DirecTV epilogue

Hey, I've now gone three whole days without DirecTV calling me on the phone! They called every day, twice a day, for ten days after I cancelled my service. I never answered, but I imagine a robot voice plaintively crying, "WHY WON'T YOU LOVE ME?"

Pro tip: Set your default ring tone to something quiet, and use a louder custom ring tone for anyone you might actually want to receive a voice call from.

Update, May 14: Hah! I spoke too soon, they're still calling!

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15 Responses:

  1. skreidle says:

    Does the iPhone have any way to dump numbers directly to voicemail -- coupled with a Visual Voicemail app to assist in rapid deletion-without-listening?

    • jwz says:

      No, in fact, there is also no way to set things up to say, e.g., "I do not listen to my voicemail, send me an SMS" and then have it refuse to record a message. I actually wasted time on the phone with customer-service drones before determining that this is, in fact, a service that you cannot acquire for love or money. The second best Plan B is, never configure your voicemail. That's the only way to get it to refuse to ever record an incoming message (and consequently, never notify you that there is an incoming message). The downside of this is that you don't get to pick your outgoing message. My outgoing message is "The customer you have reached has not configured their voicemail." I have decided to be ok with this.

      • skreidle says:

        Hmm... is there an option to use a third-party voicemail system rather than your telco's default, thus adding a "Go fuck yourself" workaround?

      • Al Iverson says:

        Google Voice can almost do what you want here. It can replace your cell phone voice mail, then SMS you a transcription of the message. The transcription is worth it for the hilarity alone.

      • Cow says:

        I don't know if this works with your phone carrier, but with mine, I found that if I set a "vacation greeting", it then gives the option to reject all voicemails. They hear the recorded greeting and then get a robotic voice telling them voicemail is disabled and then get hung up on.

        So, for voicemail purposes, I've just been on vacation since I discovered this feature.

      • Adolf Osborne says:

        Android, but: I select the appropriate numbers, tell the phone to "forward this number to voicemail," whereupon Google Voice takes it, marks it as spam (because I've instructed it to do so), and I never know about the call.

        It's even easier if I've only ever give the credito^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hschlep my GV number. Works a treat, in fact.

        But on with the hate: It was far better before Google Voice happened to what was once known as Grand Central. I previously could just dump the requisite calls into a "this number is not in service" message, replete with the appropriate SIT tone that indicates to a well-behaved robodialer to never bother trying again, followed by a simple disconnect.

        Google, why must you ruin things the way that you do?

  2. Cowmix says:

    Reason #343 why I love Google Voice. Great incoming call rules.

    • Roger says:

      I especially love the fights between caller automated systems trying to get me to do things and Google Voice trying to get them to do things (leave name etc).

      I do regularly get large volumes of dead trees from companies I've cancelled service with. Of course the companies never got what the problem was or fixed it. I feel slightly better that the people who decided to remain with these companies are having to pay for all this.

      • Adolf Osborne says:

        I use my phone to refill prescriptions, because Rite-Aid's web site simply wants too goddamn much information to get the same thing done.

        I set up a contact for the script, complete with appropriate pauses, and my Droid just pounds digits into Rite-Aid's system automatically. It's fast, and painless, and always just works.

        Meanwhile, return calls from Rite-Aid's automaton get fed instantly to Google Voice, which transcribes whatever it has to say into a neat little message on my status bar. This means that machine A is talking to machine B using humanesque vocalizations over a telephone (which no actual human will ever hear), just so I can get some textual information from machine A, which I find greatly amusing.

        Amusing or not, though: If this is progress, where can I opt out?

  3. I discovered that if I answer the phone and stay completely silent, the robots add me to some "defective phone #" list and never call again.

    • pavel_lishin says:

      How do you know that this is what is happening?

      Also, now I'm wondering what would happen if I set my outgoing voicemail message to the sound of a modem attempting to pick up.

  4. Joe says:

    We need you, Sebastian. You're our best and only friend.

  5. Cow says:

    When I did this, I realized that there are basically only three people whose calls I want to receive. (The group where SMS makes noise is a much larger group. It's not that I hate all humans (well, ... okay, that part's not entirely true either), just...never call me.)