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Spouse had a home-based collectible business for 28 years until one year ago and the phone # remains unchanged. I answer the phone on 99 percent of calls. Through me (or so they'd like it), three clients in particular badger him (age 76, getting more confused by the month) to "sell me just one more item, it's only one, and I'll pay highest price, aw come on now." They don't get by me because he's stated to them and to me that he's retired. I can't be home 100 percent of the time; he's resisting changing the phone #. Out of 11 phone calls on this topic last year, about 3 times he's given in to clients he's known for 20 years or more and regretted it.


They're avid collectors from all across the country; many know each other and pass along information among themselves, so they realize he's retired with still a large inventory. What is an effective way to tell them to buzz off? Appeals to their sense of appropriateness or kindness don't cut it with these bozos.

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Someone please correct me if I'm missing the point or not understanding this completely...but change the number. Problem solved.(?)
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pronker Feb 10, 2019
Definitely my choice, too. I would pick my battles, though, and this phone one is low on priorities. More to the point are his losing his driving license and using the Depends effectively. The update on those issues are his upcoming hearing contesting DMV's decision and a more cheerful update that the Depends are being changed more often.
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If you want to keep the number, transfer the number to Google Voice. You might have to bounce it off a mobile provider to get Google Voice to accept it. If you keep your land line, then the phone company will issue you a new number. You can then have Google forward your old number to your new number. Or you can simply do VOIP over Google Voice. You can get an adapter so you can even plug in your existing phone. In terms of actual use, you'll forget any of this has even changed. It'll be exactly the same as what you are used to now. Remember to sign up for e-911 if you go the VOIP route so they know where you are if you call 911.

Why do any of this? You get automatic Google Voice spam filtering. They will filter out the majority of spam calls. This is also why your cell phone gets so little. The other benefit is that you will have complete control over who can call you. You can block any number, send them directly to voice mail, etc.
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pronker Feb 8, 2019
Thanks for the detailed information - I'll keep it all in mind and try to do this step by step. The screwy calls both in the middle of the night and at more decent times use some technology to eliminate the ability to call them back, because upon hitting redial the "no longer in use" message crops up, which is itself a robovoice!
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Update: 1 call in the first week of Feb. during business hours, The caller was nice enough and did not get through to Spouse by my screening of the call.

In other news, robocalls at odd hours such as 2:30 a.m. and 10:45 p.m. are back at their old level of 6-8 daily with most of them coming at respectable hours, with the brief respite from Comcast's doing something to the account resulting in maybe 3 days' worth of peace in mid-January. Is this because advertisers know that old poops retain their land lines for no good reason and target us? In the 8 years I've had my cell, only about 6 advert calls have gotten through.
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freqflyer Feb 9, 2019
Robo calls go to both landlines and to cellphones. Had 12 calls one day on the landline from the same boiler room saying that my firewall isn't working yada yada yada, I eventually left the receiver off the hook.

This past year my cellphone has had its fair share of robo calls. No, I don't want a free boat cruise... no I don't need to lower my credit card interest rate.... no, I didn't apply to said college... etc.

Landlines are very important to have. I still have mine. In case I need to call 911 and can't speak from let's say a stroke, the emergency dispatcher will see my home address immediately on his/her screen and send out the EMT's. With a cellphone that doesn't happen, the dispatcher will only see the closest cell tower where the cellphone is pinging.... unless the cellphone has GPS location.

With elders, they don't carry around a cellphone, it's gets placed somewhere in the house. If they need to call 911, they usually can't find the cellphone. With landlines, as cheap as the telephones cost, one could be in every room of the house. And they are sooooo much easier to use because such phones had been part of our lives for since the early 1900's.
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Great!
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Update: 2019 began with no calls from former clients in January, let's hope that keeps up.
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Have you sent out a retirement letter or email? Sometimes seeing it in black and white will help.
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pronker Jan 6, 2019
I like the sound of this - thanks for the idea.
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You can buy a phone which has the capability of blocking numbers. I have one and I can block 15 calls using the phone’s block feature on the device. New home phones are not too expensive (not a smartphone like an IPhone or Galaxy) just a regular phone for your home.
Not sure if Comcast will do this for you but it’s worth a try. If not, buying a new phone with block feature is an option. Be sure to read the box the phone comes in for that feature. I got mine at Walmart.
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pronker Jan 6, 2019
Thanks and good idea re the simpler phone - it needs to be simple because he had a nice, rather complex phone that upped the volume so he could hear better which confused him.
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Add a second home phone # (your cell phone?) and set the business phone to automatically go to voice mail so you can more easily monitor calls. But all those items will need to be dealt with eventually so you both should sit down to figure out how you want to go about it and begin the process.
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pronker Jan 6, 2019
Fine idea to send the business phone # to my cell; he's slowly working towards the notion of selling out because he's cataloguing everything.
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Can you tell them he gifted the business to a relative? You passed on their phone numbers & if the new owner wants he will contact them. Also how about blocking those persistent phone numbers. I do this on moms phone at no extra charge.
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pronker Jan 6, 2019
Excellent idea re blocking - it's likely Comcast can do that if I ask them. The gifting fib could work; what would be first rate is to eliminate the old phone #, but he's clinging to it. Thanks.
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Have thought about listing the items on EBay?
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pronker Jan 6, 2019
Thanks for the swift reply. I have considered it; he still wants his inventory and maybe will in future sell out to ebay or a mainstream dealer.
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