Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Tech Paul Has A Dream

(With apologies to MLK Jr.)

Folks, today I’m going to share with a secret, recurring fantasy I have. I am aware that this is a risky thing to do, and some of you may think me nuts when I’m done.. But, here goes:

In my fantasy, I’m endowed with a magic arm. With my ‘magic’ arm, I can reach through the phone. I just shove my hand in the receiver end of my phone, and it will pop out the speaker of my caller’s phone. Like in a cartoon. I have this fantasy every time a telemarketer calls.

I will leave it up to your imagination what my hand does to the telemarketer (or recorder that plays the “pre-recorded announcement”) at the other end of the line.. but I will give you a hint: they never use the phone to ‘pitch’ another living soul ever again.

Since I do not have a ‘magic arm’ nor cartoon-like superpowers, I registered my phone number(s) on the National Do Not Call List.dnclogo

By doing so, supposedly, telemarketers would be barred from calling me, and if they broke the Law, I could simply report them and they would be prosecuted (probably just fined. I know you were thinking Public Flogging, or worse). More information on what the service, and law, does and does not do, is available here.

Wonderfully, the suppers interrupted by real live salespeople has been greatly reduced. Regrettably, I had to use the word “supposedly”, because I still rather regularly get spam (recorded) phone calls – at least one a week from “Daisy” at some carpet cleaners, some “urgent” call about my credit card (in both a male and female voice), and one that tells me my car’s warranty is about to expire.

Fortunately, I have only experienced “annoyance” calls, and no really dangerous con artists are going after me or my getting-up-in-years parents (I registered their numbers as well).
I cannot – with certainty- say if this is directly attributable to the No Call List. But, I can’t say it isn’t, either.

Tip of the day: If you have not already done so, click the link (above) and get your (and maybe, your loved one’s) phone number(s) on the list. It is an easy two-step process.
1) Enter up to three numbers on the form, and provide a valid e-mail address. (If you have more than 3, revisit the page.)
2) Copy the URL link in the e-mail you receive from, and paste it into your browser’s address bar.


That completes the registration process. You will have to wait for the legalities to cover you, so don’t delay. These kinds of things only work for us if we use them!

[update: A reader has provided more information: “I thought I’d mention that recorded phone calls are illegal as of December 1st 2008. Not that those “spam (recorded) phone calls” are made legally but now there is one more reason to report the calls to Here is the news: (not sure if the link will work it’s “FTC: Robocalls Must Now Include Terminator Option”)” — from Ex Telemarketer.]

Today’s free links: a quite excellent resource page, Do-it-yourself: Stop junk mail, email and phone calls – A free guide to reducing unwanted or intrusive advertising

Tom Mabe is a comedian who has a unique way of dealing w/telemarketers… as heard here.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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April 24, 2009 - Posted by | advice, spam and junk mail | , , , , , , , ,


  1. TechPaul,

    As you, there was an immediate reduction in the telemarketing calls… The only one I get now is with my credit card provider (constantly) calling to offer me protection; at which the cost is tacked onto my credit card. I always ask them, about mid-stream, “Are you trying to tell me I am not protected now? Maybe I need to go to another provider, etc…”. Drives me bonkers… I would love to be that cartoon character that you have portrayed…



    Comment by whatsonmypc | April 24, 2009 | Reply

    • Rick,
      No, it’s not perfect, but the NDNC List is pretty much the only defense we have from these scum.

      Sadly, no ADA is going to “make” a reputation for themselves by prosecuting these guys.. so…


      Comment by techpaul | April 24, 2009 | Reply

  2. Techpaul,

    When people file a complaint with the ftc, unfortunately the complaint never becomes public. Also, there’s not a searchable directory to find other complaints for the same telemarketer or phone number. There’s a website called where users can post visible complaints against unwanted calls…and also find out what others experienced.



    Comment by lookup | April 25, 2009 | Reply

    • Kerry,
      Thank you for informing us about this website. It’s most powerful feature is free reverse-lookup (which can help track down the cretins, and thus we can block them), but it also contains many helpful How To’s and links.

      I can highly recommend a visit.


      Comment by techpaul | April 25, 2009 | Reply

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