TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Pre-Recorded Phone Should be Illegal

Re: Pre-Recorded Phone Should be Illegal

Mark Crispin (mrc@CAC.Washington.EDU)
Mon, 1 Nov 2004 11:56:17 -0800

My home phone was delightfully free of all such calls throughout this
horrendously toxic election season.

I dumped No Solicitation, Security Screen, and the other overpriced
services that do little to stop the telesleaze, and replaced it with a
much cheaper service that does work: Do Not Disturb.

Do Not Disturb allows you to set a schedule of hours when it will
block incoming calls. It's possible to set the schedule to be 24
hours/day. Callers who know the 4-digit override passcode that you
set (and can change at any time) can break through the block and then
the call will ring through.

There are two additional options in Do Not Disturb. If you enable
emergency breakthrough, the caller can press "*" and then record his
name. Your phone will then ring, and you'll be given that name and
asked whether or not you want to take the call.

The other option, which I recommend *against* due to prerecords,
happens if you have voice mail. The caller can press "#" or wait long
enough and the call will be transfered to voice mail (where the
prerecord can dump its advertisement on your voice mail). I suggest
just cancelling voice mail and use an answering machine.

This works well for me, because an analysis of my incoming calls (as
recorded on Caller ID) showed that almost all of the legitimate calls
came from the same handful of callers. They all have my passcode, and
they all continue to call me.

The one bug with Do Not Disturb is that emergency breakthrough calls
shows up as 000-000-0000 on the caller ID instead of the caller's
number. So, if such call comes in when you're not around, you know
that you got such a call but no record of where it was from.

-- Mark --
Science does not emerge from voting, party politics, or public debate.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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