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Date: Thu, 9 Jul 92 12:16 PDT
From: (John Higdon)
Organization: Green Hills and Cows
Subject: Teleslime (A Tip)

If you happen to know who the telemarketer is and it is within your
LATA, here is a method you might try for retaliation.

Most readers of this forum are well aware of my year-long bout with
the {San Jose Mercury News}. The many lines of my home would be
assaulted regularly by callers wanting to know if I was "receiving the
paper OK".  This, of course, was the foot-in-the-door line that would
determine if you were a subscriber (they did not have subscription
lists in front of them). After getting these calls on private lines
several times a week I started taking action.

I talked to the head of telemarketing at the SJMN. I talked to the
president of the telemarketing contractor. I was assured that the
calls would stop after they entered all of my numbers in their reject
database. The calls continued. The SJMN blamed the contractor. The
contractor blamed the dialer software company. The calls continued.

I had my attorney write threatening letters to both the SJMN and the
telemarketing company. The calls continued. Finally, in desperation, I
called Pacific Bell and reported the problem as "harassment calls". I
explained that I had repeatedly asked the SJMN to stop calling me and
that my requests were ignored. The usage of my telephone was, in my
opinion, being compromised by such continued disturbance.

Bingo! The next day, the telemarketing president called and sounded
very crestfallen. "I guess you called the telephone company?" "Uh-huh"
"I really wish you hadn't done that." "And just what would you have
done in my position?" The long and the short of it is that I have not
had one single call since that time. Through other sources I learned
that the telemarketer immediately removed the entire prefix from the
machine to ENSURE that I would not be called again. (Why could that
not have been done in the first place???)

I can only guess, but it appears that the telco wields a very big
stick (like maybe disconnection of service?) when it comes to
telemarketers.  If I find any of these types offensive and find that
they are local, you can bet another call will be made to Pac*Bell.
This may work in other areas as well.


In the past month, I have changed every single phone number in the
house to another prefix. So far, no calls from the SJMN. We shall see.

        John Higdon         |   P. O. Box 7648   |   +1 408 264 4115      | San Jose, CA 95150 |       M o o !

Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 19:42:10 -0800
From: John Higdon <>
Newsgroups: comp.dcom.telecom
Subject: San Jose Mercury Strikes Again

I have many residential telephone lines, so I probably have a larger
than normal exposure to that company's annoying telemarketing calls.
But over the years, I have repeatedly and painstakingly attempted to
make sure that my numbers appeared on that firm's "do not call" list.
It appears that this has been wasted effort. First, to bring you up to
speed, here is a letter sent last week to the SJMN's subscription
marketing department:


To Whom It May Concern:

I have seventeen phone lines in my home. Several years ago, your
telemarketing contractor nearly drove me out of my mind with
subscription calls week after week after week. After months of
complaining, I was able to get the calls stopped.

About a year after that, the calls began again. Once again it took
considerable effort, but finally the calls ceased once more.

Last night, they began again. "Hi! I'm ______ from the San Jose Mercury
News [blah blah blah]." And this happens on line after line after line.

But I am going to tell you something. If it continues, you, your
telemarketing contractor, and everyone associated with the project are
going to wish you had never heard of subscription solicitation calls.
What I am going to do, since I have previously repeatedly asked you
and your contractors to stop bothering me on my home phones, is to
record each and every occurance on each and every line. I have Station
Message Detail Recording enabled on every line in the house. All I
have to do is dial a code to flag that call as being from "the San
Jose Mercury News" and then after a period of time I can have the
details collated automatically.

At that time, I will present my data to Pacific Bell, my attorney, and
to other agencies as may be appropriate. I will extract every ounce of
compensation, pursue every redress, and seek all possible relief for
your refusal to comply with my wishes to not be called by you or your
contractors at my residence. I intend to benefit handsomely from your
lack of compliance with laws that entitle me to remain undisturbed
after duly notifying you of my demands in this matter.

Consider this my final demand that you refrain from bothering me on
any of my seventeen residential telephone lines, and also consider it
fair warning for the consequences that will follow if you choose to
ignore the demand.

Thank you for your time.


In response to that letter, I received a call on Monday, March 4 from
a Mr. Tim Fullerton who assured me that my numbers were indeed on file
(he even read them back to me) and that he would investigate into the

But this evening (March 7), I received two more solicitation calls.
The first SJMN caller had a not-so-polite expletive as a response to
my polite assertion that I did not want to be called by them. The
second caller informed me that the calls "come from Pennsylvania and
it is impossible to guarantee that you won't be called just because
your number is on 'some list'".

Now that we have set the stage, here is what I would like to do:

There are new, very tough, Federal laws about being called by any
person or business after you have duly notified them of your wish not
to be called. I would like to hear from anyone who has been called by
the San Jose Mercury News AFTER they have asked to be put on the "do
not call list". I want to document as many hits as I can, not only
from myself, but from others in the same situation. I have complete
records of all incoming calls so my case is in the bag--but the more
the merrier.

These people have had years to get the act together. They have blown
it.  It is time to set them straight. I am going to make it a point to
do just that.

John Higdon  |    P.O. Box 7648   | +1 408 264 4115  |      FAX: | San Jose, CA 95150 | +1 500 FOR-A-MOO |+1 408 264 4407
             |          |

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: You need to get in touch with Robert
Bulmash of the 'Private Citizen' organization here in the Chicago 
area. He has been quite successful in handling cases like this and
often times in getting money for the victims. Since he is a reader
of the Digest he may well get in touch with you if you do not try
to contact him first.   PAT]

From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Calls at home
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 14:18:02 EDT
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel wrote:
> I hate for people to call me at home.
> I received a call tonight offering me a free stay at a RV park in
> Temecula, CA. But I MUST bring my wife. Selling?? Hell yes.
> I recall someone posting here earlier about his new park there.
> Question: How did whoever called me know I had an RV?  How many other
> people who have posted to this newsgroup have received calls?
> Pisses me off!

yeah, I know.  I've not been called but then again, I wage war
against such calls.  I've tried everything from a Freon boat horn by
the phone on down.  I've finally developed a technique that works
almost 100% here in this area.

The trick is to get a second phone number on Distinctive Ring. 
Here, that costs $5 a month or free with BS's Complete Choice flat
rate plan which I have to get a large discount on internet service. 
Distinctive ring puts up to 4 additional phone numbers on your line,
each of which rings with a separate ring.  The first DR number rings
with a "ring ring       ring ring       ring ring".  The next step
is to get a distinctive ring router.  Office Max/Office depot, etc
sells one for about $100.  This box sends the call out one of
several ports depending on the ring pattern.  

Here's the trick.  It works because, at least with BellSouth, they
don't publish distinctive ring numbers, even in the databases they
sell.  Put NOTHING on the main phone line.  Let it ring to air.  Put
your phones on the output of the decoder box so that your phones
only ring when the distinctive ring number is dialed.  I installed
the box on my incoming line so that all phones in the house are
served by it.

Any time you have to give a phone number to someone, say on a check
or for a loan application, give the main number which will never
have a phone connected.  Only give the distinctive ring number - the
one that actually rings your phone - to your friends and anyone else
who really does need to talk to you.  If you're worried about, say,
a long-lost friend coming to town, trying to call you at your
published number and missing him, then put an answering machine on
the main number output of the decoder box.  Teleslime will almost
never listen to the message and so the answering machine will not
have to record anything.

Another technique that is somewhat less successful but doesn't cost
anything is to give out your fax/internet number if you have a
dedicated line for either.  I do that when I think that there might
be some remote chance that the receiving party, say the mortgage
company, might have a legit reason to get in touch with me.  If they
do, they can fax me a message to call 'em :-)  This trick doesn't
keep you out of the databases that the phone company sells but it
will keep your number out of the DBs that companies sell to list

One other thing you might consider doing is when you fill out a form
that has a high risk of subsequent telephone spaming, put the phone
number of your local state congressman in the blank.  Then let him
know that you're doing it.  I did that for many years here.  That,
coupled with my occasional lobbying probably had something to do
with Tennessee passing one of the tougher mandatory opt-out
anti-telephone-spamming bills last year.  He was a co-sponsor.  Hey,
if they're going to allow spammers to trade in our personal
information, then let them experience the results first hand.


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