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Home / Opinion / This 'n' That / Where are the robocops for the robocalls?

Where are the robocops for the robocalls?

This ‘n’ That

Delang, Nicki Nicky De Lange

Recently, as I was hanging up on my fourth robocall of the day, I found myself wondering why, in this day of highly advanced technology, no one seems able to successfully block out unwanted, unsolicited nuisance calls.
Remember years ago when all of us were encouraged to list our names with a “don’t call” agency in order to keep sales people and other pests from interrupting our lives? I bet you signed up for it. I know I did.
And as we all know – much to our regret – this solution is not working. My land line averages at least three calls a day from people trying to sell me home security systems, protection for my credit cards and emergency alert gadgets (you know: the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” thing you wear around your neck).
And the calls just keep on rolling in.
The biggest aggravation for me is that we can’t screen out political calls. In the past few years I have hung up on robocalls from everyone from local candidates to President Obama himself. And what makes it especially annoying is that you can’t vent your feelings on anyone because you’re listening to a recording.
I can’t help wondering how some of these politicos would like it if we all called them at home to tell them why we aren’t voting for them …

On those rare occasions when a real human being calls to promote a candidate, I always reply, “I don’t like anyone who is running, and I’m going to put down Kinky Friedman as a write-in candidate.” This usually stuns them, and I disconnect the call with a smile on my face.
And then there are the charities, which also can’t be blocked. Why can’t they be limited to snail mail only? Think of how much that would increase the profits of our postal system. And no matter how noble their causes might be, do they really think I’m going to donate to them every every time they dial my number?
Last but definitely not least are the robocalls from scam artists. My current favorite call is one I refer to as “the crooks.” They want to offer me credit card protection. Oh, please, … someone needs to protect all of us from these slick con artists.
Some days, when I feel like having fun, I listen to the message and then press “1” to be connected to a “representative.” I listen to the beginning of the spiel, then start asking inconvenient questions they don’t want to answer. Inevitably they hang up on me.
What I really want to know, however, is how come our amazing advances in technology can make an iPhone into a wrist watch but can’t devise a program that can successfully block robocalls? That might be one of the best inventions ever, coming right after air conditioning and indoor plumbing.

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