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Why You Should Never Fill Out Online Forms With Your Phone Number And Address

Why You Should Never Fill Out Online Forms With Your Phone Number And Address

Now that H has retired and his health insurance is that old people insurance – aka Medicare – Andrew is no longer covered for dental. So yesterday I was searching online for some dental insurance for Andrew.

I just wanted to see the costs so I could compare. Of course this site wanted info so they could give me quotes, but they did it in such a way that I thought they might give me some insight online once I filled out the form. Knowing that if I submitted name and phone number on their website, I would be bombarded with calls from every insurance dealer in the surrounding area – and then some – I was reluctant to do so.

I proceeded to fill out the form with Andrews name and our home address, but then there was the phone number blank staring me in the face. I was prepared for that. “I’ll fool you my pretties!” I reversed the first two numbers of my cell number and hit submit.

That’s when a sweet note popped up on my screen telling me to be patient and browse through the site. “An agent from your area will contact you shortly.”

“Yeah right, not if I can help it.”

“Acck!” Within two minutes or less my cell phone started ringing. The calls were from Maine or North Dakota or some random state that had no business calling me. (Well I thought they had no business. They thought they had every right.)

Then the area codes changed to Florida. Evidently, they took a look at my address for this tactic. I don’t know anyone in Ft. Myers, FL so I didn’t answer. Then another call came through from Ft. Lauderdale. Nope. Don’t know anyone from there either.

After a few minutes of this, numbers with a Louisiana area code appeared. Yep, they figured since my cell phone was based in Louisiana, I’d answer just any old call.

How did they do that? Guess they were smarter than I thought and they reversed those numbers back!

After about five or six calls with no answer from me, my house phone started ringing…and ringing…and ringing…

When I answered I would get that bloop tone and then someone would say, “Please hold on. Your call will be answered shortly.”

Well I didn’t make that call. They did. And they kept making them. Sometimes I would answer just for the heck of it and there would be a live person. When I would tell them to please not call again – yeah I was polite – they would hang up and another one would call. I did tell one representative they had the wrong number. No one by the name of Andrew lived here. That was a half-truth. He’s in grad school in Tennessee.

This continued all afternoon on my cell phone and house phone. I’m assuming they got the landline number from the home address. Ugh! These people were persistent if nothing else.

I was glad when eight pm rolled around and the ringing in my ears was quietened because those telemarketers were interrupting our binge watching of “The Doctor Blake Mysteries”. (That’s a rant I’ll save for another day!) I heard, somewhere, that telemarketers aren’t supposed to call after eight.

This morning the land line started ringing at seven am. Really? Everyone who doesn’t live in the Florida Panhandle thinks we are on Eastern time like the rest of the state. We aren’t. We are on Central time.

I took the phone off the hook for some peace and quiet. That didn’t stop them from calling my cell phone though. Four hours later I put the phone back on the hook and immediately, it started ringing again.

I have told H repeatedly, to not put our number and address on any online forms. I get tired of the calls. I should take a page out of my own book.

I just realized the phones have been silent for about forty-five minutes. It’s probably the calm before the storm.

~Elle

About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

14 responses »

  1. Whew, this sounds really frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Elle, I think it’s getting to a point where we may all have to go into a phone witness protection program or something similar—off their grid as it were. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. I knew that Facebook and Google, among others, have been accused of collecting information, but it’s unnerving to realize that they have enough information to sort out those numbers. How many days did they harass you?

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

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