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Getting Bombarded by Telemarketers and Toll-Free Numbers

Getting Bombarded by Telemarketers and Toll-Free Numbers

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Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 6,819
Registered: ‎08-23-2008
Message 11 of 29
(6,353 Views)

Unlisted is just that, unlisted in a phone directory. Old term and possibly obsolete. If I recall Unlisted can still be obtained by use of 411 and other methods.

 

Unpublished means it is not listed and can not be obtained unless given out by the customer. Unpublished means it is not available in the 411 or operator directory. Back in the 1980s I left my mothers new unpublished number at home on a trip to CA, and the local operator in VA said the only way to contact that person is possibly have a law enforcement officer go to the property if it was a life or death emergency. I felt really bad because my son was staying with grandma. Eventually I contacted another family member that had the new Unpublished number. It started out years ago as $2 charge and now I think I pay $2.59. But as mentioned, once the number is out it is out. Over the years my wife has given it out to this company or that, and now it is almost a $2.59 monthly waist of money. I used to tell people no you can not have my number it is unpublished. I could never get my wife to do that. Same number for many years now.

 

Call the number and tell them to take you off of their calling list immediately and if they do not, you will file harassment charges. If you do this and they refuse to stop calling, even if you have dealt with the organization before, they MUST stop or it is unlawful harassment.

 

I will look for the information I posted once before.

http://forums.verizon.com/t5/Home-Phone-Landline-or-Digital/Reporting-harassing-phone-calls/m-p/2191...

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Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎01-22-2011
Message 12 of 29
(6,341 Views)

 


@prisaz wrote:

Unlisted is just that, unlisted in a phone directory. Old term and possibly obsolete. If I recall Unlisted can still be obtained by use of 411 and other methods.

 

Unpublished means it is not listed and can not be obtained unless given out by the customer. Unpublished means it is not available in the 411 or operator directory. Back in the 1980s I left my mothers new unpublished number at home on a trip to CA, and the local operator in VA said the only way to contact that person is possibly have a law enforcement officer go to the property if it was a life or death emergency. I felt really bad because my son was staying with grandma. Eventually I contacted another family member that had the new Unpublished number. It started out years ago as $2 charge and now I think I pay $2.59. But as mentioned, once the number is out it is out. Over the years my wife has given it out to this company or that, and now it is almost a $2.59 monthly waist of money. I used to tell people no you can not have my number it is unpublished. I could never get my wife to do that. Same number for many years now.

 

Call the number and tell them to take you off of their calling list immediately and if they do not, you will file harassment charges. If you do this and they refuse to stop calling, even if you have dealt with the organization before, they MUST stop or it is unlawful harassment.


 

Definitely appreciate the info. I gave you Kudos in the other thread for the information you provided in there. I misspoke. Our number is unpublished and not unlisted.

 

Here's the thing, we never give out our home number. We both have multiple GoogleVoice accounts that link to our home and cell phones. Not even my mother has my real cell phone or home phone number. If we ever have to give personal information which includes a phone number, we choose one of our GoogleVoice phone numbers instead. That way, if the calls because harassing, such as in this case, they can easily be blocked.

 

As to your suggesting about calling the numbers, we have tried that...sort of. Just before I set the Do Not Disturb function, we received a call from another unsolicited call. This time, I answered the phone and said hello twice. On the second hello, an automated message asked me to hold on to get information about the estate of Jeffrey Smith. I have no idea who Jeffrey Smith is or how he relates to this phone number so I just hung up. When I called the number back, the number was "not in service."

 

There have been times when my wife has answered the phone and told the representatives that whoever they are looking for does not live here. One time, the representative told her, "Fine, we will just call back until you change your mind."

 

To prove that point, I just checked our call log. Between 9:20am and the time that I set the Do Not Disturb function (about noon), we received four (4) unsolicited called of which three (3) were from the same number. Since the Do Not Disturb has been turned on, we are not receiving calls from anyone except those on our exception list; however, we received 13 unsolicited calls of which ten (10) were from the same number. Right now, the main culprits are (800) 978-7819, (866) 689-4790, and (800) 477-6441. I have checked Google on all three of them and they range from credit card debt relief to estate debt collection. Mind you, these are only the major nuisances. This does not account for the numerous one-and-done calls we have received.

 

After looking at the other thread you linked, I think this may be a perfect situation for the Unlawful Call Center. I do have one question about the UCC. In the description, it states, "If you want to establish a case, call the Verizon Unlawful Call Center...with your complaint number to open a case." It doesn't reference how I go about getting a complaint number. In the Call Trace description, it references that I have to get a successful trace first before I can contact the police. Is that possible here? Can I just call the UCC and have them initiate the criminal complaint on my behalf?

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Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 6,819
Registered: ‎08-23-2008
Message 13 of 29
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I am not sure exactly. That is information I dug up once before. I would suggest calling them and asking for advice. They could perhaps provide guidance. I couldn't really tell you for sure. All I know is the one 866 number on your list I called sounded like perhaps a call center or law firm. I hung up before waiting on hold. If you continuously get called from the same number, I would say that is harassment. It could be a legal firm or collections agency attempting to contact a person that previously had your number.

 

I tried Vonage a few years back and asked for a DC area code that was local to all surrounding areas. I had to get the number changed because it once belonged to a drug dealer. I would get calls at all hours from people looking to get something.

 

Or go the route Mike_VZ said then perhaps take it further if that does not work. Problem with this is, it seems like some of the numbers have bad caller ID information associated with them so reporting them or getting a trace may be difficult.

https://complaints.donotcall.gov/complaint/complaintcheck.aspx?panel=2

 

I put an idea in the Ideas Exchange to have some of the features offered in that device added to the Verizon digital voice. It received a not likely response. I would love to block 800, 866 and many other area codes. It seems like part of the rules of business. Protect your business partners. So perhaps it would be worth $99 to have the system hang up on those calls before they ring my line. You would need to interupt the main line coming in. That would be easy at the ONT. That device might even fit inside the box.

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Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-22-2011
Message 14 of 29
(6,297 Views)

Might want to try Vz's wireless for the home:  http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/splash/homephoneconnect.jsp#pricing

 

Doesn't appear to offer a call block but should offer telemarketer protections that are a feature of your cell phone.

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Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎01-22-2011
Message 15 of 29
(6,265 Views)

Here is something that I did not notice previously. I just filed another complaint against one of the three numbers that continually try to call. I do not believe filing a complaint is as cut and dry as one may think. Here is the confirmation message I received:

 

"Do not call complaints will be entered into a secure online database available to civil and criminal law enforcement agencies. While the FTC does not resolve individual consumer problems, your complaint will help the agency investigate the company, and could lead to law enforcement action."

 

I guess this is going to be one of those things where one person complaining will do nothing but multiple complaints may get the ball rolling.

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Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎01-22-2011
Message 16 of 29
(6,261 Views)

Thanks prisaz. Work was busy today so I did not get a chance to call the UCC but I will call them tomorrow. As for these numbers, it looks like they are still trying to call even though the Do Not Disturb is on (and apparently working perfectly). This phone number, (866) 689-4790, tried to call seven (7) times this afternoon...four (4) times in less than two minutes! I think the UCC will have fun with this number. I would definitely like to see the outcome of that.

Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎01-22-2011
Message 17 of 29
(6,254 Views)

 


@BaronKB wrote:

Might want to try Vz's wireless for the home:  http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/splash/homephoneconnect.jsp#pricing

 

Doesn't appear to offer a call block but should offer telemarketer protections that are a feature of your cell phone.


 

Hi Baron and thanks for the info. This would not be a viable option for us for a couple of reasons:

 

- We already have a very good plan with another carrier.

- If we did not have a cell plan, choosing this option would cost us a minimum of $120 per year whereas getting the digitone would only cost $99 once.

 

 

 

On another note,  Shamika_Vz suggested I contact the Nuisance line. For those that care, their phone number is

East: 1-800-518-5507
West: 1-800-257-2969

 

I will call both of these departments tomorrow and report back. Thanks

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Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎01-22-2011
Message 18 of 29
(6,207 Views)

Another Update:

 

It appears the Nuisance Line and the UCC are the same department. Anyway, I spoke to a very understanding woman but by the end of the call, we both pretty much knew that there was not much more that Verizon could do. The Unlawful Call Center deals primarily with threatening calls and repeat hang-up calls.

 

She transferred the call to tech support to see why calls that are on our Incoming Call Block log are able to bypass that and still call our home. I am now on hold with that department because the original technician is in Texas and the laws governing telemarketing calls are different in Texas than in my state.

 

I just got off the phone with a local technician and, bottom-line, there is supposedly nothing we can do. Based on what the technicians stated, the three phone numbers that are getting through probably originate from an overseas service. This may be how they can bypass the Verizon server. However, just like the previous call, the technician stated that there is not much that Verizon can do.

 

At this point, I am at my wits end. Not sure if spending $99 for the digitone device would be in our best interest based on what the local technician stated. I did not want to cancel the phone service but it looks like I may not have much choice. As I was closing tabs on my browser from all the research I did, I read the UCC description page again. This sentence stood out, "If calls of this nature are deemed excessive, and you are willing to prosecute, we will handle as an unlawful call." I call the UCC again and spoke to Kathleen. She had the notes from the previous call so I just glazed over the major points. She asked me for the phone numbers that continually call. She placed me on hold and called each number. The first two phone numbers were definitely looking for the previous owner of this phone number and promised to take our phone number off of their list within 48 hours. The third phone number was in fact a sales call.

 

If I could give Kudos to Kathleen I would. She really went beyond what she had to do in order to help with our situation. I will leave the Do Not Disturb function on until at least Monday to see what type of phone traffic we get. I will update this thread for those still interested.

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Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎01-22-2011
Message 19 of 29
(6,154 Views)

Well, this appears to be over. I know I said I would wait until Monday to respond but I believe this is over. Since I called the Unlawful Call Center, we have not had one unsolicited phone call or has any of the ten toll free numbers that are on the Call Block list have tried to call our home. Without sounding melodramatic, Kathleen saved a phone customer. if anyone from Verizon is viewing this, please pass word to her.

 

Thanks to all who assisted with this issue.

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Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 122
Registered: ‎05-02-2009
Message 20 of 29
(5,932 Views)

 

The FTC sounds as useless as the BBB - just make note of the problem on their web site, but never help with stopping and prosecuting them

 

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