Friday, March 31, 2017

Going Beyond the Do-Not-Call List

You've listed all your phone numbers on the Do Not Call list and you're still getting phone calls that you don't want. I know you feel guilty about asking your favorite organization to stop calling every week and while you shouldn't feel guilty about asking for peace and quiet there are some relatively simple ways to achieve less interruption.

First double-check that your phone is on the do-not-call list by checking here:
and you can verify your phone number (any phone number) or register an new ones.

The following strategy assumes: 

 - you have caller id. This is a fairly common, essential tool for avoiding phone calls you don't want to answer. 

 - you have a phone that can keep a history of phone calls. I use Panasonic for our house line, but most phones will work fine.

 - you can use an answering machine for screening calls, but it's optional as most calling services do not leave messages.

Do this around once a week. Weekends are best since there is no one to answer the phone, but most of these types of places just answer with voicemail 24x7 so you shouldn't have to worry about that.

Take a look at your phone's call history.
When you see a number you don't recognize and there's no obvious name on the ID, call the number. Sometimes you will get a business name and a message about their service. If it's one of the many calling services, at the end of the message they will offer you an option to have your number removed from their service (e.g. "press 9 to be removed.") Since I leave my caller id exposed, I don't even have to enter my phone number as they already have it.

Some of the services won't even bother telling you who they are they just immediately offer you an option for removal (because that's the only reason you would be calling them.)

I am keeping a call log of the numbers I've requested removal from to see if they reoccur. One new trick I've seen is people using individual cell phone numbers. For now, I'm just writing those down to see if they reoccur and will report more if I learn anything new.