Let’s end unwanted calls

Let’s end unwanted calls

Story By: STAFF WRITER
3/14/2019


Unwanted telephone calls—both landline and cell phone—have been plaguing people for years. Despite the government’s attempt to end them with the National Do Not Call Registry, they persist. It’s time to put an end to them once and for all.

Here’s a typical evening scenario: 

You get home after a hard day at work prepared to relax. You start making dinner and the phone rings. You answer it. There’s a persistent telemarketer on the other end trying to sell you something you neither need nor want. You hang up.

After dinner you have time to rest before bed to catch up on reading or to watch your favorite TV show. The phone rings. You answer it and no one is on the other end. That’s a robocall before the recording begins. You hang up. Repeat both of the above multiple times within a few hours. What sort of a relaxing evening is that?

And let’s not forget the scam calls. There’s been an uptick of them recently, which apparently is very typical at this time of the year when people are filing their federal income taxes. Several Suffolk County residents have already fallen prey to scammers saying they’re the IRS, which has cost the victims thousands of dollars. In an article that appeared in a May 2018 issue of Consumer Reports (www.consumerreports.org), the Federal Trade Commission estimates that $350 million has been lost in these phone scams.

Fortunately, there is a more permanent solution to this problem with technology that’s available today. But, it’s going to cost you.

NOMOROBO and The Guard are two available filters that when in use will block these unwanted calls. The latter is currently being used by Primus, a private Canadian phone company that’s been providing it to its customers with success. Apparently, some U.S phone providers such as Verizon also offer a filter. However, that service could cost their customers up to an additional $12 a month to block six to 12 of these types of numbers. But most people would agree that there are many more than just 12 of them received monthly. And why are consumers expected to pay extra for that service anyway? Shouldn’t it be included in the monthly—and dare we say, hefty—cost of owning a phone?

It’s time for phone companies to do something about these annoying calls by providing their customers with filters as part of their service. And it’s time for the Federal Trade Commission to hold them accountable to getting that done.