It’s Happening Again

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 12:02 pm

It started just this week after a long hiatus. The phone rings, and I jump to answer it, but instead of a voice at the other end of the line, there’s only silence. Then a dial tone as the connection is severed.

This has happened at least five times in the last seven days, the same sequence of events, every time.

And every time it happens, my face creases into a huge shit-eating grin, and I thank my lucky stars that I own a TeleZapper.

If you don’t own one of these things, go out right now and get one. Now, dammit! I’ll wait….

You’re back? Okay, good.

This is one of the finest pieces of consumer electronics to come about in a decade. I’m seriously here; if you hate being interrupted by telemarketers (is there anyone who doesn’t?), the TeleZapper is the ultimate addition to your telephonic utility belt. It defeats computerized auto-dialers by sending out a short tone every time you pick up your phone (you can choose to send up to three different tones, but three gets pretty annoying). The tone is a telecom-industry-standard message to the auto-dialer that the number it has reached has been disconnected. The auto-dialer then hangs up, and if it’s a smart system, it makes a note in its internal database that your number is out of service, and it never calls you again.

Even better, eventually the company that tried to call you will sell their database of numbers to other companies, including the note that your number is out of service. The information thusly propagates throughout the greater network of telemarketers, and after about a month or so, the only calls you’re getting are from smaller organizations that do not use the more sophisticated auto-dialing systems, or from a very small number of larger companies whose systems seem unaffected (Comcast is the only large company I have come across whose system ignores my TeleZapper, and since I’m a customer of theirs, I don’t necessarily mind hearing from them).

Since we got our TeleZapper–what, four years ago?–the number of telemarketing calls we get dropped from about two a day to less than one per month. The only tiny annoyance comes every six months to a year, when these companies get updated lists of number from the telecom providers, and then they start trying to call us again. During that month or so, we will get ten to twenty hangup calls, where you pick up the phone and the line has already gone dead.

And even that isn’t an annoyance to me; every time I hear it, I know another goddamn motherfucking time-sucking son-of-a-vampire-leech telemarketer has lost its connection to my number, and that they will now go on to tell all their bottom-of-the-economic-food-chain buddies that we are, in effect, not to be disturbed.

In the words of Comic Book Guy, “There is no emoticon for what I am feeling!” So I’ll have to make do with :mrgreen:

All portions of this site are © Andrew Lenzer, all rights reserved, unless otherwise noted.