“This is the second call to remind you the factory warranty on your car is about to run out,” the recorded woman’s voice tells me with a good bit of urgency, for the third time this week. But before she can go on and tell me how I can solve this egregious but erroneous problem, I flip the phone shut, cutting her off.
Have you gotten the call?
It usually happens about mid-afternoon sending me scrambling for my cell phone, which is buried at the bottom of my handbag, just out of reach on the passenger seat of my car, while I’m driving.
By the second chorus of “Rock Lobster” I have retrieved the phone from the depths of my purse and before I even flip it open I know who’s calling; the unfamiliar 815 area code gives it away.
“This is the second call to remind you the factory warranty on your car is about to run out,” the recorded woman’s voice tells me with a good bit of urgency, for the third time this week.
But before she can go on and tell me how I can solve this egregious but erroneous problem, I flip the phone shut, cutting her off.
My husband has gotten a bit further in the conversation when they’ve called his cell phone, but not far enough to “Press 1 to hear more information from a representative.”
His brother-in-law has gone all the way, but when he pressed 1, he was the one cut off after he let the good factory warranty folks know that the warranty on his 20-year-old car ran out a decade or two ago.
There can be little question that this is yet another phone scam — but give this one a higher grade on the annoyance scale for persistence and national reach by “reaching out and touching someone” over and over again.
“How do they get the cell phone numbers?” my mother-in-law asked after fielding a call just moments after I had hung up during our shopping trip in South Carolina last week. Indeed, the factory warranty calling plague was spreading from phone-to-phone and over state lines.Good question, I thought as my BlackBerry began to ring.
“This is a work number,” I said with consternation while pressing the “ignore this call” option.
Of course, I have since realized that flipping the phone shut and hanging up on these persistent callers is in no way discouraging them from continuing to call me, most of my family members, and hundreds of thousands of others at about mid-afternoon, several times a week.
So I’ve decided to listen to the entire message the next time they call and find out all of my options in the dear hope that one of them includes being placed on a “do-not-call list.”
It’s either that, or dial the 815-418-2034 number and let them know that the factory warranty on their car is about to run out.
Alice Coyle is the managing editor of Gatehouse Media New England’s Raynham, Mass. office. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.