Couple of days ago I got a call from New Jersey. At least, the caller ID said “New Jersey”. This was the most exciting call I have received in some time. Usually my calls are from “Anonymous”, or “Unknown Caller”, or “Invalid Number”, or “Customer Service”, or “ID Blocked”, or even sometimes “1″. These callers are different from the “New Jersey” caller of course. I don’t know any of the others, so I never even bother to pick up the phone. I do know New Jersey. I have no idea why New Jersey would be calling me. I did not answer the call. Thought maybe they would leave a message. Still, I am honored to have received the call and can not for the life of me figure out why New Jersey would be calling.
To receive attention from New Jersey out here in the boondocks is indeed an honor even if the attention is un-reciprocated and baffling. In the boondocks there is nothing to do but wait for calls from “Anonymous”, or “Unknown Caller”, or “Invalid Number”, or “Customer Service”, or “ID Blocked”, or even sometimes “1″. (I really hope the call from “1″ is not the–you know–the big One) . However, to be honest, I wish I did not get any of these calls: including the call from New Jersey.
After being on the national DO NOT CALL list since its inception, I once asked my phone company, who I thought knew everything Phone, whether there was anyway I could stop these calls from interrupting my otherwise not-too-busy, non-essential, boon-docks day. Sure, they said. I gave them a list of ten numbers for the aforementioned callers. Of course I am still getting calls from these very, very persistent callers.
Nationwide, there are reportedly 2.4 billion suspicious–as in robo– calls a month. If a phone company collects money from calls made AND calls answered, what is the incentive for the phone company to block any call? Good question but not the right question.
In order for a phone company to be a phone company, a phone company is required by the 1934 Telecommunications Act to make sure callers and callees are connected. In essence, phone companies are not allowed to block callers from callees unless the callee specifies specific callers to block. How is the phone company to know that “1″ really is not the big One. They could get sued for interference with supernatural communications. So. . .
The government (that would be your Federal Communication Commission–FCC) has apparently decided to let loose the telephone wizardry of the phone companies. Sometime this year phone companies will be allowed to do what they presumably are able to do best–block robo callers and the like. As the dismal failure of the DO NOT CALL LIST indicates, civilization is in the tank. A failure by the phone companies will simply be the flush. I do so hope the phone companies are able to save civilization. Really.