Nobody likes telemarketers, and they’ve been known to employ a plethora of tactics, whether they use robots to save their own cost, or reconnect you to someone else once you answer, calling from private numbers, calling from your own area code, they have all sorts of tricks.
The latest trick they’re using is called “ringless voicemail.” It’s a technique that lets them leave you a voicemail without your phone actually ringing at all. Haven’t we all seen a voicemail icon (those of us who actually still care about voicemail, as that seems to be going away too), and wondered “but my phone never rang. I better check this.” Yep, they’re trying to capitalize on the a “missed call” feature, and our fear of missing something that may have been an important – or emergency – call.
The FCC is actually considering banning the technique, but telemarketers are fighting back. They’re arguing that voicemail messages don’t count as actual “calls,” and should be “exempt from the protection laws that cover phone marketing.” Those against the technique say it would just clog up peoples’ voicemail inboxes, and the fact that the call can’t be answered would prevent the call receiver from opting out on the “do not call” list. Some people even argue that a clogged inbox may prevent actual, important, emergency messages from coming through.