Weekly Stories from You: Robocalls Could Affect Your Emergency Care

Christina Tetreault
Staff Attorney

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

For those who do not spend much time around a phone, robocalls can be viewed as simply a nuisance, but for those who must keep their phone on at all times, they are truly a nightmare. These uninvited calls weasel their way into homes of millions of Americans and perturb families who are eating, working, and even sleeping. But what’s a little lost sleep? For an emergency services worker, like Rick, lost sleep can mean life or death.

Rick:

I am a paramedic affiliated with several emergency agencies and primarily work night shift for a hospital aeromedical program.

Because I must be available for emergency calls, along with having a 96 year old mother who might need me, I must leave my phone on at all times. Since I must sleep during the day, I registered with the Do Not Call program. I also made every effort to limit dissemination of my phone number in hopes my rest time would not be disturbed.

Dr Rick 1The nature of my work is dangerous at best and being fatigued can quite literally have life and death consequences.

Over several months the number of telemarketing calls I received steadily increased despite pleas not to call (they would simply slam the phone down when I asked). Almost all of these calls were from credit card services seeking to lower my credit card interest rate. I own one credit card which I pay completely off each month, so I did not ask for nor need these services. I filled multiple complaints on line via the FCC web site which seemed to have no effect whatsoever.

In conclusion, based on my experience, the Do Not Call legislation is completely ineffective in providing protection from unsolicited calls. Apparently it is not enforced to the degree necessary to discourage those making such calls.

I was getting 2-3 such calls a day and becoming too exhausted to safely perform my job. Finally, out of desperation I changed my cell phone number and that seems to be working for now. I should not have to go through this inconvenience, but it was the only option left. I hope at some point the FCC can better enforce the Do Not Call legislation.”

Incessant robocalls to Rick’s phone put the health and safety of the people in his care in jeopardy. That’s just ridiculous. The fact that Rick needed to change his number is ridiculous, too. No one’s peace and quiet should be so overrun by robocalls that they must resort to changing their phone number. That’s why we’re working to End Robocalls by calling on the phone companies to offer their customers free tools to block robocalls. Join with us to End Robocalls here.

 

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