Life

I’m Glad I Don’t Have a Landline

If you have a landline, you’re probably very relieved now that the political conventions are over…but the calls will still come until November.

It’s a long wait until November.

Nearly every day for months now, dating back well before last November’s elections, I’ve heard my folks talk about the fact that their phones haven’t stopped ringing because of political calls.

The majority of these calls are robocalls.

My parents, probably like many folks their age, have a landline. I used to, and for years I thought I would never abandon the concept of a landline. It seems more secure, after all. Don’t we depend on cell phones enough as it is?

But after hearing them talk about the sheer number of calls they’ve been receiving, I’m glad I killed my landline years ago. I don’t miss it. And I certainly wouldn’t miss those calls.

For political calls, there’s no way to stop them.

My parents have been on the Do Not Call Registry for years now. The Do Not Call Registry was developed to give consumers the choice on whether they wish to receive telemarketing calls at home.

When you check out the “More Information” page of the Do Not Call Registry, which is maintained by the Federal Trade Commission, it comes right out and tells you that while the registry is designed to stop sales calls, there are certain “unwanted” calls you’ll still be receiving:

You still may receive political calls, charitable calls, debt collection calls, informational calls, and telephone survey calls.

Lawmakers don’t want to outlaw political calls because it could adversely affect them, despite the fact that there probably isn’t a voter in this country that wouldn’t love to have the option of a “Do Not Call Registry” that would stop political calls.

Charitable calls are also a nuisance that consumers ought to be able to opt-out of. I’ve stopped donating to several charities that seemingly wouldn’t take “No” for an answer by calling multiple times no matter how many times I tell them I can’t afford even “a few dollars more” per month.

As my mom told one animal rescue group that kept calling her for more money, “If what I’m already giving you isn’t enough, I can just stop it altogether.”

I never do business with a charity over the phone; I send them a check the old-fashioned way after reviewing their website and doing any research I’m able to do. I never agree to donate to a group based on a telephone sales pitch. That is “telemarketing,” isn’t it?

I figure if that’s not good enough or too “low-tech” for them, I can donate to someone else. But when they won’t stop calling, I politely tell them to remove me from their call list and those donations are routed elsewhere.

Consumers should be able to control the kinds of phone calls they have to endure.

It really is that simple.

If you had a choice, would you allow political, charitable or survey calls to your number?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.