Let’s stop unwanted phone calls

Gordon Mullin

OPINION by GORDON MULLIN

“Hello Gordon. We’re excited to tell you that you qualify for a $10,000 loan from … .” And it’s about here in this seemingly endless parade of exasperating intrusions that I start yelling profanities into my phone then hang up and wildly search for the “block” icon with the optimistic yet unfounded hope that they won’t call me again.

Ha. And yet you and I know from endless, painful experience that we’ll hear again soon from these unwanted callers for we know they will have moved on to a fresh phone number next week and the cycle will begin anew.

Now I’ve called my cell phone and home phone providers and begged them to do something to limit this endless intrusion but despite their claimed earnest efforts, I still receive a handful of these electronic annoyances the next day. And of course various politicians have promised “to do something” but have they? No they have not.

What to do?

How can we put an end to this daily, dripping sore?

Well, I’m glad you asked for I have an answer. Charge them.

More precisely, I want to deal with a phone company that gives me the right to charge anyone who calls me anything I want.

Here’s how it would work.

First, I’ll have an approved list of callers. I’ll put all the folks I want to talk to on the list, which will be shared with my phone provider. If you are on my approved list, you can call me for free any time you want. No restrictions. No cost.

As for anyone not on that list who calls my number, my phone will not ring but they will hear a recording something like this-

“Hi.You’ve reached Gordon’s phone and if you’re hearing this message you’re not on my approved list. If you want to have me answer your call or even if you want to leave me a message, you’ll have to pay me 5 cents. Agree to do so and then my phone will ring, we’ll have a chat and, if I later choose to do so I’ll put you on my approved list and you’ll never be bothered by this again.

If you agree, your phone company will charge you 5 cents on your phone bill which will show up as a credit on my phone bill. To agree, hit the number 525. Thanks, we’ll talk soon; or not.  Whichever you choose.”

Think about this.

Currently, you can block a number, any number but as we all know, these pests just move on to a different number.

However, if they encounter this block before my phone even rings, do you think they’ll pay the 5 cents? I suspect they will not. And if a nickel ain’t enough, up your price. How about a buck?  You decide.

Naturally your phone company will set up a web link where you can download all your buddies phone numbers so they won’t have to go through this hassle.

Yes it will be a pain in the keister for a while but eventually you’ll have all your friends and your banker on the list and you’ll not be bothered by the pests again.

And if you miss somebody, so what?  It’ll only cost them 5 cents, or whatever charge you pick, to get connected to you the first time and you will then add them to your list and it’ll be seamless thereafter.  Or consider this- if it’s one of your annoying relatives, you can collect the five cents, answer the phone call or they’ll leave a message and you will promise to put them on your list.  However if it’s your cousin Harold who still owes you 50 bucks, you can, maybe yes, maybe no add him to the list only after you get your 50 bucks back.  It’s up to you.

And just why will your phone company do this? Because they can and they know you and I will switch in a heartbeat to a company which is smart enough to offer this service.

And don’t you lust for just such a deal? I do and I know a few others who would jump to sign up for such a stress relieving opportunity.

So, Verizon and all. Who’s going to be first?

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