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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Private Name, Private Number

I have a friend with whom I used to be close about ten years ago. Closer that we are now, anyway. She has an unlisted phone number. Those times when she used to call me the Caller ID would indicate "PRIVATE NAME, PRIVATE NUMBER."

We've kept in touch off and on through the years. Mostly this consists of me leaving a message on her phone, and her returning a message to my phone some time later. We've actually talked directly a time or two recently, mostly in the context of my job situation. (From her recent messages, I gather that her job situation isn't all that different.)

The phone at my house is very nice. It's one of those where you have a single base station and up to eight cordless receivers. Very convenient for when you have a house with a limited number of modular outlets and you don't feel like rewiring everything.

The big drawback of this phone is a fluke in the caller ID system: it only maintains the record of the most recent call from any given number. So a crazy person could be calling your house morning and night every 7.42 minutes, and you wouldn't know about it if you weren't there to get the calls - all the caller ID would indicate would be the most recent call.

My most recent call from my friend was shortly after I got my job at the plant. At least, that's the last time she left a message. There have been a few other "PRIVATE NAME, PRIVATE NUMBER" calls since then - which I noticed one at a time, of course - but no additional messages. Assuming these were from her, I've returned calls and left messages on her phone, trying to find out what the calls were about. No luck yet.

The other day I was at the house and the phone rang. I checked the caller ID and saw the message "PRIVATE NAME, PRIVATE NUMBER". I quickly picked up, hoping it was her.

There was a pause at the other end. Then a click, a whirr, and a voice spoke out: "This is an important message for Senior Citizens. If you are age 65 or older, you may be eligible for insurance at reduced rates..."

I hung up.

I signed up for both the state and national "DO NOT CALL" lists over a month ago. While I am not supposed to see the registry take full effect until sometime in November, I have noticed a dropoff in solicitor calls, both in terms of messages left and calls indicated on the caller ID. I know there are certain exceptions, but I don't think this call fell under these categories. So can phone solicitors do an end-run around the DO NOT CALL list by making their calls from unlisted numbers?

I don't know. I hope not. Because if they do, I might just assume that every one of those calls is a call from my friend, my friend with a Private Name, Private Number.

6 comments:

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

From what I understand about the law only two types of calls are exempt; politcal (so yes you will still have to put up with their crap in '08) and calls from charities.

Glenn said...

Hi,

I am a aware of a nice site that has the ability to do a Cell Phone Trace and other reverse lookup features.

Give it a shot. Just my 2 cents worth.

http://www.trace-a-phone-number.com

Best,
Glenn

Glenn said...

Hi,

I am a aware of a nice site that has the ability to do a Cell Phone Trace and other reverse lookup features.

Give it a shot. Just my 2 cents worth.

http://www.trace-a-phone-number.com

Best,
Glenn

Muscle Builder said...

Why not try a Reverse Cell Phone Lookup?

Megan said...

I had a similar problem where a particular telemarketer kept calling me long after I signed up for the Do Not Call list, and even after I told them several times to leave me alone.

Funny thing is they kept giving me different names when I asked who they worked for. Their number did show up on my caller id so I just ran a reverse search at http://reverse-telephone-lookup.com and reported them. Hope they pay out of their a$$es in fines!

nogard0 said...

another possible exemption loophole is a grace period of a month for NEW (calling?) telephone numbers ... i gather if they change their number every month they do not have to abide by the DNC listing?

... i would prefer ALL previously uncontacted callers to pay attention to DNC list ... if i do not want to be called that means by anyone i do not know - NO EXCEPTIONS (this past pre-election campaign we got tons of republican calls knocking down the other party rather than telling us republican strengths (dont they have any??? so they have to resort to pulling your attention away from themselves?)) if they have to resort to slinging mud (most of it false, then they do not deserve my vote at all) !!!)

if i want to deal with anyone i'll personally give them my number by snail mail them or email.