OT - Fun with telemarketers

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Caller today asked for me by name. He notifies me that all my credit card payments are up to date, but a few have high rates.
Asks if I'm the guy who pays the bills. I (speaking very slowly) said no, but I'm getting better. Might be able to do that soon. Asked if he wanted to talk about food? I'd had some really good hamburgers at the fire department open house. We can talk about credit cards in five or six months, weeks, or some thing. Asked if he likes hamburgers. I was able to keep him on the phone several minutes. As a service to my fellow Americans.
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Christopher A. Young
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What I don't understand is these guys (computers likely) keep calling me day after day after day. Everytime they call they all hang up on the answering machine message. Why not try another phone number? After a few times I'd think even a computer would catch on.
And these are long distance calls I assume? Or do they use Skype or something like that? Or is long distance from China or India much cheaper than ours?
There oughta be a law! Who's running with that election promise?
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On Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 1:48:15 PM UTC-4, KenK wrote:

Long distance? When was the last time you paid long distance charges?
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On Tue, 5 Apr 2016 11:33:55 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

Every month. It may be included in the bill, but you're still paying. In fact if you never call long distance, I suppose you are subsidizing those who do.
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On Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 3:19:16 AM UTC-4, Micky wrote:

Since it is included in the monthly charge (which I know it is) then KenK questions don't make sense - which is why I asked my question.
KenK said:
"And these are long distance calls I assume? Or do they use Skype or something like that? Or is long distance from China or India much cheaper than ours?"
It doesn't matter if they are long distance because it is not costing them anything extra to make those calls. KenK's question makes it sounds like he thinks they are being charged by the call like in the old days when Grandma 4 states over would say "Oh, dear, you're calling long distance just to wish me Happy Birthday? It's so expensive!"
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They don't charge by the call for landline long distance? Could be, I've used my cell for years for LD. But then why do people use Skype? Evidently all this has changed and no one told me.
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On Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 1:57:29 PM UTC-4, KenK wrote:

It might depend on who "they" is. No that carrier I've had in years has. Now, we should also define what we mean by "landline".
For years, I used the local TelCo, over regular phone wires to my house. To be honest, I don't recall if I paid separate long distance charges or if I had a long distance "plan". It's been too long.
I switched to TWC phone service as a bundle with my cable and internet. At that point I cut the phones wires at the top of the house and removed their box from the exterior wall. I still considered the "home phone" and all extensions to be my "landline". Same number, phone book listed, etc.
Then I switched to Verizon, who supplied what was essentially a "cell phone in a box" that my home phone connected to. I still considered the home phone and all extensions to be my "landline". Same number, phone book listed, etc.
I am now back on a TWC bundle. The price from TWC is better once I used up the promotional price that Verizon had offered me. (Actually, I needed to add another cell phone to my Verizon plan, which basically knocked the home phone onto a separate plan at a higher price then the TWC bundle price)
In any case, neither TWC nor Verizon charges for domestic long distance on the home phone.
I can't answer the question about using Skype as a phone service. The only time I use Skype is for video calls with family and friends, both long distance and local. Voice calls are via cell, the home phone is for the crap calls.
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On 4/6/2016 12:49 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:
<snip> > It might depend on who "they" is. No that carrier I've had in years has. Now,

The last time I had AT&T service, which was very long ago, I did not select any long distance provider. All long distance, was done through OneSuite, and I had to train the family to also use them for intra-LATA calls which we would otherwise be billed for.
Then I switched to an ISP which used AT&T's wires to sell their own DSL and voice service. Unlimited calling, anywhere in the U.S. was included. The problem was that I was so far from the Central Office that the DSL was too slow. When I switched to Comcast broadband I moved the "landline" to free VOIP service on Ring.To with an Obi 202. Ring.To dropped VOIP service on March 31st so I had to move my number somewhere else. There were a lot of choices to use with the Obi, but Google Voice was the best deal since it's free. The other options were MagicJack, Ooma, or Vonage. Magicjack and Ooma aren't too expensive, but Vonage is very expensive.
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CenturyLink
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On Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 1:35:42 PM UTC-4, KenK wrote:

According to the "Plan" tab at this site, it's possible that you may indeed pay for long distance unless you subscribe to their "Phone Unlimited" plan.
http://www.centurylink.com/home/phone/
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On 4/7/2016 2:39 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

What did you do with your last telemarketer?
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On 4/7/2016 1:35 PM, KenK wrote:

Yeah, but do you get telemarketers?
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Yes, they do.

It's free to call other computers, although the computer has to be on and skype running for this to work.
And you don't have to know where the person is.
It's cheap to call land lines, including foreign ones, because it's bascially VOIP at the caller's end.
For money, you can get an 800 phone number so that people can call and get your computer when it's running and something like voice mail when it's not.

I know how you feel. Not this topic so much but other stuff.
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On Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 5:24:39 PM UTC-4, Micky wrote:

Really? Your ISP allows you to connect for free?
Wasn't it you that said that LD was included in the monthly bill, so it wasn't really free? The same holds true for "free" calls from computer to computer. Both parties are paying for the connectivity that makes that possible.

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On Wed, 6 Apr 2016 07:01:11 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

Calls from other countries to the US do not cost the same as from the US to other countries, and I think it is almost always more.
And rates to commercial businesses are not the rate charged to individuals, here and probably there too. I'm sure they're willing to lie but if they are on the phone 12 hours a day, the phone company can tell they are commercial (or deserving the higher rate, regardless). Plus they call about 5 numbers at once, talking to whoever answers first, but not, it seems, hanging up on those who answer 2nd or 3rd (the reason there is often no one there when you pick up.) So that might raise their cost by a factor of 3 or even 5. OTOH, bulk buyers of long distance almost always get a discount.
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On Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 5:21:05 PM UTC-4, Micky wrote:

You are not telling me anything that I don't already know. I'm not even sure what your point is.
All I was trying to do was point out to KenK that his (apparent) assumption that these companies are paying huge long distance charges for these calls is probably not valid. Even if they are, hopefully their business model and response rate more than covers the cost.
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On 4/5/2016 11:33 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:
<snip> > Long distance? When was the last time you paid long distance charges?
I need to try explaining "long distance" to my 18 and 22 year old. Right after I explain about "The Iron Curtain" and "Red China."
Maybe I could also explain "signaling" a process where you informed someone that you reached your destination, at no cost," by placing a person to person collect call to yourself and the receiver would decline to accept the charges. I still remember my mother saying "signal when you arrive."
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On Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 11:15:44 AM UTC-4, sms wrote:

We used to use the free collect call tactic all the time.
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On 4/6/2016 8:31 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Remember when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were making Blue Boxes? <http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a38878/steve-jobs-steve-wozniak-blue-box-phone-phreaking/
There was also the Ramparts (now Mother Jones) article on Black Boxes <http://explodingthephone.com/docs/dbx0429.pdf that allowed receiving calls free of charge to the caller.
And overseas calls were something like $2 per minute off-peak. When we called my sister who was going to college in Israel we would limit the call to a few minutes. Now it's less than 1¢/minute to call a landline there, and less than 3¢/minute to call a mobile.
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Try using an operator.
I've got Centurylink (formerly, Quest). Last time an operator assisted call was made from this landline, the charge was $45-$50 fer about 2 mins of operator time. Most of the charge was fer merely accessing the operator.
In short, the major telcos now sub out operator assisted calls and yer gonna pay up the wazoo fer going down that road. I think the total was over $75 and I protested loudly, to no avail. We're talking almost 10 yrs ago. That's why yer "direct" long distance is so cheap. It's like wiring $$$$ from my bank usta be free. Now it's $20 a pop. You will get charged, somewhere!! ;)
nb
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