|The Answer Is, NOT ENOUGH!|
Like many people, I find that I’m forced to question why my phone rings several times a week and when I answer I find a machine generated message. Often the robocall recording claims to be Heather, Sara, or Rachael claiming it is from a credit card service center or inquiring about my student loan that doesn’t exist. Because of my business not answering my phone is not an option. Even being registered on the “no call list” has proven ineffective in halting this intrusion into my life,
The title of this post is dedicated to a great line from a notable movie from a 1983 American comedy film starring Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Eddie Murphy by the name of Trading Places. It tells the story of an upper-class commodities broker named Louis Winthrope the third played by Aykroyd who was “set-up” and had his life destroyed. While down and out and trying to prove he is not a drug dealer Louis is told in no uncertain terms by those wanting to disassociate from him, “Nobody here wants your drugs, Louie!” My point is the same can be said about this constant barrage of calls that nobody wants.
The fact is every day across America hundreds of millions of unwanted calls are placed to those of us tethered to society by phone. These calls are generated by machines designed not to inform but to benefit a few at the expense of the many. After spending hundreds of billions of dollar on agencies such as the NSA it is difficult to think we do not have in place the expertise and apparatus to track down and identify the perpetrators of these calls. At least if Washington got solidly behind an effort to end such calls Americans would be getting something for all the money that has been spent. For a country plagued by elected officials in our nation’s capital who do little but annoy, debate, pander, and suck the blood out of us would it be too much that we might ask relief from such calls. Sadly, both politicians and those who support them have turned to and embraced robocalls as a way to hammer their message home to a public who they see as only a phone call away.
I want to make it clear this is not an industry that hides in the shadows in fear of prosecution. Ironically, companies can not only make money off promoting robocalls but one company has a mobile app for which they charge a monthly fee to protect users from such calls. A quick search of the term “robocall’ generates a page showing several services and companies geared to this mass communication technology that has grown since the early 1990s. They see it as one of the best ways an organization or company can communicate a verbal message with its members, employees, or customers in a timely and low-cost manner. What tends to make robocalls even more obnoxious than an ordinary phone solicitation is that they continue during national holidays, this was confirmed when my phone rang this morning and the fact the same failed call rolls in time and time again only each time it is generated using a different phone number making it harder to block.
If America is indeed a great and powerful nation is it too much to ask those we have empowered come together both passing and enforcing simple legislation to end this encroachment on our lives. The debate as to whether these calls have any merit would be short lived for even a lying politician would have difficulty presenting an argument to give any merit or justify allowing people’s lives to be disrupted by such calls. Adding injury to insult is the fact is that we are paying for this every time we pay our phone bill. Legislation placing a hefty fine upon those behind what are obviously unwanted robocalls would end the incentive for companies to widely cast upon society their self-serving agenda. It is time we tell these people that “NO MEANS NO!” If Washington wants an issue that 99% of Americans can agree upon, this is it!
H/T: Bruce Wilds