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I saw a funny segment on Colbert the other day about polling and the election. I don't remember verbatim how he stated it... but he basically said that there are a rare few who still answer phone calls on their land-line phones from unknown callers.

I'm curious and want to do a poll to see how many of you answer unfamiliar/unknown/out of state calls to your cell phone and land-line phones. The results do have an effect on the election.

This is a two part poll, the poll below is if you have a landline. This is the link to the cellphone poll.


Do you answer unknown/unfamiliar calls to your landline phone?

8%34 votes
13%52 votes
3%14 votes
61%243 votes
13%55 votes

| 398 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  A land line for a boat ? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, Railfan, Shirl In Idaho

    It would have to be a sea line .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 01:44:47 PM PDT

  •  Sometimes if I'm not too busy (4+ / 0-)

    I figure I'll say NO in person so they can stop re-ringing hourly until I answer.  

    But I dont' take polls anymore, because 90% of the time they've misrepresented the time duration or it turns into a ridiculous push-poll (even for my side).

    And I say a firm SorryNoMaxedOutAlready to Dem fundraisers, too.  I prefer to pick my contributions strategically and schedule them through ActBlue.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 01:45:01 PM PDT

  •  How do you know who is calling on a landline? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, Prof Haley

    Notice: This Comment © 2012 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 01:45:19 PM PDT

    •  Depends on your hardware. (6+ / 0-)

      Our landline comes into an answering-machine/corded-phone which serves as a base station for 2 other cordless phones around the house.   All display caller ID, and at no extra cost.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 01:47:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you have a Caller ID box attached to... (7+ / 0-)

      .... your phone, or Caller ID display built into your phone.

      Caller ID boxes cost about $15, and phones with Caller ID built in cost about $10 more than those without.  

      And while we're on the subject, it's always good to have a corded phone around that doesn't require batteries or a wall-wart AC adapter, so it continues to work in a power failure.  

      If you get your landline as a stand-alone phone line or with DSL, it will get its power from the telco central office and continue to work indefinitely during power outages.

      Though if you get your landline as part of your cable TV package, it is not getting power from the telco CO, it gets power from an adapter, and has a backup battery that is good for a couple of hours of standby at best.  

      Get a call from GOP GOTV? Talk their ear off! Keep 'em busy! Plus one long call to a progressive = minus two or three calls to undecideds!

      by G2geek on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 02:14:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Speaking of "unknown callers", how is it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that some telemarketers can prevent you from hanging up so that even if you pick up the handset 10 minutes later they are still on the line?  I thought the only way that was possible was to send voltage equivalent to the ringer voltage down the line (100V DC, I think) and even that only worked with the old electromechanical (crossbar?) switches.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 07:42:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  how that works: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Throw The Bums Out, david78209

          Most telco central office (CO) switches nowadays have called-party control: Hang up for 1.5 seconds (anything shorter is read as a "flash" for 3-way calling or call waiting) and you should get dialtone.

          On older CO switches (including older digital switches) with calling-party control: you have to hang up for 7 - 10 seconds before you can get a new dial tone.  

          If you hang up for 15 seconds and the caller is still on the line, write down their caller ID, call 611 repair service, and report what happened.  It may be that your line card in the CO switch (your "Office Equipment" or OE in AT&T lingo) has gone bad, or there is a programming issue.  Or it may be that a telemarketer has found some clever hack, which is VERY illegal, and they deserve to be busted hard for that.

          Ringing voltage in the US has always been, and still is, 90 volts AC at 20 Hz. (In the UK it's 17 Hz.)  

          There may have been ways to force disconnect on crossbar and step-by-step (Strowger) switches, by sending 100 volts DC down the line: the way this would work is by overpowering the 48 volt CO battery in the relay coils holding your line, and providing an additional 54 volts beyond the zero level, to trigger a release relay.  Frankly I never heard of that trick before (even in my naughty phone phreak days, playing with XB and SXS machines) so I never had a chance to try that one.  

          However it's also the case that "foreign battery on line" will trigger an alarm at the CO, and it's also a risk to techs who are working on the lines anywhere between your house and the CO, so it's "not-recommended."   Doing it on a digital switch won't help anything and will trigger an alarm, and could stick you with an expensive repair bill if it causes damage to your OE.   For all these reasons, I wouldn't mess with injecting power into a telephone line.

          Though, if there was a magic button I could press to make Republican robo-dialers and telemarketing robo-dialers melt into puddles of steaming goo on the floor, I would do it in a 10-second minute.  All of those robo-call and predictive dialer systems should be illegal, and commercial telemarketing in general should be illegal.  That is not a free speech issue, it's a time/place/manner issue.  The PSTN is not "broadcast" technology and should be forbidden from attempts to use it as such.  

          Get a call from GOP GOTV? Talk their ear off! Keep 'em busy! Plus one long call to a progressive = minus two or three calls to undecideds!

          by G2geek on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 09:14:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, I was talking about the "force connect" on (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            the old style switches (back in the captain cruch whistle days) that was used for the so called "lock in trace" where law enforcement had to prevent you from hanging up.  Of course, that was before all the ANI stuff existed and they still used in band signaling  (eew) for determining whether or not you put a quarter in a payphone.

            Remember when "Miss Cleo" managed to bill people for calling their 900 line even when those people had all 900 calls blocked (and got shut down and the executives barred from running another company for so many years)?

            You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

            by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 09:38:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, actually I'm not familiar with that. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Throw The Bums Out

              Are you saying that putting 100 VDC across tip & ring at the customer's prem could lock up the switchtrain such as to enable tracing the origin of a call within a local switch?  For example you receive a harassing call, and press a button that triggers a relay to place 100 VDC across your line, and that holds the circuit open even if the caller attempts to hang up?

              I've never heard of that before.

              In-band signaling for call control was good in its day, is a nostalgia item for all of us who could whistle a clear-tandem tone (2600 Hz) w/o a CC whistle, and the sound of MF signals has a special place in our hearts along with the sound of dial tones & busy signals produced mechanically on the ringing machines at the COs, and the whirrs and clicks of SXS and XB machines.  

              But in-band signaling for payphones is more than that: it's also the most intelligent way to operate payphones, because it does not require a !@#$!! microprocessor and "answer-detection" in each payphone: all of that is done at the CO, where it belongs.  

              I particularly like the "POA" (pay-on-answer) system used by GPO Telephones in the UK, whereby there is a unit call fee that buys different amounts of time depending on distance, and also the German and Swiss systems that use "metering pulses" to collect coins one at a time, that are visible in the coin channel behind a thick perspex window in the payphone.  The goal here is to make the payphone itself as simple as possible for the sake of robustness and reliability.

              What we should have done in the US, was to make regular telco coin trunks, or at least CO-based answer supervision conveyed via reverse line polarity, available to end-users to hang their own equipment on.  That would have loosened up the equipment market sufficiently, while ensuring standardized rates and preventing the ridiculosity of microprocessors in payphones attempting to figure out answer supervision indirectly.  

              "Miss Cleo" sounds vaguely familiar; was that the scandal of 800-numbers pointed to 900 numbers, which also enabled fraudulent operators to spam their victims into making "toll free" calls that cost them $3/minute?

              Get a call from GOP GOTV? Talk their ear off! Keep 'em busy! Plus one long call to a progressive = minus two or three calls to undecideds!

              by G2geek on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 02:55:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Supposedly when the FBI needed to trace (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                a call back in those days, they would have to put voltage down the line which would prevent it from being disconnected when you hung up otherwise you could just hang up before the required X minutes had passed.  Not that it mattered once they got digital switches (DS7 or DS9 or something like that) and of course once they started using ANI everywhere it was all over.

                You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

                by Throw The Bums Out on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 07:31:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  the upside of this... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Throw The Bums Out

                  .... BTW, did you mean SS7 for Signaling System No.7?

                  The upside of this is, it really does help a lot when dealing with kidnappings and other life-safety issues.  

                  I don't object to having the technical capabilities in the network for various kinds of surveillance: what I object to is the use of those capabilities without appropriate legal safeguards.  The old system of requiring warrants for wiretaps worked, and there's no reason we can't keep it in place for all of the new technologies.  

                  What I'd propose is to extend the 3-day emergency provision to 7 days, but require warrants for all forms of electrical, optical, and other forms of technological surveillance.  This would provide the flexibility to deal with emerging situations, while at the same time providing the legal safeguards to prevent misuse of the capabilities.  

                  Get a call from GOP GOTV? Talk their ear off! Keep 'em busy! Plus one long call to a progressive = minus two or three calls to undecideds!

                  by G2geek on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 08:37:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, that trick no longer worked once SS7 (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    replaced the old electromechanical stuff.  Not sure if it ever did at least customer side either as most of that stuff is considered legendary, just like the CIA "toilet paper" crisis story so who knows how much of it was true.

                    You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

                    by Throw The Bums Out on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 10:59:47 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  oh, and at this very moment... (0+ / 0-)

              ... approximately 3AM, I'm logging into a couple of my clients' PBXs to do some moves & changes.  

              Ahh, the joys of telework, and not having to go field on every service call.

              Get a call from GOP GOTV? Talk their ear off! Keep 'em busy! Plus one long call to a progressive = minus two or three calls to undecideds!

              by G2geek on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 02:57:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Actually (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Any but the cheapest phones have it built in. There are no quality phones with any features at all which do not.

        •  yes there is: Cortelco 2500. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          This is your old-school basic touchtone phone with a metal base and a mechanical bell that actually rings.  It has no "features" whatsoever: it's just designed to last 40 years and never break, even if you drop it into the bath tub or out a 2nd story window.  No batteries, no external power supply needed, works on any conventional analog phone line or analog PBX extension, and has that oldschool "you can hear a pin drop" great audio.  

          They are still made in USA, in Corinth MS.  

          Cost is about $40 online.  And all components are interchangeable with any other 2500-type set made since about 1969.  

          That's what I call intelligent design, and sustainable technology.  

          I don't work for them.  I do specify these phones for power failure and emergency operation, and anywhere else I can get away with it, not only for technical reasons but also for the sheer subversive effect of watching the expression on peoples' faces when they discover that these are still being made and work as well as they ever did.  

          Get a call from GOP GOTV? Talk their ear off! Keep 'em busy! Plus one long call to a progressive = minus two or three calls to undecideds!

          by G2geek on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 03:42:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm glad this kind of phone is still available (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            But when I looked them up on Google, two ads said they are now made in China and the other three ads didn't say where they're made.  The Cortelco company still seems to be headquartered in the USA, but somebody did a Bain Capital move on where they do their manufacturing.

            We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

            by david78209 on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 06:06:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  they have two product lines: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              One is assembled in USA.  The other is occasionally shown as having the "value-line" sub-brand on it, and is made in China.  

              I keep the USA version in stock, and the last batch I got were all labeled assembled in USA.

              Here's the page from their own website.  They use the phrase "globally sourced" for the ones that are made in China.


              Also, the "assembled in USA" thing refers to the fact that the transmitter and receiver elements inside the handset are produced overseas for all manufacturers now, and some of the components in the touchtone dial ditto.

              The ringer (bell) uses an adaptation of a design invented by ITT Standard Electrica in Spain, in the early 1980s.  It fits into the same space as an American C4A ringer and sounds the same when it rings.  I call these "Spanish ITT ringers," to differentiate them from "C4A" ringers that were standard on 2500 sets until very recently.  

              Note, these ringers will ring normally on telco central office ringing power, but may not respond to the lower ringing voltages found on cheap VOIP analog terminal adapters.  I've run into this problem before and had to adapt some Chinese ringers that have lower impedance.  Basically, most foreign-made ringers will ring on lower ringing voltages than US ringers.  Dutch and English ringers are the most sensitive, and the rest of Europe and Asia are almost as sensitive.  

              Get a call from GOP GOTV? Talk their ear off! Keep 'em busy! Plus one long call to a progressive = minus two or three calls to undecideds!

              by G2geek on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 08:29:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  ROGNM - caller ID (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 07:24:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Someone at the OFA office (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, Mistral Wind

    was amazed that I didn't screen my calls.

    Because we canvass we are going to win.

    Knock, knock...who is there? -- One more vote for Obama.

    by NCJim on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 01:45:49 PM PDT

  •  No landline never ben polled n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "In Japan, American occupation forces quickly became 50,000 friends. In Iraq, they would quickly become 50,000 terrorist targets. " James Webb, Sep 02

    by ParaHammer on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 01:49:34 PM PDT

  •  We just got caller ID this week (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, historys mysteries

    and it has been SWEET to finally be able to go look at the phone, see a word like "Telefund," and not pick it up.

    Previously I always had to pick up in case it was one of my children sick at school or something like that. I work at home.

  •  I almost never answer, but if I'm working (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, historys mysteries

    from home and it keeps ringing I will answer just so they'll stop.

    Living in GA, I never get polled!

    “To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.”-Brandi Snyder (in memory of my Nick)

    by YellowDogInGA on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 01:54:11 PM PDT

  •  I do -my brother does not live in the US (2+ / 0-)

    and his cell phone shows up as "Unknown caller" -Grrrr so yes -I never know when it might be him.

  •  I'll always answer. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, wayoutinthestix, jayden, sow hat

    I can always hang up.

    "Some people pay for what others pay to avoid." -- Howard Devoto /// "Patience is a virtue, but I don't have the time." -- David Byrne

    by droopyd on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 01:55:26 PM PDT

  •  Screen em all (4+ / 0-)

    Anyone really calling me knows to start talking to the machine, and I will pick up

    unless it's work, I've been burned to many time to answer them when I'm not working

    Barn's burnt down -- now I can see the moon. Masahide

    by bws on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 01:55:28 PM PDT

  •  Lately (6+ / 0-)

    Normally, I don't answer my landline at all because Charter Communications stuck me with a phone number that was previously held by every person who has ever owed anyone money.

    Lately I do answer. If it's a poll, I take it. If it's Robo-Ann Romney, I mock her. If it's a campaign I talk to them. If it's a bill collector for one of the 3,231,231 people who previously held the number, I ask them to take me out of the database.

    After the election, I will go back to ignoring my landline.

    •  My last number (5+ / 0-)

      My last number was one number off an all-night pizza place.  I used to get drunk dialers all the time.

      I finally started taking orders and then leaving the phone off the hook afterward.

      (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

      by Lonely Liberal in PA on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 02:00:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  what to do with Romney calls: waste their time! (0+ / 0-)

      Pretend you're undecided.  Ask lots of questions.  "If you really want my vote, you'll take the time to help me figure this out... I can't go to the website, I don't know how to use the intertubes..."

      Be nice, be polite, pause to take notes and write down some of their answers, etc.

      Don't tell them at the end that you're voting for Obama anyway, that might only cause them to stop calling people in your neighborhood.

      If you get a Romney robocall, take your time to go through the various menu options it may have.  Be sure to listen to every message that comes up on every menu.  Even though you're not tying up a live person, you're tying up a voice channel on the robocall system and the telco trunk it's attached to.

      Every time they reach a secret Obama voter who plays "undecided," they waste about as much time as they might spend calling two to five other voters.  

      And minus two votes for Romney, equals plus one for Obama.

      Get a call from GOP GOTV? Talk their ear off! Keep 'em busy! Plus one long call to a progressive = minus two or three calls to undecideds!

      by G2geek on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 02:19:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm having my landline taken out next month (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shirl In Idaho

    We asked for an unlisted number and Verizon never gave it to us, blast their hides.  I'm sick of the calls--we have MORE calls than we had before we joined the Do Not Call List.  When I get my iPhone we'll have two cell phones and that will be that.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 01:57:53 PM PDT

    •  and then during power failures... (0+ / 0-)

      .... when the backup batteries at the cellphone towers run out, you won't be able to call 9-1-1 in an emergency, much less check in with family & friends.  

      Much better to call Verizon and tell them they need to change your number and de-list it, at their expense, since they screwed up.  

      BTW, how did you find out that your line isn't unlisted?  If you get random calls, they're random.  If you get telemarketers, they're attack-dialing every phone number in your area code.  Unlisted means not published by the telco in their directories and online lookups.  But it does not confer immunity from wrong numbers or attack-dialing, regardless of whether landline or mobile.  

      Get a call from GOP GOTV? Talk their ear off! Keep 'em busy! Plus one long call to a progressive = minus two or three calls to undecideds!

      by G2geek on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 02:23:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We first found out by the number of calls we've (0+ / 0-)

        been receiving.  Then Verizon said they'd give us a refund because they'd inadvertently given us a listed number, which we already knew. They never did.

        All these calls are more than irritating.  As for emergencies, I don't give a damn.  During the derecho ALL lines, land and cell, were down!

        If there were a real emergency requiring some kind of action I'd walk up to the fire station which is conveniently located about a mile away.  

        "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

        by Diana in NoVa on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 06:42:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Then the next question becomes (3+ / 0-)

    of the people who DO or who SOMETIMES answer such calls, distributed in their political opinions in the same manner as those who do not?

    In other words, is phone behavior correlated with other personal traits?

    Probably with age.  With party affiliation, perhaps not so much.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 02:04:15 PM PDT

  •  we've had caller ID on our land lines since it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    first came out. When my husband is in the country, we don't answer unknown/unrecognized calls. This doesn't work when he's in Asia, as his calls from there are ID'd as Unknown/Unknown, and I would hate to miss an important call from him. (We try to Skype now, but it isn't always possible for him.)

    Also, many medical and dental offices block their ID so patients can't call a back line and interrupt a practitioner who doesn't have their chart in front of her; these calls come in as Private/Private, as do a lot of political robocalls and requests for charitable donations. So if I'm expecting a reminder call from a dentist (or from my sister, who still ID-blocks all her calls), I'll go ahead and pick up.

    Usually end up hanging up on robocalls after a syllable or two, but I did participate in two polls this election cycle -- one with a person, one robo-poll, for a total of about 35 minutes.

    •  about medical offices (expert info): (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sow hat

      I design & program telephone switches (PBXs) and have a bunch of medical offices among my clients.

      Why some doctors may block their numbers:

      Let's say you're a small doctor's office and you have four phone lines:  555-2300, -2301, -2302, and -2303.  Their listed number is -2300 and chances are they have "straight hunting" between the numbers, so if there's call on 2300, an additional call will "hunt" to 2301 and get through, etc., all the way to -2303.  

      But when they call you, their office phone system makes outgoing calls in the reverse order: it starts with line 2303, and then 2302, etc.  The reason for this is to minimize something we call "glare," where someone is trying to make an outgoing call and accidentally answers an incoming call.

      So they call you from -2303, you see that on caller ID, and there's a chance that instead of calling them back on -2300, you'll just press Call Return and call them back on -2303.  Whereupon you've just called the last line in their system, and chances are someone is using that line at the moment, and you get a busy signal and get frustrated.

      For this reason, the doctor's office may make the rest of their lines unlisted and block outgoing caller ID: so they don't get patients calling in on numbers that are likely to be busy.

      The solution to this is for the doctor's PBX dude (that would be me or someone like me) to specify circular hunting for their outside lines.  Thus if -2303 has a call in progress, and someone presses Call Return or speed dial and comes in on -2303:  Instead of getting a busy signal, that additional incoming call will hunt around to -2300 and come in on -2300: the call gets through instead of getting a busy signal.  

      At that point they don't have to block outgoing caller ID: a patient can call in on any number in the doctor's office and still get through (as long as there is an open line in the line group).  

      What I do is order circular hunting, and have all of their office lines answered by the voicemail main menu, so if you do return a call to one of those numbers, what you get is the same thing as when you call them normally: "... to make or change an appointment press 1, for prescription refills press 2..." (etc.)  This takes care of the entire problem, so there's no need to block outgoing caller ID.

      Get a call from GOP GOTV? Talk their ear off! Keep 'em busy! Plus one long call to a progressive = minus two or three calls to undecideds!

      by G2geek on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 06:54:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  retired MD here, with nine lines (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Lots of other reasons come into play, which aren't addressed by routing everyone into the menu after hours.

        One of my biggest telephone-related complaints as a patient, with systems of the type you describe, is the call that comes in while I'm away, ID'd as a number I recognize as the central exchange of a major medical center, and either no message left, or "reminding you of your appointment on Monday." When my daughter was being treated for breast cancer, this could have been for any of six doctors.

        •  say more, and... (0+ / 0-)

          Were those calls that you received, coming from automated reminder-call systems?  

          A live receptionist should, as a matter of office policy, always leave a message with full information:  "This is Alice Alvarez calling for Doctor Doe, to remind Patient Paul that he has an appointment on Monday at 2PM at our office on 123 South Main Street. If you have any questions, call us back on 310-555-2368."  

          That's a matter of "policy" rather than "technology."  There's no tech fix for an absence of having a policy that requires staff to leave clear & complete messages.

          My policy for everything I design & build, and for all my interactions with my clients, is "Twenty Questions is expensive; goal, zero questions."  The ideal case is that after I send someone information about something, they reply that the information was clear and understood the first time.    

          One thing I frequently have with MDs' offices, is:

          A medical group has three MDs sharing a practice.  There's a main number with e.g. five lines in circular hunt, and then each MD has a private number.  (In some of these cases we use a fractional PRI circuit with Direct Inward Dialing (DID) numbers.)

          When an MD places an outgoing call from the Main line group, the outgoing caller ID is the main number.

          When an MD places a call from her/his "private line" button, the outgoing caller ID is his/her private number, thus MDs can call other providers, who in turn get the private line caller ID and return calls to that number to reach the MD directly. This enables providers to bypass menus when calling each other.  

          In cases where the MDs don't have private numbers on the system, there's always a menu option (usually option 1), "...if you are an MD or other provider, press 1...." to bypass the rest of the menu and go directly to a live receptionist who answers those calls on a priority basis, to connect other providers to the MDs at that office.  This in recognition of the fact that MDs' time is usually very limited so they need to get through to each other ASAP with minimal delays for call handling.

          I can also set up Caller ID routing, such that if a given doctor is frequently receiving calls from doctors at other offices, or from hospitals, the PBX reads the incoming number, recognizes it as a call to Dr. Doe, and rings directly on Dr. Doe's office phone just as if the caller had been put through by the auto-attendant or receptionist.


          Question:  Based on your own experience and that of other MDs you know, what are the most important things that MDs need their office phone systems to do for them?  And what do you think are the most important things patients need when calling their doctors?   (Self-interest disclosure: I'd like to use this information as background for design improvements for MDs who are existing clients and prospective new clients.)

          BTW, funnily enough, I'm logging into a couple of MDs' systems at this hour (3-something AM) to make routine moves & changes.  Remote access means I can do that work at any time, so it's ready the same day or first thing the next morning.

          Get a call from GOP GOTV? Talk their ear off! Keep 'em busy! Plus one long call to a progressive = minus two or three calls to undecideds!

          by G2geek on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 03:21:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Had to give up Caller ID on the landline.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a gilas girl

    ... to free up funds to pay for my 13-yr old daughters cell phone.

    It usually just said "wireless caller" anyway, LOL

  •  I don't answer 'em (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prof Haley, jayden, a gilas girl

    The real test of whether or not it's important - if it is, they'll leave a message.  Those close to me know how to get a hold of me anyway.

  •  I don't answer long distance numbers (0+ / 0-)

    but I answer local numbers.

    "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

    by CFAmick on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 02:09:42 PM PDT

  •  I'll sometimes press the answer button (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, sow hat

    and just as quick the hang up button .... rather than listen to a recording talk to my recording in the background.

    Who do you believe, Waffle Willard or Lyin' Ryan???

    by Da Rock on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 02:18:32 PM PDT

  •  I screen all calls (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's been years since I picked up the phone without hearing the voice at the other end first.

    into the blue again, after the money's gone

    by Prof Haley on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 02:25:12 PM PDT

  •  You're lucky if I pick up my landline (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    even if it says who you are. "Unknown caller" and all variations thereof, no chance at all.

    Visit Lacking All Conviction, your patch of grey on those too-sunny days.

    by eataTREE on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 02:28:45 PM PDT

  •  I will rarely (0+ / 0-)

    As an expatriate, calls that come up with "Unknown name, unknown number" have a good chance of being from my family back in the UK, so I'll usually answer them, especially during the usual window I tend to receive calls from them.

  •  never (0+ / 0-)

    we only got a landline in order to have DSL for internet.  Both hubby and I use our cell phones for all calls.  We used to get zillions of robocalls for some person who must have previously used the number, collections agencies all the time.  So the ringer is now turned off, and we wouldn't know even if someone was calling.  We only use the line when we want to call out and save cell phone minutes or use the free long-distance to canada.

  •  I have been... (0+ / 0-)

    I live in Colorado and I know they are polling the crap out of it.  I try to answer the phone, just so I can complete the poll.  Most have dead air after I answer.

    Why is Mitt Rmoney so happy that an American embassy was attacked? Why does he hate America?

    by RichM on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 02:45:24 PM PDT

  •  I have pigeons. I rarely get anything in the inbox (0+ / 0-)

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 07:08:34 PM PDT

  •  I never used to but I have this election to (0+ / 0-)

    see what they wanted, to see what questions they asked, and to make sure my point of view is getting into the polls.  I also found out, accidentally, that we are getting lots of sales calls that are automated, and if you want to be on their do not call list you have to listen to the whole message and hit a button at the end for them to put you on their list not to call again.

    I will point out that, being in CA, I am not getting many national poll calls, they are mostly local for Congress and propositions.

  •  i actually have the ringers turned off (0+ / 0-)

    on my landline phones. unfortunately my fax/printer will still ring; i don't know how to turn it off there. i have just a few people who call me and they all call my cell now. i really just need a landline for dsl.

  •  Landline (0+ / 0-)

    The caller ID works and I can pretty much guess who it might be if not local. I do keep getting calls that my Medicare may not be sufficient. I have another 8 years before I'm eligible and Tricare for Life should fill in the gaps. The only weird calls I get is because the previous holder of my phone number had a Klezmer band. I have to explain that the website won't remove my number and I have no Klezmer band.  

  •  I'd for sure answer "Gallup" on caller ID (0+ / 0-)

    Or any other name of a legitimate polling company that I recognized.  
    Do polling companies make sure their calls show their name on caller ID?  They should.  

    In fact, the legitimate polling operations ought to form a business group with written ethics and a 'seal of approval' that they make sure nobody who hasn't earned it claims.

    I'd be happy to answer a call from an honest polling outfit.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 06:22:24 AM PDT

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