No One In This House Goes To Your School-- Stop Calling Me!
August 19, 2008 4:49 PM   Subscribe

Getting non-harassing but repeated misdirected phone calls on a cell: help!

The set up: My father has a cell phone which is under my account. He receives repeated automated phone calls from a junior high in the area. (So far he's gotten 10 or so, and it's only going to get worse because the school year just started.) No one in the house is attending this junior high.

The phone company says they can't block the calls. I've spoken to the junior high twice so far and they say that they will take him off their list, but he keeps getting these phone calls.

I don't want to sue them or anything but maybe they haven't bothered to take the number off because they don't think it really matters; if there's legal reason not to annoy us then that might provide some incentive.

Short of changing his number, is there anything we can do to get the school to stop freaking calling!?

(We're in Iowa, by the way, and changing his number would be a giant hassle & expensive since we have a lot of family out of the country who would have to be notified.)
posted by saveyoursanity to Technology (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have you actually talked with the principal of the school? If yes, then maybe you need to escalate it to the district superintendent.
posted by dcjd at 5:06 PM on August 19, 2008

Best answer: The school administration probably doesn't know how to take the number off the list. They probably prepared the automated call list with the help of an IT person. Your father's number is on the list because someone with a student at the school used to have your father's number. If I were you, I would call the school again, but ask to speak specifically to their IT person and/or the person directly responsible for maintaining the call list. You'll have a better chance of getting results rather than just talking to an administrator who's going to say "oh yeah, we'll get that taken care of" and then pass the buck.
posted by amyms at 5:22 PM on August 19, 2008

Best answer: I wouldn't call the school again. Phone calls get ignored.
I would write to the principal of the school, keeping copies of correspondence, following that letter up with another to the Education Department (or whatever body administers the school).
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:47 PM on August 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

Interesting.. I have the same problem with my cell phone!
posted by majikstreet at 7:08 PM on August 19, 2008

Best answer: What are they calling about? That will help determine what should be done about it.

If they're just passing along information, then follow the above methods to get them to stop calling. If they call again after that, I would consider threatening legal action. Probably wouldn't actually do it, but it does tend to get things moving along a lot faster. Schools don't have much money to begin with, and they can't afford to spend it on a settlement because they couldn't figure out how to stop calling someone.

If they're trying to reach someone specific, talk to them and stress that whoever they're trying to reach isn't going to get the message. Maybe even ask them why they think they haven't gotten a response yet. You'd be surprised at the number of people who will continue to call even when they haven't gotten a response to very specific questions.

I've tried getting numbers blocked too. Didn't happen for me either. And since I get legit calls from people who aren't in my phone book, sending all of those calls straight to voicemail isn't a good option either.

You might also try going up to the school and trying to fix the problem in person. If they don't believe you that they're calling the wrong person, have them call that number and show them that the phone is ringing.

If all else fails, you could just save their number and not answer it. I have a contact called "Do Not Answer" for all of the collections agencies that are trying to collect from someone that isn't me. I see that it's them, and I deal with it later.

Mostly though, figure out who's in charge of the phone numbers and talk to them. But I would wait until you/your father get another call. It's possible that someone had that number in the past and when the student it's connected to will turn in a new contact sheet with a new number and the calling will stop.
posted by theichibun at 7:42 PM on August 19, 2008

If they're trying to reach someone specific, talk to them and stress that whoever they're trying to reach isn't going to get the message.

The bigger incentive in this case would be that it's probably a breach of confidentiality.
posted by winston at 8:04 PM on August 19, 2008

Best answer: A friend of mine was getting calls on her cell from a fax machine at 4:01am. She tried getting the phone company to block the calls and even faxed back a notice that they had the wrong number, but nothing worked.

Finally, she just added that number to her contact list changed the ringtone for that contact to "silent". She still gets the fax calls, but at least they don't wake her up.
posted by parilous at 2:02 PM on August 20, 2008

Best answer: In case you're still checking this:

1. Add their number as a contact on the cell phone. Call it "wrong number."
2. Change the ringtone for "wrong number" to silent.
3. Get on with life.

I still get calls for "Eileen," and I've had my phone for about 5 or 6 years. Much happier since I did the above.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 9:25 PM on August 28, 2008

Response by poster: Just so anyone reading this found out:

once I wrote them a letter, they stopped. Like magic!
posted by saveyoursanity at 11:08 AM on January 31, 2009

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