TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Bellsouth Keeps Calling

Re: Bellsouth Keeps Calling

sawney beane (
Sat, 01 Jul 2006 23:43:00 -0400 wrote:

> sawney beane wrote:

>> Bellsouth seems to call me daily. They sound like voices from the
>> West Indies. I keep saying no and hanging up, and they keep calling.
>> I suppose it's to pay for this service that my phone bill has doubled
>> in ten years.

> 1. Are you on the National and State Do Not Call Lists? If you are,
> tell them, note the time of the call, and report them. I'm sure that
> there are other legal things you can do.

I'm on the national DNC list, but I think Bellsouth has a loophole.
Because they hire telemarketing companies, some regulations apply.
Still, when a company makes a habit of annoying customers, I think
that company is too powerful.

> 2. Use the word harrassment in the conversation, like "I consider this
> harrasment." That means the next call is aggravated harrassment, a
> completely different charge.

I haven't said that because I have just been saying no, as you
recommend in 6.

> 3. Call BellSouth directly. Speak to a customer service rep and tell
> them all this.

I dread calling Bellsouth about anything. It's a slow automated
system that may have no provision for what you're calling about. When
you finally get a human, it's no better.

Months ago I dialed Call Return. Their end picked up, but I was
disconnected before their machine gave the number. In the past,
Bellsouth's description said the customer had 24 hours to dial Call
Return again, and there would be no charge if nobody else had called
the customer in the meantime.

So I dialed Call Return again and got the number. My bill showed two
calls to Call Return made in the same minute, and I was charged twice.
I phoned. When I finally got past the machines, the person wouldn't
listen. She simply said she would have my line checked. Then she
said there was nothing wrong with my line and hung up.

I emailed. In a few days I got an answer saying they would remove one
charge as a special one-time favor. That wasn't satisfactory. If I
had to dial twice, obviously I had not gotten the number they were
charging me for. Why should dropping the charge be a one-time favor?
Why did they change their policy without notifying customers?
Bellsouth specializes in giving customers the brush-off.

> 4. Email the president of BellSouth. He won't see it, but the staff
> person who does see it may do something about it.

I wonder what his address is.

> 5. Call your state Public Utility Commision to do something about it.
> They usually make the utilities sit up and take notice.

They sure have let Bellsouth raise my bills!

> 6. Just say No. Repeatedly. Everytime they call. And hang up.
> Don't talk to them, don't let them waste your time. Do you read your
> spam email, or do you delete it before you even open it? Try these
> people like spam. Sing them the Spam song from Monty Python. Ask
> them inane questions. Ask them what they're wearing(!). Tell them
> about your cat/dog/child/mother. Tell them about your medication or
> medical condition. Its your phone, it is there for your convenience.

I've just said no dozens of times. After I say no and hang up, how can
I ask them what they are wearing? Would I find it convenient to tell
them about my medication?

> I was recently bothered by a company wanting me to renew my
> subscription to a magazine that I had chosen not to renew. I kept
> saying that I chose not to renew the subscription. On the 6th call I
> told the woman that I was not mad at her personally, but if I got one
> more call from her organization I would file charges for aggravated
> harrassment, and that she should tell her manager. I have not heard
> from them since.

The telemarketer offered me an incredible deal, but I can't find any
reference to it online. By amazing coincidence, after months of my
saying no and hanging up, this was the last date for the deal! I'm
sure Bellsouth would not be accountable for her promises.

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