Until recently the most regular rogue caller to our landline was identified on caller ID as “Spingstead Will”: 212-222-4992 or 406-222-4992. I reported Spingstead regularly on the National Do Not Call Registry’s complaint page, but I don’t know whether it had any effect or not — based on years of experience, it certainly has no effect at all in the short or medium term. (Complaints about this situation to our elected officials have gone nowhere; only our State Assemblyperson even wrote back about it.) But now dear Spingstead has stopped calling and instead we’re being favored by “Consumer Svcs” or “Cardholder Services”, 321-209-6393. Most rogue telemarketers to our home claim to be trying to interest us in signing up for credit-protection or emergency alert systems for the infirm, so perhaps the companies assume that owning a landline is a sign of being an easy mark. Sometimes I wonder if these calls are actually an effort to find out if anyone is at home so that thieves can visit. There are also periodic calls that have no sound at all on the other end, coming from just a few numbers that call again and again, and I can only wonder what is really going on when that happens.
Every few months we hear from a South Asian caller, on a very poor-quality line, who tells us it’s time to renew our Windows support contract. We have never had a Windows computer or support contract, but these fellows are unwilling to remove us from their list — patient explanations have no effect and neither does personal abuse (I have tried both).
At election time we typically get at least ten calls a day from putative human beings claiming to be conducting surveys and from robocallers urging us to vote for some knucklehead or other. The National Do Not Call Registry does not even attempt to protect us from these callers — it’s considered to be a matter of political free speech, I’m told.