Caller Information 

Sometimes my phone rings and there is no one on the line. What is happening?

Many people are frightened when they receive "hang-up" calls. They wonder if someone is harassing them, or if a burglar is checking to see if they are not home. In most cases, these calls are from telemarketers. (For additional information on telemarketing, see Fact Sheet 5,   www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs5-tmkt.htm.)

Many telemarketers use "predictive dialing" technology to call consumers. A computer dials many phone numbers in a short period of time. When an individual answers, the computer seeks a sales representative who is not occupied at that time and connects the call. If all of the sales reps are on calls, the consumer hears dead silence. These are "abandoned calls."

Several devices claim to stop these calls, including Telezapper (www.telezapper.com) available in stores that sell consumer electronics. (No endorsements are implied.)

If you are receiving many abandoned calls a day, you can call the annoyance department of your local phone company and ask that a Trap be placed on your line. In extreme situations, the phone company might be willing to contact the offending telemarketer and request that your phone number be place on its "do not call" list. If the repeated calls are from a malicious individual who is harassing you rather than a telemarketer, the phone company will report the number to law enforcement as described in the beginning of this guide.

A new California law requires telemarketers to limit abandoned calls to fewer than 1% of their total call volume effective January 2003. For information on California Public Utilities Code 2875.5, visit www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html.

Comments

-1 Votes
19th Jul, 2011 by Bernadetta Thompson
Don't call me.

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