“Why do I get so many solicitation calls on my home phone - 20 calls in the last few days - and I’ve registered for the National Registry,” says Susan Marshall, Boston, Massachusetts age 82. “I get a few calls included in my plan each month, but the telemarketers use them all up! My landline is registered with the Do Not Call List, and my daughters cell phone doesn't get alot of sales calls.” What gives? –
Remember when we all used to run to the phone when it rang? First to get there stretched that extra-long extension chord winding through the house, around corners, and down hallways. Just didn't feel right unless it was wrapped around your neck as you talked. I used to pull it down the hall and close the door to the den for some teenage privacy. Come to think of it, my teenage daughters never complain about solicitors. And they’re in constant communication with anyone, anyplace, anytime with no interruptions, and don’t give it a second thought. But that's another story.
It’s the elderly that are suffering with landlines.
They can’t understand what happened to the art of phone etiquette, and just brightening someone's day. They can’t quite come to terms with the nightmare that picking up their beloved talking machine has become. And they’re unwilling to let it go. They can't quite believe their old rubber-necking friend has lost its mind. A victim of technology, call re-routes and no one being able to track down the culprit. The bad manners youngster you'd like to take over your knee.
“Can you get rid of the landline?” I ask.
“No, we use it regularly” she replies.
“Yes, but are you using it for AT&T Uverse where you absolutely need it?”
“No, just voice.”
Doesn't anyone care about my landline?
That’s a tough one for elderly consumers to get. “Why should I have to change my phone for those guys,” Susan continues. “I've always had this phone, long before all these callers." The problem is, nobody is prosecuting landlines anymore. So yes, nobody cares about your landline auto-assisted calls. Over and over. Day after day.
It’s easy to convert your landline to cell – and no more solicitations.
Just go to Walmart, buy a smartphone for $30, check the box that says "convert landline to wireless portability" and you're done. You get to keep your old number, but it's a cell now. Subject to class actions lawsuits and millions of dollars in potential fines to telemarketers. Tends to keep them at bay.
But what if my area has no cell service?
You may be out of luck. Solicitors will continue to call your landline routing all over the world and escaping detection. In Susan’s case, she gets cable. So she can convert to a cell, or just get a different phone number through Comcast.
How common is "Landline Separation-Syndrome."
Apparently pretty standard. I get calls everyday from irate consumers wondering why their landline phone is blowing up – no matter what they do. Robocalls, solicitations, auto-assisted calls with the dreaded “dead air” space before the call. It drives them crazy.
So before you call me again, think about changing your landline number to wireless.
Because it’s not going to get any better. The solicitations aren’t going to stop unless you do.