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How many robocalls do you get each month?

Displaying poll results.
None (even though I have a phone)
  7604 votes / 45%
1 or 2
  2887 votes / 17%
  1947 votes / 11%
  1256 votes / 7%
  739 votes / 4%
More than 20
  1241 votes / 7%
None (because I don't have a phone)
  900 votes / 5%
16574 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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How many robocalls do you get each month?

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  • by cmholm (69081) <<gro.mlohiuam> <ta> <mlohmc>> on Thursday December 08, 2011 @04:43PM (#38307630) Homepage Journal

    Thankfully, I'm not in the EST PST zones, so the robocalls originally intended to catch me near dinner time are handled by my roboanswers.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      I generally google those phone numbers and block them when they're known robospammers. What's brilliant is that they get a message that the line has been disconnected and I never have to deal with them again. Typically they're from out of state area codes so I'm not likely to want to hear from them anyways.

      Number blocking is definitely something that I couldn't give up.

  • by masterpenguin (878744) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @04:46PM (#38307674)

    I miss the obligatory cowboy neil options. These polls just aren't the same without them

    • by treeves (963993)

      What Cowboy Neal related option would you suggest for this polI?
      I can't think of any obvious ones off the top of my head.

      * I only get robocalls when I'm at Cowboy Neal's house
      * I don't get any because Cowboy Neal ate my phone
      * I can't get robocalls because Cowboy Neal ties up my phone surfing for porn on dial-up

      • by Fusselwurm (1033286) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @04:56PM (#38307794) Homepage
        I wouldnt know, CowboyNeal answers my phone
        • by steveg (55825)

          I'd have chosen that one.

          The missing option that I was looking for (which would be correct for me) is "I don't know, I don't answer my phone." At least the land line. Last I checked, there were 54 messages on my answering machine. I'll get around to checking them one of these years, and then maybe I'll know how many robocalls I get.

          Or maybe not.

      • Cowboy Neil answered my phone.
        Cowboy Neil robodials me.

        There is always a good Cowboy Neil option if you just think about it a bit.
      • by macshit (157376)

        * "Just Cowboy Neal"

        [I think it would be completely brilliant if the poll software automatically added "Cowboy Neal" (just the name) as a final option to all polls. In the context of a poll, simply that name in isolation can typically be interpreted in hilarious ways — often much funnier than the slightly lame Cowboy Neal options added by the human editors...]

    • by mclearn (86140)
      You mean something that causes something to churn whenever you see it?

      I prefer sexy robocalls from Cowboyneal.

  • Until recently, I had no idea what a robocall was... In the last couple of years though, various on-line services started confirming my identity by calling my phone. Apparently, long distance rates can now be really cheap if American companies can afford to call my cell phone in Serbia. I wish I had the same rates myself...
    • by Greyfox (87712) on Friday December 09, 2011 @12:51AM (#38311886) Homepage Journal
      A lot of them come in through voip trunks. You can call pretty much anywhere in the world for free (or freeish) these days if you have the know-how. If you originate a data-to-data call across the internet with no PSTN involved, that's even easier (And cheaper.)
      • You can call pretty much anywhere in the world for free (or freeish) these days if you have the know-how.

        To cell phones? Care to share how? SIP gateways to voipbuster and others will call *landlines* for free, but cell phones?

        • by Greyfox (87712)
          When the data comes out to the PSTN, that's where the money is. While it's on the Internet it's free. There are lots [] of VOIP services who will pull your packets off teh internets and stick them on the PSTN. How much you end up having to pay for that is a subject for research. I haven't looked into Google Voice in a lot of detail yet, but am under the impression that they're one of the better services. If you're a telemarketing firm interested in having people in India call people in America to sell shit, yo
  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @05:03PM (#38307908)

    . . . if they are illegal where you live.

    • Even if they're illegal where you live, you can still (and I do) get robo-calls from my House Representative, my Senator, and my local municipality.
      • Even if they're illegal where you live, you can still (and I do) get robo-calls from my House Representative, my Senator, and my local municipality.

        That's because, as is usually the case, the law was written in such a way that our legislators are exempted from its provisions.

        It's pretty much standard practice, and doesn't vary with whichever party is in power at a given moment.

        • by green1 (322787) on Friday December 09, 2011 @12:11PM (#38315402)

          Interestingly it was recently pointed out in another slashdot article, that in my country, while the politicians wrote themselves an exemption to the do not call list, they did not exempt themselves from the robocaller rules... of course that didn't stop every single candidate in my riding from robocalling me last election, one of them nearly 10 times.

    • by Radish03 (248960)

      I'm in the US, I only have a cell phone, and my number is also registered on the Do Not Call list. I've gotten 2 in the past month from numbers in Washington state. Legality doesn't seem to stop them. Though it's hard to complain since there's never anyone on the other end by the time I answer.

      • by Dice (109560) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @08:58PM (#38310468)

        They can still call you for surveys. I had a number of those recently after having purchased a vehicle and foolishly giving them my cell number. I did some research and started telling the humans who eventually came on the line that they had reached a business. This results in your number getting removed from their list (unlike actually asking to be removed from the list) since they don't want to screw their numbers by polling a Starbucks.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Hong Kong has a do-not-call list and a do-not-fax list, both for automated calls only.

      Before the do-not-fax list, I got 4-6 junk faxes a day. Now I get maybe one a month. This against maybe 10 legitimate faxes a month, often less, but as a business you still simply need a fax number. Luckily line rent is cheap.

      The do-not-call list is less of an effect, as I never got many robot calls. I still get one or two monthly. Plus a human call or two daily. They're so irritating that I've lowered myself even below th

      • When I get a call from a human I choose to be as abusive and foul as possible. I have had them hang up on me. :) It relieves some of my stress.
        My other hope is that they will enter me as abusive in their computer system, so the next time their computer tells them to call me, they might just decide to skip me.
        I do seem to get fewer calls than I used to, so I think it is working.
    • by green1 (322787)

      This is marked insightful??

      I get about 10-20 a month... and robocalls are illegal where I live unless you have given the company specific prior consent to robocall you (Which I have NEVER done) In addition, I am on my country's do not call list, which makes all telemarketing calls illegal (except from politicians, newspapers, research firms, or charities) And I get an additional 10-20 a month of those illegal phone calls on top of the robocallers. Being on the do not call list has cut the volume down, it us

      • I also get calls from organizations that I have explicitly told "Do not call me ever again", 10 years running. Next time I'm going to ask for a name and address, and start writing letters to politicians in their area complaining about their behavior.
  • by bradley13 (1118935) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @05:32PM (#38308344) Homepage

    This is only a problem in the USA. Ok, we get adverts by fax, but robo-calls? Unheard of.

    • by RogerWilco (99615)

      This is only a problem in the USA. Ok, we get adverts by fax, but robo-calls? Unheard of.

      Yeah. This is an unheard problem in the Netherlands. I do get the occasional call-center trying to get me to switch utility or phone company, but if I understand correctly, those aren't robo-calls as there is a human on the other end of the line.

  • by uigrad_2000 (398500) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @06:46PM (#38309258) Homepage Journal

    I get routine calls from "Credit Card Services", letting me know "there is nothing currently wrong with your credit card", but I am eligible for a reduced rate because of my excellent credit score!

    It turns out the culprit is JPM Accelerated Services, Inc. []. The FTC convinced a Florida court to place a permanent injunction [] on them back in February 2011.

    Still, I get calls. It's from a different phone number every time. I'm guessing that they are phone numbers from google phone, or some other service that is untraceable.

    It's pretty hard to get a conversation with a human. If you press '1' to speak with a representative, it usually hangs up on you. Occasionally you get through, but as soon as they think you aren't interested, it's an instant hang-up.

    Last week, I managed to convince them to give me the full credit card spiel. After a 60 second speech, finally I spoke and said I just wanted to hear the information so I could report it to the FTC. I'm hoping that scares them enough to take my number off the list. There's nothing else I can do.

    Actually, there is one other thing that can be done. You can file a complaint [] about the offending number (well, assuming you are in the U.S). I do this for each call I get from them, so that they lose the number that they are using.

    • by brunascle (994197) *
      You're not alone. I've filed 3 or 4 complaints with about "Cardholder Services".
    • I get routine calls from "Credit Card Services", letting me know "there is nothing currently wrong with your credit card", but I am eligible for a reduced rate because of my excellent credit score!

      Well, now I know what the rest of the spiel must be when I get those calls. I generally hang after "nothing wrong"....\

      But then, I generally hang up on calls on my landline. That's what it's for.

    • by Dynedain (141758)

      Yeah, I've flagged at least 4-5 calls in Oct/Nov with the FTC from these clowns. They hang up instantly when you start saying "Take me off your lists" or "This is a cellphone" or "I'm on the do-not call list", etc. And that's not even counting the calls from them I didn't pick up.

      I have stopped receiving from them as of Novemberish though. So maybe they had until October to comply with the injunction or some such? (I'm too lazy to read through the court docs you linked)

    • Some VOIP services can support Trunk lines or DID lines separately. DID is for calling in. Trunk lines is outgoing only lines. As such, the provider of the trunk line can't provide caller ID so the Caller ID is supplies by the company PBX so return calls can be routed to the company DID lines. This leaves an avenue of abuse as the company can set ANY CID string they desire.

      Google DID and VOIP Trunk for more information. If you wish to set up your own PBX, the open source Asterisk is a good start. The

  • cause Nagios calls me when there's an issue out-of-hours

  • Per month? How about per day!? We get the usual ones like calls about our nonexistent mortgage, credit card insurance, etc. Sometime in the previous century my dad had "Dr." put in front of his name when we switched telecomm carriers. So we also get auto-calls about business loans, medical supplies, office supplies, and more. Google has some sort of robot that's called several times in the past month asking if we wanted to be listed as a business. I told it no the first time, but it keeps calling. We
    • by green1 (322787)

      I've been looking for an app to filter things properly for me, and I think I've finally found it. I just grabbed Mr Number for Android and have set it to immediately hang up on all "suspected spam" (numbers reported by others) with the exception of anyone in my contact list (in case somehow they end up on the list) and to automatically send to voicemail anything not in my address book, with the exception of anything originating from a local area code (I can't remember the last time I got spam called from a

  • Less than one (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hentes (2461350) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @08:05PM (#38310006)

    But not exactly zero.

  • 1 a month is probably a generous estimate. The ones I do get are telco spam.

  • I don't know, because I never answer my phone.

    Currently being bombarded with calls from collection agencies looking for someone with similar name, but completely different everything else. I keep telling them I'm not the person they are looking for and tell them not to call back. The keep doing so. I've turned the ringer off. What do you do about these jerks? Someone I can report them to?

    • by green1 (322787)

      I have an ex-roommate who the collection agencies are looking for (actually, this is the third one in a row... I really should pick better tenants!) The last call I got went somewhat like this:
      Collections: Hi, we're looking for __________
      Me: She doesn't live here anymore
      Collections: How can we contact her?
      Me: I don't know
      Collections: She must have left a forwarding number?
      Me: No, she didn't
      Collections: But what if you needed to get a hold of her?
      Me: I can't, she didn't leave a forwarding number of address

      • by tompaulco (629533)
        I have gotten calls on my cell phone from a debt collection agency regarding an ex-renter. He also owes me money. It was an illegal automated call. They said to press 2 if you are not the person, so I did the first 10 or so times they called. Then finally I pressed 1, admitting that I was the person that I am not. by admitting I was someone I was not, I finally managed to talk to a human and convince them to take me off of their list.
        The one that REALLY pisses me off is at home, where I get calls daily for
    • I give them my scam bait GV number telling them the person moved.. You can reach him at.. Set up the GV account voice mail as the deadbeat. Tell them it's his cell phone. It does take SMS text messages. Good for the US only.

    • Take down their info, explain that they're calling the wrong person. If they call you again, you can sue for a few thousand in most states. My wife gets nuisance calls on her cell phone because whoever had that number six years ago has some debt problems.

      I get a lot of political solicitations because I made the mistake of donatign $20 four years ago. At work, we get all kinds of robo-calls, most of them are solicitations for business loans. We also get a lot of cold calls from people that want to switch

  • It's Presidential Primary Season here in New Hampshire, so we get at least one call per day, and those are exempt from the Do Not Call list. Sometimes it's a recording of the candidate. Sometimes it's a supporter of one of the candidates. Sometimes it's a pollster. A lot of the time it's a supporter of a candidate posing as a pollster. Those are easy to tell because the questions are leading.
  • by Bigbutt (65939) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @09:02PM (#38310490) Homepage Journal

    I don't answer my phone if you're not in my contact list. I then search the number on the 'net. I've found a majority of the spam calls are identified on one of the 800 number sites with lots of comments. I then add the number to the spammer contact. I've found out how many numbers fill up an iPhone contact entry and I'm on my 4th one now.


  • Simple - no calls (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 08, 2011 @09:51PM (#38310878)

    All one has to do is put an Asterisk based interactive voice response system.

    "Thank you for calling. Press 1 for ...."

    And the robo callers can't seem to get thru my robot. :-)

  • I don't remember the last time I received a phone call from an automated (pre-recorded or CG) voice. I'm guessing this is the definition of robo-call being used here. The last such call I received might have been about ten years ago.

    I do however get about one unsolicited phone call from a live human being about once a month. Surveys, Microsoft AntiVirus scams, telemarketers and the like. Well, either they're human or a very good AI.

    • by Greyfox (87712)
      You should ask them next time. Of course, a really good AI will claim to be human, so you should administer a test. I'd go with the Futurama one and ask them if they would prefer a puppy, a flower from their sweetie or a properly formatted data file.
  • by scruffy (29773) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @11:39PM (#38311530)
    My strategy is that when I get a robocall, I just put the phone down and wait for the robocall to hang up. My thought is that uses up more resources of the robocaller than hanging up right away. Of course, this uses up my resources, too, so it's not all good.
  • So I installed an Android call blocker. Now I don't get calls unless they're on my contacts list already. Everyone else goes to voice mail. I kind of like it that way.

    When I had a landline I routed it through asterisk, by plugging the landline into a SIP gateway. That handily filtered out all manner of automated calls.

  • Maybe I get 2-5 cold calls a day on my land line. One of the most annoying is some cruise line that opens up with a fog horn. You can try telling them to stop, but that only puts on a temporary hold-off list. I bought one of those compressed air horns to blow back at them, but I never remember to use it!

  • We have a landline but never answer it. We let it rollover to the answering machine. During the last two elections the number of robocalls that got recorded by the answering machine jumped to one every other day.
  • The only reason why I have a landline is so I can have a broadband connection. I know you can get cable, but that's only through the large companies that throttle the living crap out of the bandwidth.

    I get none to my cell, although I do get the odd "You may be entitled to compensation for the accident you had", but I just filter those out using GoSMS.

  • Not one, ever (Score:4, Interesting)

    by he-sk (103163) on Friday December 09, 2011 @08:47AM (#38313476)

    I haven't received a single robo-call in my life. Sure, I sometimes get unsolicited calls but there's always a live human at the other end. Even these are rare -- less than 1 per month. And usually from places I have had previous business with or the occasional survey.

    I hate to turn this post into an America-bashing socialist diatribe but the American phone market is a great example how an under-regulated market is not in the best interest of the consumer.

    • by mlts (1038732) *

      That's not a socialist diatribe; it is a statement of fact. There is a lot of similarities between robocallers and spammers. Both use someone else's equipment and connection (Internet access or phone minutes) to pitch their message, shifting the cost of advertising from them to the recipient.

      • by Kharny (239931)

        How does getting called cost you minutes?

        Or is that an american thing too? I thought the receiving sms costing something was weird enough, but getting called costing money is right out idiotic

        • by mlts (1038732) *

          If you pick up, you get billed talk time. In other places, only the sender gets billed. Here, cell carriers double-dip and charge minutes on both the caller and the receiver's lines.

  • by gmuslera (3436) *
    The last (only?) robocall i remember to receive was after creating a google account. Living in a country where local calls have a cost, even if you call someone in your same block, don't help to create a culture of robocalls.
  • It was a few weeks ago, and the caller ID identified it as "Phone Scam". I googled the number and "Phone Scam", and it appeared to be just that. It was robocallers just trying to get credit card numbers from India or the Middle East.

    • To prevent phone scams, our official policy is based on who initiated the call. If we answer the call, the caller is unverified. No personal info is ever given.

      We may take the company name, explain the policy, refuse to take a call back phone number, and offer to call them back using their official phone book number. Ask for the extension number to dial once you dial their published number.

      Real companies will understand and appreciate the due diligence. Scams will go way out of their way to close the de

  • One of the big reasons I got rid of my land line was all the auto calling. Was a smart decision and never been happier. At one point for every normal message on my answering machine I got when I got home from work there would be 3 from various businesses, charities, etc... all asking me for money or to buy something. Since I only have a cell, I get a few a year, all from companies I do actual business with (which is bad enough). I don't think I will ever go back.

    One thing that has to be done, is the phone c

    • by green1 (322787)

      Apple won't let you download a call blocker? wow... there are dozens of them in the official android market!

  • Don't get any on my cell yet. However, Sprint feels free to occasionally spam me with texts and calls asking me to upgrade to the next level of service.

  • Somehow someone has got my cell number into their fax machine and I will get a couple of calls every now and then. I figured it was just a robo-dialer or something but after one frustrated response (that may have contained profanity) I heard a muffled "oh, sorry" and then the other end hung up. I'm now waiting for them to call back so I can try to talk to them and get the problem solved for good. If I'd actually thought there was a thinking person on the other end I would have responded differently the f
  • And they're always either calling in the middle of work or at 2 in the morning. And on my cell.
    Don't even get me started on my land line, I unplugged it from the wall just to stop the phone from ringing -.-;
  • CVS uses a robo call to alert customers when a prescription is ready, if they don't go and pick it up within a few days of when they asked for it to be ready. I find this service to be helpful, and don't have a problem with an automated call handling it. I actually prefer it... it feels less judgmental than the local pharma-assistant calling, complaining that they have too many filled scripts on their shelves.

    In another matter... should I include the calls from my alma mater's (UMass Lowell) alumni associat

  • As I received the first robocall, I called for professional help [], and I was no more annoyed. Problem solved.
  • by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Friday December 09, 2011 @10:22PM (#38322194) Homepage
    I had a lot of fun messing with robocalls and call centers in college. Some of my favorites were telling the person on the other end of the line that the person they were looking for was dead or trying to sell them random stuff off of my desk. My all time favorite was to let them start going through their spiel but then pretend like my roommate was a douche and would interrupt me all the time. I usually could keep them on the line for 5+ minutes at which point they would give up and ask if there was a better time to call me and I would reply no he is always like this. The funnies was when my roommate was in the room for the first time and actually thought I was pissed at him until he realized what I was doing.

    Also in college we would fill out random credit card apps just making up everything since those would come about once a month to all students in the dorm. We would collect all of the ones people didn't want. They were postage paid. Eventually we got tired of filling them out and would just stuff the paper back into the envelope and seal it and sent it on it's way. This is also how I found out that it is possible to stuff an entire USA Today news paper into one of those prepaid envelopes.
  • by 1s44c (552956) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @10:41AM (#38334726)

    I've never had a single robo-call, not ever. Is this a US thing? Because I'm pretty sure it's illegal in Europe. I've not had a landline for years, maybe that has something to do with it.

    I'm all for the above solution of torturing sales-scum or robo-scum with asterisk.

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.


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