daily californian logo


Welcome to the (March) Madness! Read more here

How to deal with the spam calls you never want but always get

article image



We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.

FEBRUARY 16, 2018

Every once in a while, your phone rings for yet another call from an unknown number, and you pick it up knowing that this time, it’ll definitely be important. Yet obviously, it’s just going to be a sales pitch, or a survey, or something about the load of money you somehow earned, or a call from “the police” or one of those stupid recorded voices. While your frustration with the caller is only temporary, here are some solutions we at the Clog have to make these calls (hopefully) go away forever.

Yell at the phone

As the overly cheerful “Hi!” comes over the phone, you snap back like the manic, sleep-deprived monster you are. It’s like dealing with the typical customer service, except this time you don’t actually want anything from them — there’s no guilt associated with slamming on people who are “just doing their job” when that job is inherently malicious. Of course, in person, you look like a raving lunatic who’s a bit too close to snapping, but it’s a good way to blow off steam.

Just don’t pick up

Say you get tired of ranting and raving at strangers and the occasional recordings. Chances are, anyone actually relevant to your life already has your number, and if you don’t recognize the number, it’s not worth picking up. But with interview season coming around, and the occasional random club member who just needs to reach you RIGHT NOW, there’s always that off chance that this time, it’ll actually be an important call. Damn it.

Don’t answer

You still pick up, though — you just don’t immediately say anything. Just let the silence sit, and you can both awkwardly listen to each other breathe. It’ll become a game of chicken: Who’s going to break first and offer the tentative, “Umm … hello?” This will also come with the unspoken sentiment that you quite possibly have a problem, though at least you’ll have won. And if it’s an official call? First impressions count; establish your dominance.

Respond in another language

If this isn’t an option for you, a very confident string of gibberish will also help you get by. When it isn’t a recorded voice, sometimes the person on the other line gets scared and hangs up, which is quite possibly one of the most satisfying experiences in life. Just make sure all of your friends know you’re doing this, so you don’t scare off the wrong people. Or the professional calls, so they don’t reject your application out of hand. Or — ugh.

Block the number afterward

Serious suggestion this time: After learning that a number is the a source of spam, just block it. Over time, the spam calls you receive should go down. They can only have so many numbers to call from. Right? Right??

May luck be on your side, Bears, as you navigate the sea of unwanted calls from your enemies rabid telemarketers.

Contact Jonathan Lai at [email protected].

FEBRUARY 16, 2018