Robocalls increasing, more consumers complaining

 

Robocalls are those annoying prerecorded message that used to just be reserved for your landline. Then a lot of us got cell phones (to not have to answer the nuisance calls) and that worked for awhile. But now more and more people only use cell phones and somehow, these companies always seem to get your cell number somehow. “It’s a pain in the neck,” Frank Lamberti told me. “They call at all hours, even at night.”

The company YouMail (which offers voicemail services ) says in a new monthly report, that 2.6 billion robocalls were received nationwide in July, an increase of almost 3 percent over June. (In the 912 area code, up to 13 million calls were received which averages out to about 15 calls per phone.)

“I don’t know how to get rid of them. I guess it seems like the more you say no – almost more calls keeping coming in,” H.R. Scott told us.

Tom Stephens from the Better Business Bureau says he simply doesn’t answer his cell phone unless he recognizes the number. He advises other to do the same. “If it is a legitimate call, someone will leave a message and then you can decide if you want to call them back,” says Stephens.

Stephens also told us while the calls are irritating, unless a crime has been broken or you’ve been scammed, it’s hard for the BBB to take a complaint. “There’s no shopping involved, no money changed hands, no service issue or anything like that. It’s just an annoyance so we tell them to call the FTC.”

He says the Federal Trade Commission may be able to investigate. You can contact them online or by phone at 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Others suggest downloading an app or software on your phone that helps stop these unwanted calls. But Lamberti and Scott both seemed to resent that a little. “Get the government to crack down on them, put them out of business,” said Lamberti.

And Scott said he shouldn’t have to take his time to download an app and he’s not sure that would screen out most calls anyway. “It’s not always up to me to just ignore someone. At a certain point if people coming to your front door and beating on your front door every day it starts to ruin your life and it’s their fault not yours.”

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