Gall beyond mitigation

Robocallers to one’s landline are bad enough. But to a cell phone?

Since ’91, it’s been illegal for telemarketers to use autodialers and other robot-like devices to call your cellphone. Last week, a bill was introduced to change that. While in the past email hoaxes have gone around saying that your cellphone could be opened up to telemarketers, HR 3035 seeks to let businesses contact your cellphone “for informational purposes.”

Congress is almost a cinch to pass this, since the miserable bastards would get one more channel to pester the electorate.

The jerkwads responsible for introducing this thing are Edolphus Towns (D-NY) and Lee Terry (R-NE). I’d say hanging is too good for ’em, but for Congressmen, that’s hardly a distinction these days.


  1. Nicole »

    29 September 2011 · 7:29 pm

    If it would make a damn bit of difference I’d call/write/email my Congresscritters. But I’m pretty sure it won’t because of the vested interest they have in passing it. /sigh

  2. McGehee »

    29 September 2011 · 10:09 pm

    I seem to recall my first phone — a Motorola so primitive its display was monochrome — had the option of only putting through calls from people in my contact list.

    More “advanced” phones I’ve had since have lacked this capability, but handset makers will almost certainly restore it if this bill becomes law.

    I can probably jailbreak my current phone and install an unauthorized app that would filter unwanted numbers — but it would cost me.

    I’d pay it.

  3. McGehee »

    29 September 2011 · 10:10 pm

    …first cell phone…

    Y’all probably figured that out.

  4. fillyjonk »

    30 September 2011 · 8:51 am

    This is why I never turn my cell phone on. Unless my car breaks down and I need to call a mechanic. Or unless I decide I’m going to order carryout as I’m getting ready to head home….

  5. Bill K »

    30 September 2011 · 10:15 am

    My wife had this problem several years ago. She began getting calls on her cell phone, recorded messages from some company trying to collect a bill. Protests that they had the wrong person fell on deaf ears. Soon the calls were relentless, N calls/voicemails a day, each one costing us time, money and aggravation. Eventually she’d had enough and requested to have her number changed.

    But only to trade one problem for another! Now she was deluged by even more calls from anxious customers of Critter Control. We tracked them down on the web and emailed them, and boy were they glad to hear from us. A local employee of theirs had had his business phone registered in his own name, and when he quit, his number was marked available and in due course assigned to us. They wanted their number back as badly as we wanted to get rid of it, especially since it was painted in large numbers on the side of all their trucks.

    Should be easy, right? Nope. In the first place, one number change is free, more than one and you get charged a fee. Second, the number would normally just go back into the unused category and randomly reassigned, leaving Critter Control up a tree.

    Finally we worked out a special deal with management where all parties concerned had to show up simultaneously in person at the local phone store and fill out sworn affidavits that they really truly wanted the number transfer to happen.

  6. hatless in hattiesburg »

    5 October 2011 · 2:58 am

    a nitpick besides the obvious noxiousness of the whole concept – re “contact your cellphone for informational purposes”:

    what could possibly be transmitted by phone *except* information (vapid and irrelevant as it might be)?

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