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Old 09-21-2005, 07:31 PM   #1
donmcc
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My name is in the book, so telemarketers generally know my name. If they ask for Mr or Mrs, then I know they are selling, because there is no Mrs. But in Canada I can usually tell a telemarketer because they all use dialling software that only notifies them if there is a pickup. I can tell by the two second delay that I am in for a pitch. (Although it might be a call from the bank.)

I get wrong numbers who rudely answer my Hello with a rude "Who's this". I kindly tell them that they called me, and I have no intention of telling them who I am. Sets them back a bit. Some people are so perfect that they cannot comprehend how telephone equipment can be so faulty to connect them to a different number from the one they pushed.

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Old 09-21-2005, 08:54 PM   #2
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My name is in the book, so telemarketers generally know my name. If they ask for Mr or Mrs, then I know they are selling, because there is no Mrs. But in Canada I can usually tell a telemarketer because they all use dialling software that only notifies them if there is a pickup. I can tell by the two second delay that I am in for a pitch. (Although it might be a call from the bank.)
Most of them seem to have our last name even though we're not in the book. But they don't know how to pronounce it. <veg> I hang up if it's that two-second delay thing. If it was a "real" call, they'll try again and speak up sooner.

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I get wrong numbers who rudely answer my Hello with a rude "Who's this". I kindly tell them that they called me, and I have no intention of telling them who I am. Sets them back a bit. Some people are so perfect that they cannot comprehend how telephone equipment can be so faulty to connect them to a different number from the one they pushed.
Oh yeah. We're the wrong number experts here. When someone says, "Who's this?" I say, "Who's this?" right back. Then they hang up because I don't know anybody that rude.

Most of our wrong numbers, however, are people who are trying to reach a CPA office number having a prefix with the middle digit different from ours. (772 vs. 722) I don't understand it, but people misdial this all the time. I'm now intimately familiar with the names of the owner and the key people who work in the office. Then someone had the nerve to send out a mailing with our phone number in it, compounding the already nerve-wracking problem.

Now, out of the goodness of their hearts they are sharing their office space with a displaced senior center, and are allowing them to use the same phone number. The idiot running the senior center has recently sent out our phone number in a mailing, and has also given it as her work number to her son's high school. (I got a message on my answering machine saying that if she didn't call them in the next 24 hrs. he would be put on the truant list.) I have had callers who have misdialed (I ask what number they think they dialed) argue with me and tell me that the number they dialed is not my number! Er ... they're talking to me - did I answer it or didn't I? >:-(

All of this ranting brings me to a question for all of you - what would you do in this situation? We have had our phone number longer than this CPA office and we would rather not give it up just because these people and their clients are all cretins. OTOH, two or three wrong numbers on an average day and maybe a dozen a day during tax time is pretty aggravating. Is there anything to try before asking for a new phone number?

   
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Old 09-22-2005, 12:59 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Franca
All of this ranting brings me to a question for all of you - what would you do in this situation? We have had our phone number longer than this CPA office and we would rather not give it up just because these people and their clients are all cretins. OTOH, two or three wrong numbers on an average day and maybe a dozen a day during tax time is pretty aggravating. Is there anything to try before asking for a new phone number?
There was a similar situation that I read about some time ago where the mis-dialled number was that of a hotel. The private individual getting the wrong numbers (many in the middle of the night) tried to get them to change their number, but they refused. He eventually resorted to accepting room bookings, which meant that the hotel ended up with an awful lot of people turning up to find that there was no record of their reservation. I think they went broke.

You could contact this CPA and ask them to change their number. If they refuse, you could tell them that you will just hang up on any wrong numbers in the future, and that if the wrong numbers persist after six months, you will supply the number of such-and-such brothel as the correct one. Or the local police station. Or the local undertaker. Whatever takes your fancy. ;-)

For the situation where they have sent out a mailing with your number on it, if they refuse to send out an amendment, you could tell them that you will be reporting them to their professional body. As far as you are concerned, the registered owner of the phone number is at fault.

And I know that you would do all this in such a pleasant manner, that either they'll accede to your request immediately, or the people who do call will blame everyone but you.

   
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Old 09-22-2005, 01:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franca
Is there anything to try before asking for a new phone number?
How many wrong calls compared with the number of good ones?

Have your answering machine give an immediate message, and tell people to press # and talk to you if they do have the right number. You can then pick up if they start talking.

I recently changed my Email address and trash all messages not to my new address. People who I have not told this address have to use the response form on the websites. I do not know how much good stuff went down the black hole but I get virtually no sales or spam messages now.

   
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Old 09-22-2005, 04:05 AM   #5
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I recently changed my Email address and trash all messages not to my new address.
What about all those software registrations you made with that e-mail address? That's what stops most of us from changeing e-mail addresses every few months to shake off the spam.

   
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Old 09-22-2005, 09:40 AM   #6
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How many wrong calls compared with the number of good ones?
Many more wrong calls than right ones. But the few right ones I get I do want to pick up!

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Have your answering machine give an immediate message, and tell people to press # and talk to you if they do have the right number. You can then pick up if they start talking.
Hm ... hadn't thought about telling family and friends to interrupt the outgoing message. My answering machine is a bit primitive; I'll have to test its capabilities.

This idea could work if I'm in the kitchen where the answering machine resides. Not much help in the bedroom or downstairs unless I'm willing to drop what I'm doing and sprint to the kitchen - but if I'm expecting an important call I probably would sprint to the kitchen. Maybe I should leave the answering maching on delayed pickup to give me a bit more time to get to there. Thanks, Richard, this is a possibility while I work on a better solution!

   
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Old 09-22-2005, 10:45 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Richard Waller

Have your answering machine give an immediate message, and tell people to press # and talk to you if they do have the right number. You can then pick up if they start talking.
I have had similar problems at two previous residences. In one town, the number was almost the same as that of the gas company's line for emergency calls. I received a fair number of them, many from people who were very angry (because their gas service had been turned off, or not turned on). I started using an answering message that began "This is not the gas company. If you wanted the gas company, please check the number and dial again." That was fairly successful.

On the other hand, I was once assigned a number that had belonged to a defunct business. This was in Connecticut, before the state was split into two area codes, and numbers were in short supply, so old ones were reassigned more quickly than usual. I tried an answering message saying "This is not Balloons by the Sea. This is a private residence. If you wish to leave a message for anyone at this PRIVATE RESIDENCE, you may do so after the tone...."

It had very little effect. Most people who wanted balloons left their orders anyway; they seemed to think that it really was the business, but the proprietor didn't want to take any new orders, and that if they were nasty enough, their order would be fulfilled anyway.
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Old 09-22-2005, 10:48 AM   #8
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I gave up on this about six months ago, and subscribed to caller ID. Now I don't answer any call that doesn't display caller ID. I also ignore calls that have a caller ID that I don't recognize -- most of the calls that are not telemarketers (in spite of the fact that my number is in the national do-not-call registry) are wrong numbers, often from people speaking Spanish or Korean. I know how to say "wrong number" in Spanish, but not Korean.
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Old 09-22-2005, 11:17 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by annc
What about all those software registrations you made with that e-mail address? That's what stops most of us from changeing e-mail addresses every few months to shake off the spam.
I think it's too late for such registrations already made. But for anything new, I use Sneakemail.com. I give a unique Sneakemail address to each business. Sneakemail keeps track of all those addresses, and forwards that mail to me at an address that only it knows. If I start getting spam at one of those unique addresses, I shut that address down, and that one alone. (And I probably won't do any more business with the addressee to which I gave that address.)

   
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Old 09-27-2005, 11:44 AM   #10
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If you're in the UK, then registering with the Telephone Preference Service (http://www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/ or call 0845 07 007 07) should stop pretty much all unwanted calls (and threatening to prosecute those that ignore the list works quite nicely as well)

It can't, unfortunately, do anything about the rash of autodiallers from the US claiming you won a holiday (but if everyone called the free 0800 number in these messages and told them they didn't appreciate the call, they might be more careful next time).

The problem of businesses with similar numbers is much trickier. We've had a weird one of these. Somebody we sort-of knew, but won't have had our number, misdialled a local club they wanted to book, and left the message on our machine. Mind you, somebody else I once knew ensured one local taxi firm was the least reliable in town, the amount of bookings he got...
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