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Another Joe Story

Another Joe Story

*Warning! Before proceeding, beware that this is a continued rant.

We have caller ID back on our land line. Perhaps because I called the company complaining about how high our bill was on a service we didn’t really need or use, but had to have bundled with our internet costs so we could even afford that. Caller ID was the little incentive we were given to placate – that and a tiny discount of $6.00 less per month on our bill –I’ll try not to spend that all in one placemaybe I should have asked for it to be retroactive. I’ll wait them out a few months and then call back. It always depends on who you get on the other end.

With caller ID activated I can now see who I’m not answering to. H, on the other hand, tends to answer all calls no matter what the display reads, thinking one may be important. I tell him they will leave a message if it’s important…and sometimes they will leave one if it’s not.

I’ve come to realize ID doesn’t live up to its original purpose. Most of the numbers lighting up our handset are from our area code and more often than not they actually show up with a name or even a business attached, trying to convince us that an old friend or business may be trying to get in touch.

I voiced my concern about this deceitfulness one day and my daughter mentioned to me that she recently had a ten-minute phone conversation about phone spoofing with someone she didn’t even know. Her call went something like this:

brriiinnnnggg……brriiinnnnggg…….

Jessie…..hello?

Caller…..Hi. I just missed a call from this number.

Jessie…..From this number? I didn’t call you. Are you sure?

Caller…..Ooohhh. They’ve got your number.

The caller went on to explain how telemarketers use this spoofing technique.

Evidently, it’s called spoofing when a caller has the ability of having a different number show up, on your caller ID, other than from the number he’s actually calling from. I’m not sure exactly how this is done and I don’t see any need to learn that talent, however, you can read about it here.

You can block those numbers till the cows come home, but there is always a new number available. Joe has a multitude of alias’s but the bottom line is – on the other end of the line, it’s always Joe. He/she peddles anything from medical equipment, to extended car warranties, to free cruises for you and yours. Right now we are being bombarded with offers of a second mortgage on our home – a home we don’t even have a first mortgage on. Running a close second is an extended warranty on a vehicle that is no longer in our possession.

Joe first showed up a couple of years ago in my most widely read story – A Telemarketer Nightmare. And then later he appeared in When Is Free, Free? If he is being paid for each and every connection he makes he is well on his way to wealthy. Evidently, he’s not ready for retirement anytime soon.

I often wonder what these people are really like who have jobs as telemarketers and do they make enough money out of being rude and obnoxious to live on? Is there not a better job for them out there somewhere instead of one that rudely interrupts people’s lives with empty promises and useless junk?

Tsk…tsk…tsk…tsk. Will Joe ever learn to take no as an answer?

~Elle

Telemarketers And Junk Mail Go Hand In Hand

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Telemarketers And Junk Mail Go Hand In Hand

A few months ago I shared a story of Joe, my telemarketer nightmare. Joe’s still hanging around trying to sell me something he thinks I need and I know I don’t. Now he’s learned H’s cell phone number. The click of a hang-up in Joe’s ear doesn’t affect his ability to redial often. He also doesn’t attest to the fact all of our numbers are on the Do Not Call Registry. 

Now we have another constant caller. In fact I believe she’s been around longer than Joe. This one goes by many names. There is Amy, Tina, and Audrey for starters. They are all associated with the Native American Indian Council and always ask in a polite voice to speak to H’s mom when I answer. 

H’s mom passed away in 2011 – six years ago! They are still calling. Tina told me once that they haven’t spoken to her since 2010. I wonder why! I’ve told them constantly, the circumstances, and asked them to take our number and her name off their call list. They give their condolences and assure me they will do so immediately. A few days later another call from the Native American Indian Council comes in asking for a donation. 

I’ve come to realize the reason they have our number attached to her name. It’s because her name is attached to our address because we inherited the property and now have a different number than she had, but the same address. These telemarketers go to such lengths to make a sale or get a donation. 

It also doesn’t help that H’s mom was a frequent donator to any person or organization in need – whether they really were in need or not! She was an easy sell as most older people are. It was a full time job for her to sort through her mail, weeding out bills from advertisements, junk, and organizations asking for a handout. She was at the point of exhaustion from trying to keep up. 

Every night of the week you could find her sitting in her chair with stacks of mail surrounding her feet. She would open each envelope and read the entire contents before deciding what to do with it. It’s no wonder she couldn’t keep up! I was always afraid she would slip on a piece of mail and break a hip. What she spent on postage each month would buy us a nice dinner out – with wine! 

When she passed away the mail kept coming, often wrapped in rubber bands, the take-for-the-day always more than what we received in our name each month! I shredded and threw out most before H knew what was there. If he got to it first he would open each piece or add to her growing pile to get to later. Later never came. I threw it all out. 

Finally after six years the requests for more donations has dwindled down to a few pieces of mail a month. But the Indian Council is relentless and continues their vigil. Short of disconnecting my landline to stop the nonsense, I answer, knowing their calls will continue. 

I promised myself years ago I would never let my mail take over my life or my bank account, as some do who answer ever advertisement,  request for donations, or political survey’s. 

Be careful what you respond to through the mail unless you have lots of spare time and spare change! 

~Elle

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