Now for something completely different

We have had a problem of late with sales phone calls. The phone rings and I have to get up to answer it but no one is on the line. Instead after saying hello, more than once, a recording starts giving a spiel for some product or service. Sometimes there is a warm body on the line but again they are trying to sell me something, and it usually takes them a moment to realise they have another warm body on the line. This is what gave me the idea for a partial solution.


An interesting aspect to these sales calls is that the call display shows some bazar location, so the calls are being spoofed as to where they originate from. They could actually be coming from that location because it’s quite easy to make a long-distance call from anywhere in the world so long as they have a fairly modern phone system. I’m inclined to think this location is part of the spoof only because it’s unlikely that a phone room would want its location to be known at all. Occasionally the caller obviously cannot speak English and often lately the calls are being targeted to non-English language speakers. Eventually the calls will likely be targeted for all of the major languages spoken in the area.


These sales calls are annoying, so much so that I am no longer quick to answer the phone. My solution, or at least partial solution, is to answer the phone normally but after I say hello, I only give the caller a second or two to start talking then I hang up. Most people start talking pretty quickly after they hear a hello. So, this method generally separates the computers from real people, or people using computers to dial for them. This might not eliminate sales calls completely because some are actually real people, but I think that most sales calls originate from an auto-dialer these days. There are benefits to an auto-dialer; it dials all numbers, listed or not, and it can be set to dial any series or set of numbers. I rarely get call backs because most auto-dialers appear to be set to only call a given number once, although I’m sure this is just a changeable setting. I don’t think I miss any important calls as a result because if a caller really needs to talk to me, they will call back.


I’ve been doing this for awhile now but I haven’t noticed any reduction in sales calls but it does save me time answering the calls I do get.