By David Glenn Cox
The first words spoken on the telephone in 1875 were, “Watson, come here, I need you.” The last words will probably be, “I’m calling about your auto warranty.” The newest phones have amazing computing power and professional stereo optic cameras and 5G capability. The act of making a telephone call is almost a minor function now. It’s a handheld computer, which can also make telephone calls.
Its like calling your car, the radio. Because you can listen to music while inside it. I recently received a call, warning me that my electricity at my apartment in Denver, was about to be shut off in fifteen minutes. If I didn’t make a payment immediately. Fortunately for me, I didn’t live in Denver anymore. I missed their first call, but they left a message. Then they called back an hour later, to give me another fifteen minutes, but I was prepared for them.
“Wow, what an amazing coincidence! You, calling from the power company and me, packing up a moving van. I was just about to call you and ask that my power be turned off. But in all the confusion of moving, I couldn’t find your number. So, thank you again for calling me like this, could you please turn off the power sometime this week?”
If you don’t make a payment sir, we will shut off your power in fifteen minutes.
“Splendid! Well thank you again, but you don’t have to go all that trouble. Anytime tomorrow would be fine, you don’t have to make a special trip or anything. It’s after hours here, what time is it where you’re from?” Click.
Let’s see, Social Security, extended car warranties, student loans, car insurance and one-time special credit card offers not available to the general public. Yesterday, I got a call from an unfamiliar number. My phone didn’t warn me to say it was suspicious or scam call. But as I picked up, they hung up, so I called them back.
Of course, the next available operator or associate would be happy to assist me. A gentleman picked up and asked me what I wanted. I explained, “You called me sweetheart,” Ah yes sir, there is a problem with your XXXXXXXXX credit card. I actually do have that card squirreled away for emergencies. But having not used the card in almost two years. I was almost certain the bill had been paid and was current. I answered, “I don’t think there is.”
Without asking my name or for any information, he answered. Then please excuse the call, I’ll take your name off our calling list. “But you didn’t ask my name?” Click. Two hours later, another call same scam. Different person and different bank credit card. When I’m in a good mood, I’ll answer, “You’re caller number six for the Metallica tickets! If you can tell me…what kind of guitar does Neil Peart play!”
If you say nothing for ten seconds, their machine will have assumed that your machine has picked up. It will then hang up as auto warranties and threatening calls about nonexistent student loans are best delivered person to person. A programmed computer makes calls to other computers in a complete non-human interaction. It uses it’s programming to determine the likely success or failure of the call strictly based on what technology responds to it. By whether it gets another machine… or you. Can the Terminator be far off, “Vee know vhere you are, make a payment now, if you vant to live!”
I can’t think of any other device or service, where I make monthly payments to be aggravated, annoyed or potentially scammed and cheated out of thousands of dollars. Like a cable TV system for crime, but if my phone knows it’s a possibly a scam call. Then why oh why, does it put the scam call through? Does it think that maybe I’m in the mood for some scam action today? Why is my technology so dumb? Their technology knows when my machine picks up. My technology assumes they are criminals, but thinks that just maybe, I might wish to speak with them.
It means the market for legitimate business calls is equally dead. You can’t use the telephone for sales calls, because the calls go straight to the answering machine. The customers won’t call you back, they already have enough extended car warranties, they’ve been called thirty times this month by scammers and it’s only the 12th and they assume, that you’re just number thirty-one.
My boss asked me to go online and look at this particular business program to see it might be useful. To gain access to the program, I had to list the company info. Immediately, I was set upon like a cat on a bird. “What did I think of the program? Did I have my purchase order ready yet?”
I explained, that I was asked to evaluate the program and report to my superiors. I had no purchasing power. After three or four more calls I explained, “Look, I get it, you’re required to make fifty or hundred calls a day. But I can’t purchase and if you call me again, I’ll tell your boss that your calling dead leads to pad your numbers. Someone else called the next day. I blocked them from my cell phone, but they still called the office looking for me.
I’ll bet you’ve never heard this one before, “Due to higher-than-expected call volumes longer wait times should be expected.” Oh gee, higher call volumes, yet again! It seems like whenever I call on the phone, they have these higher-than-expected call volumes…is it me? Am I the cause of the higher call volumes? Or maybe they put up a website and got rid of most of their operators.
Check out our website for all your unimportant, trivial needs and if it’s something really important, stay on the line. “Why would I call the bank, and sit on hold for twenty minutes, just to say hi?” Go ahead and tell me about your website again, I might not have heard you, the first five or six times.
They’ve added a new wrinkle if you like. Now, if you get disgusted by the interminable wait times. They will offer to call you back, when it’s your turn. That way, you don’t have to sit like a dullard with the phone stuck in you ear, listening to that same low fidelity awful music over and over. Now, thanks to the miracles of modern science, you can sit like a dullard on the couch, anxiously waiting for someone to call you back. See how much better that is? Can you pull forward in line? We didn’t know a bunch of people would show up at lunchtime, looking for hamburgers.
When I was living in Ohio, I lived around the Amish and admired their simplicity. A clerk might ask them for their phone number, and they would simply shrug their shoulders or for their e-mail address and they’d just shake their heads. No worries about bank cards, student loans or the best of all, no worries about extended auto warranties. The Amish, one hundred and fifty years ahead of the curve.
The telephone, 1875 – 2021 The box where all the criminals live. Your personal connection to scammers worldwide!