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Bill Kalmar

Quality Insider

Finally—My Phone Will No Longer Ring

Maybe our newly elected officials can close the loopholes in the National Do Not Call Registry

Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 11:34

Well, it’s finally happened. The late-night unsolicited phone calls, the lawn signs, the brochures that clogged our mailboxes, and the interminable television and radio commercials have come to an end. Whether you are mourning or celebrating your voting choices last week, one thing is clear: We will all be in a “robo call-free zone” at least for the next year or so.

Despite your political leanings, I think this is something all of us can support.

I suspect that a lot of us have subscribed to the National Do Not Call Registry, which is supposed to curtail any unwanted calls to our home phones and cell phones. Of course the politicians who constructed this edict, not surprisingly, allowed some caveats to the law, mainly that political calls and charitable calls are excluded from the registry.

Several years ago I purchased a “phone call zapper,” which is a small device hooked to the phone line that automatically disconnects any computer-generated calls. It works just fine except somehow it, too, allows political and charitable calls to come through. I guess there is a reason for the charitable calls, but I have to be brutally honest: We have never donated to a charity that contacts us via a phone call, and I suspect a lot of you behave the same way. We donate to many charities and recently sponsored several people in cancer fund raisers. But don’t call me at home and expect a donation. It just won’t happen.

Speaking of political calls, I wonder how many of us actually listened to the entire message of the many that we received. As for those daily election polls that measure who the voters favor, I am skeptical of the results. Who are the folks that actually spend the time speaking to the pollsters? Certainly not us. Exit polls are also under suspicion as far as I am concerned because I think a fair percentage of people fudge their voting preferences just to fool with the pollsters.

So here’s my bottom line: Don’t call me about a particular candidate or issue, keep my name off the list of charitable calls, and don’t ask me who I voted for when I exit the voting booth. Now if only my “phone call zapper” was portable so I could use it on those people standing outside the polling booths. Wouldn’t that be a hoot!


About The Author

Bill Kalmar’s picture

Bill Kalmar

William J. Kalmar has extensive business experience, including service with a Fortune 500 bank and the Michigan Quality Council, of which he served as director from 1993 through 2003. He served on the Board of Overseers of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and has been a Baldrige examiner. He was also named quality professional of the year by the ASQ Detroit chapter. Now semiretired, Kalmar does freelance writing for several publications. He is a member of the USA Today Vacation Panel, a mystery shopper for several companies, and a frequent presenter and lecturer.


Re: political calls, etc.

Well, Bill, when you wrote this article you must have been watching me. At our house, too, we never donate over the phone, never listen to an entire political call, and do not respond to pollsters. Although I probably would respond to some surveys if I thought anything meaningful was going to be done with the answers I'd give.

Let me add one more. How many of those extremely annoying website pop-ups asking you to 'complete a brief survey' do you respond to? I can only wonder what kind of data those companies get from people who have the time to deal with that stuff, or whether they even bother to analyze it.

I'm Jeff, and I approved this message.

Robo Calls/polls/donatios


Even though it was futile, I used some unprintable expletives back at the recordings.

As for polls, I never give them correct information.

We have only given once over the phone when the local fire department was fund raising, and we knew the person calling.



Rachel from Cardholder Services

Rachel from Cardholder Services, and Security Home Promotions, both violate Do Not Call regularly. They call from spoofed phone numbers to prevent Do Not Call violation complaints.

I just strung Security Home Promotions along to the extent that they gave my number to Alliance Home Protection, as I learned from when AHP's representative called me. That means I now have somebody who can identify the entity that is placing the illegal robocalls.

I have seen on the Internet that a lot of people pretend they are interested in "Rachel's" credit interest reduction services and, when asked for their credit card number, tell the telemarketer they have to "go find it"--and then let the telemarketer hold for as long as he/she can be strung along. The FTC is meanwhile offering a $50,000 reward for a solution to shut these parasites down for good. http://robocall.challenge.gov/