Monday, June 5, 2017

Kind of a "Hang-Up!"


Oh, goody! I actually get to write a post that's not about someone I admire who just died!

I just encountered a two-day-old article about a relatively recent phenomenon called "ringless voice mail" (or "direct-to-voicemail"), and if you care to read the very same article in its entirety, click here.

If you're unfamiliar with this, here's a brief explanation as to what it is: Thanks to an irritating technological advance, messages from telemarketers or debt collectors are sent directly to your voice mail. Your phone itself never rings, so you can't do anything to block them.

Advocates for this procedure are contending that these -- What the hell would you call them? "Un-calls?" -- should remain unaffected by any and all consumer protection laws because technically, they're not "calls" at all.

Those opposed to this technological "advancement" claim that "voice mail boxes would be clogged with automated messages... making it challenging to unearth important calls, whether they are from an elderly mother’s nursing home or a child’s school." Just think of your voice mail being stuffed with scores of messages from a single debt collector, or worse, several of the bastards.

But, you may wonder, what if you're on the "Do Not Call" list? Hate to break it to you, but in that case, sucks to be you, fellow babies, because if these messages are not considered "calls," there's no protection from said list!

Furthermore, the Republican National Committee is claiming that prohibiting these messages would constrain free speech. (Check it out here.) Hm. The RNC protecting money-hungry business owners' rights over those of private citizens? Who'da thunk it?

What can you/we do about this while the matter is still up in the air, as it were? (And believe me, we should certainly do something!) Well, the FCC is soliciting public comments on this issue, which can be left here. That's a damned good start.

Again, to read the entire article on this subject, which I strongly advise, please click here.

And thanks for your time.

16 comments:

  1. Damn, never knew that. I've blocked numbers and they go to voicemail, but never had any go directly to it. Free speech? Isn't free speech, you know, speech? How is some robot or recorded message free speech? Pffft rich a-holes protecting the interests of other rich a-holes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far, I've only gotten a couple of voicemails (without phone calls) from doctors' offices, so maybe they're taking advantage of this new thing, too.

      Delete
  2. Wouldn't you know the RNC would support this crap?

    Love,
    Janie

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    Replies
    1. But free speech involving the media or certain protesters can be threatened, and they're okay with that.

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    2. Of course! Everyone in media lies, unless they work for Fox news (no relation to you, right?).

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    3. Damned straight! No relation at all.

      Delete
  3. Bull! A phone call, a message, an email, snail mail all of that stuff is just an extension of a visit in person. And free speech does not, nor has it ever allowed intrusion into one's home. Here in Caneyhead we still shoot unwanted visitors. 😉

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    Replies
    1. Heh. That's a nice thought, shooting the people behind this sort of thing. But I guess that's not an attitude that's very tolerant of "free speech," but hey...

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  4. This is just so sad since they are so annoying. I have clients who just have their voicemail messages be full so no one can leave a message. At least, in Canada, we have rights and can complain to the Ministry of Consumer Services about them. It actually does work and collectors have lost their job which is great. An example, collection agents can only call 3 times per week! If they call you at work, you can tell them once to not call there but if they do, you can make a complaint. Once, I got a call from a telemarketer at 9:20pm on a Friday. I waited until I actually had someone on the other end. I told her the time and that it was against the guidelines by the ministry. My response was, she hung up! The good news...I never got another call:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They give collection agencies a lot more leeway here in the USA, unfortunately. I'm not sure what the exact guidelines are currently, but I do know they're a lot more permissive. The abuses they've practiced are horrendous.

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  5. Yeah, I'd heard about that. So far I haven't had such a thing happen. But I'll go let loose on my opposition to this idiocy at the FCC site anyhow. Don't give 'em even an inch!

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  6. Those bastids, they'll get us one way or another.

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    1. There's been some debate as to whether or not they'll continue to permit this crap and give us the opportunity to opt-out. I hate these ever-increasing instances where "THEY" assume we'll be content to put up with something and "WE" have to go out of our way to tell them we won't.

      Delete
  7. Maybe someone can create a hopefully profitable app that could block those calls from getting into our voice mails.

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    Replies
    1. You're right. The potential for making it profitable for someone would certainly give them an incentive to create an app for this!

      Delete

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