OT - Fun with telemarketers

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On 4/6/2016 9:44 AM, notbob wrote:

I think the last time I made an operator assisted call in the U.S. must be 40 years ago.
I made one in Russia about 23 years ago, or at least tried to make one.
Collect calls are now mainly through third-party services. They are used a lot for calls from those that are incarcerated, and they are extremely expensive, about $1 per minute. They also provide recording and monitoring so that contributes to the high cost.
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On 04/06/2016 12:20 PM, sms wrote:
[snip]

I once got a collect call from a friend in a mental hospital. That call was handled through a third party was was really expensive. I wish I had remembered to ask her for the phone number there and called back.
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Mark Lloyd
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Mark Lloyd posted for all of us...

Probably only outgoing calls, not incoming.
--
Tekkie

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On 04/06/2016 02:38 PM, Tekkie® wrote:
[snip[

Yes, I could have called to that pay phone for a lot less than the collect call. That was more than 10 years ago, and I no longer have that bill, but I think it would have cost around 10%.
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On Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 12:44:12 PM UTC-4, notbob wrote:

Let me see if I've got this right...
You're comparing a single operator assisted call you made 10 years ago to present day prices for a direct dial overseas call?
Do you think that that is valid comparison?
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I used to do that when I was much younger and still lived at home.
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You know it's time to clean the refrigerator
when something closes the door from the inside.
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On 4/5/2016 11:33 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:
<snip>

Until two weeks ago my home phone was on Ring.To, a VOIP provider that did not charge anything for service. They filtered junk calls but it's hard because the telemarketers spoof the Caller-ID. And often the phone would ring once or twice before their system caught the call and hung up.
Ring.To discontinued VOIP home phone service on March 31st, 2016 so I ported my home number to Google Voice, also free, using the same ATA I had been using with Ring.To.
Google Voice is absolutely wonderful because of the call-screening feature where unknown callers have to announce themselves before Google Voice rings your number, and then asks if you want to accept the call. The telemarketers don't identify themselves, they give up; most of them are using a system where it waits until the call is answered before a live person even comes on, so none of these calls can get through.
Google Voice is free. If you want E911 service on your home phone that costs $15 per year. There is the one-time cost of the ATA (analog telephone adapter) of about $70. It's pretty much the same as VOIP services from Ooma, Vonage, Magicjack, Xfinity Voice, etc., except that it is free. The QOS (quality of service) is very good, though I think a real analog landline from AT&T (or Verizon) is a a bit better, and of course like all VOIP services, if your broadband Internet goes down there is no service. I put the ATA, my router, and my Comcast modem all on a UPS.
<http://www.obitalk.com/info/googlevoice <http://blog.obihai.com/2014/08/easy-emergency-911-calling-service-with.html
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On Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 11:26:10 AM UTC-4, sms wrote:

OK, color me confused...
First, I should say that we never *ever* answer our home phone. Anyone that we want to talk to has our cell numbers. All calls to the home phone go to the answering machine (not the voicemail provided by the carrier but the answering machine built into the phone).
Most telemarketers don't leave messages, those few that do, well who cares? That's what the delete button is for. Dental appointment confirmations, etc., even the computer generated ones, are smart enough to wait for the beep and record the message.
But here's my confusion:

Isn't the request for identification considered an "answer" by the system? How does their system distinguish between the "No one is available to take your call" message that my machine uses and Google Voice's "Who the heck is this?" message? Maybe I'm not understanding your meaning of "none of these calls can get through." How far do they actually get?
How are messages left? If an "unknown caller" tries to reach you, identifies themselves and GV rings your phone, is there a voice mail system that picks up after a few rings, assuming there is no one there to accept the call?
How does the system know who qualifies as an "unknown caller"? Do you have to white list everyone that you want to accept calls from *before* they call?
...snip...
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On 4/6/2016 8:53 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:
<snip>

Yes, but their system doesn't respond to the Google Voice request for identification so Google Voice drops the call. I was getting probably 15 junk calls per day in the past, now it's rare for even one per day to get through.

They tend to leave part of a message if an answering machine picks up but they never even get to voice mail if call-screening is turned on in Google Voice.

Yes. Google Voice includes voice mail. They will also send an e-mail with an attachment of the voice message and a transcription of the message, which is often nonsense. You can also have the call forwarded to a mobile phone (or multiple mobile phones). Say you don't want callers to know that no one is home, then you pick up the call on your cell phone.

Yes and no. If you want a contact, or a group of contacts, to not have to go through call screening then you have to select those contacts and turn off screening. Everyone else will be screened if call screening is turned on, and then you have the option to accept or reject the call. I would think that in most cases you'd turn off screening for everyone in your contact list, unless it's an annoying relative, ex-girlfriend, etc..
You can also do blacklists where the call won't even reach the call screening. But like the Do Not Call List, blacklists are of limited value. The companies that make the junk calls are violating the DNC law and they are also constantly changing their Caller ID information to avoid blacklists.
We do get a lot of calls on our home phone because cell reception inside our house is very spotty. We make calls from the home phone because we do not have unlimited minutes on our cell phones.
Of course we could also make Google Voice calls, via Wi-Fi from our cell phones. A few weeks ago we were at a lodge by a National Park and there was no cell service there but we could make a call by using Google Voice via the free Wi-Fi. We are on AT&T wireless (via an MVNO) and in a lot of rural places in California there is only Verizon coverage. I keep a $2.50 per month Verizon phone active for road trips into these areas.
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On 04/06/2016 11:23 AM, sms wrote:
[snip]

My first cell phone was with AT&T, and I discovered I'm in an AT&T dead zone. I could go into the back yard, and hold the phone above the oleander plant on the south side, and the phone MIGHT work.
This is not rural, but a residential area. AT&T works well at the Kroger a mile away. Verizon & Sprint do work OK here. My phone is with Verizon and I have an internet hotspot that uses Sprint.
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Mark Lloyd posted for all of us...

That is very informative but tells us nothing.
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On Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 3:40:11 PM UTC-4, Tekkie® wrote:

And your post wasn't even informative.
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On 4/6/2016 3:50 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Also moderately thread drifted.
--
.
Christopher A. Young
learn more about Jesus
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On 04/06/2016 10:53 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:
[snip]

In the last several years, I have had only one message left by a junk caller. It was an IRS scam, and the message never said WHO was being sued.
[snip]
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A few days ago. I called an insurance adjustor across the country on my landline - forgot to use my cell.
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when something closes the door from the inside.
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On Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 1:54:06 PM UTC-4, KenK wrote:

You still pay separate long distance charges on your landline? Who is your carrier? I used to use Verizon, now I use TWC but even my local TelCo includes domestic long distance as part of the monthly charge. They may even have added some international, but I haven't checked recently.
Are you sure that you are going to be billed for the long distance call?
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No. I'm not. But why else have toll-free 800 numbers if there are no long distance charges? I'll find out when I get the next bill.
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You know it's time to clean the refrigerator
when something closes the door from the inside.
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On Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 1:34:09 PM UTC-4, KenK wrote:

Remnant of the past? Some users who do still pay for each long distance call? For people that *think* they get charged for every long distance call? So people feel more comfortable knowing that it's a business?
After I came up with those possible reasons off the top of my, I found this blog post. This guy suggests that not only don't we need toll-free numbers anymore, businesses are actually wasting money by continuing to use them.
http://blog.level3.com/contact-centers/do-really-need-toll-free-anymore/
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On 4/7/2016 11:34 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

I thought that too. Why bother? But the toll-free numbers are very cheap for businesses.
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On Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 4:15:00 PM UTC-4, sms wrote:

But according to the link that you snipped, there are now "regular" phone number services that offer all of the same features that toll free numbers do for businesses, but at a lower price.
Did you you read the article?
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