisely!

What blows is that once you put in a number to block you had better keep a list somewhere because if you want to unblock that certain someone you'll never know because they don't give you a clue as to which numbers are on your list.