As election day nears, you've probably figured out that placing your phone number(s) on the FTC's National "Do Not Call" Registry hasn't spared you of the scourge of political robo-calls (those annoying pre-recorded calls from political campaigns), the new bane of election season. No phone -- work, home, cell-- is safe from the relentless calls and because you can't ask a robo-caller to remove your name from the list, there seems to be no recourse. (I can just hear the evil laughter bellowing from campaign offices nationwide.)
Like many others, these calls are a huge annoyance for me, especially since I usually get my three hours of sleep between 4:30 AM and 7:30 AM and try to top it off with a short nap in the late morning, just when the calls begin. Mom's house has one of those old telephone ringer boxes mounted right outside my room, below one of those quaint, old-time hallway phone shelves. You can't turn the thing off. It takes a half-hour for the jolting adrenaline surge to subside once a call wakes me up. But these calls are no less irksome when I'm wide awake.
Political solicitation calls are marketing calls, plain and simple, and I don't want them any more than I want Dish Network's calls. Of course, why would lawmakers do anything but make sure that campaign calls are excluded from the regulations? Maybe if they understood that these calls do not necessarily endear people to them, they'd rethink the strategy. In a race where the average voter doesn't really know much about the candidates and doesn't really care, the annoying calls may only highlight who not to vote for.
Oregan State Senator Rick Metsger gets it:
Maybe I'd be okay with campaign calls if the pols were willing to play by the same rules and publish their home and cell phone numbers so we all could call them when we wanted something, too.
This is the only hint at a solution I could find: The National Political Do Not Contact Registry
I haven't really looked into this thing, but here's a news clip:
By the way, if you seem to be getting multiple calls from one candidate, you may want to listen a little more closely, because the Dirty Tricksters have found a way to exploit the annoyance factor by using it against an opponent, as Keith Olbermann pointed out last year:
Well, at least we'll have a temporary reprieve soon.