Being the old fashioned personal assistant I am, I still have a landline. Occasionally, I have a desire to throw it out the window, as it seems that most of the calls coming in on it are robocalls.
Good News: Weeks ago, as the AP reported here, the FCC put measures in place for the phone companies to develop methods to block those awful robocalls.
Bad News: It doesn't appear that a fix is at the top of the phone companies' To Do List, since they aren't duty bound -- or they don't have the necessary technology.
More Good News: You can take advantage of a free service, Nomorobo, that can successfully block robocalls -- including political calls.
More Bad News: It only works if you have a phone line that is a VoIP (such as a FiOS Digital Voice or VoIP from At&T).
In the meantime, here are some robocall reminders from the FCC site:
Telemarketers are not permitted to use robocalls for sale pitches, unless you have given them written permission. Unfortunately, this is often buried in your agreement or contract. You can contact the company and request to be removed from their call list, and if you continue to receive the calls you should track them and complain to the FTC and the BBB.
And speaking of PayPal users: PayPal recently made news about this very topic: If you use PayPal for online purchases, you likely updated your service contract after they sent it to you following their split with eBay. And when you did, you literally had no choice but to give the permission to robocall you. However, after July 1st, you can apparently contact them here to "opt out."
Telemarketers can call your landline if they are a legitimate business you are connected with and the calls are strictly informational, such as an appointment reminder or credit card fraud alert.
Robocalls are never, ever allowed on cell phone lines. Robocalls are allowed on your landline from charities, debt collectors, survey takers, and information services, such as your pharmacy or school. You can request that the charities remove you from their list.
Robocalls are allowed on your landline from political groups and politicians, using your phone number from voter registration rolls. So when you register, or re-register, don't give them your phone number. By law, you only have to give them your address. You can call the campaign office and tell them you will not vote for their candidate if they robocall you.
If you get a robocall selling you a product or claiming a product that has been purchased, do not ever press any number, or engage in the call. Hang up immediately, otherwise the caller will know they reached a working line.
Caller ID means nothing with these calls because the scammer technology can alter or block the information.
You should register on the Do Not Call registry, but you shouldn't expect big changes, since the scammers ignore the registry.
Don't give out personal information, even if you think the caller is legit. Instead call back using a number you can verify from your bank statement or credit card. Any dubious calls should be reported here.
2. A Reason To Use G-Mail
People seem to either love or hate Google's G-mail. Here's a reason to love: you can now Undo Send up to 30 seconds after you hit the Send button.
To set it up, go to your account:
Click on Settings (upper right gear icon)
Make sure you are in the General tab
Scroll down to Undo Send
Click on Enable Undo Send, where you can select your delay (5, 10, 20, 30 seconds)
Scroll further down to the bottom, and click Save Changes
Breath sigh of relief
3. Amazon Same-Day Delivery
What's more efficient that me? Amazon Same-Day Delivery! One morning earlier this month, I broke a cosmetic item that I usually purchase at the shopping mall. I knew I would need the item the next morning, but I had a big deadline and no time to get to the mall.
I remembered that I live in one of the 14 metro areas where Amazon Prime Same-Day Delivery operates. I found the item on their site, and sure enough -- since it was before noon, I was able to make the purchase and pay $5 to have it delivered the same day. (It's free if you are spending $35+.) My item arrived within 6 hours. Pretty. Darn. Cool.
When you have a special milestone gift to give, Shutterfly can produce collage gift wrapping paper using 20 photos. The paper has a satin finish with a repeating 12 x 15 tile pattern and the roll is 2.5 feet wide, available in 6 foot or 10 foot lengths. (If the gift recipient is careful when unwrapping he or she could re-use it in a zillion different ways.) It's not much notice, but the paper is on sale at 20% off until July 1st.