After juggling ten things at once, you’re finally getting everyone to sit down at the table for a nice family dinner. Right then, the phone rings. Thinking it may be grandma or someone else important, you pick up only to hear a prerecorded message or a telemarketer.
Although a day without any phone solicitation seems unlikely, there are some tips and tricks you can use to keep your phone line as clear as possible.
Register Your Number
Chances are you’ve heard about the National Do Not Call Registry. However, there are a few things you should know about it. First, once you register, it will take up to 31 days for known telemarketers to take you off of their call lists. Also: be aware that political phone calls and calls from debt collectors aren’t controlled by the registry.
Don’t Forget Your Mobile Phone
Although less frequent than on landlines, telemarketing to mobile devices is a growing phenomenon. Remember that the registry isn’t just for landlines. Mobile lines are included and can be registered with a landline on the National Do Not Call Registry website. If you are still contacted after 31 days on the registry, feel free to file a complaint with a number.
If the registry doesn’t seem to be stopping the calls, check out a few of these other tips that can help reduce the number of calls.
- Add a caller ID and don’t answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize.
- Never respond to a robo-call asking you to press 1 to talk to a representative. This will only alert the callers that you have a ‘live line,’ which will increase the number of calls.
- Never give out personal information over the phone, especially to unverified callers.
- If a number calls repeatedly, ask the phone company to block it. Although telemarketers change their number frequently, this can temporarily solve especially harassing callers.
Because telemarketers are less likely to contact a cellphone, you may want to consider cutting the cord on your landline phone service. Not only can this save you the cost of two phone bills, it may simplify the process of switching utilities when you move.
Chances are, no matter what we do, we will still receive some unwanted calls. However, taking advantage of these simple tricks will help keep telemarketers at bay and your family dinners uninterrupted.