Despite being on the national Do Not Call list, I still get calls from telemarketers, as do most Americans. Many of these companies are located abroad and violate American law with impunity. But there may be a way to stop them:
Perhaps capitalism has the answer. Our time resource is both valuable and limited. Allow us to charge for it. The charge need not be excessive in order to produce the desired result. Currently, robocalling a dozen different phone numbers costs the caller in the vicinity of 1¢. Suppose we decided to value our time at the currently bandied-about proposed minimum wage of $15.00 per hour. That would allow a charge of at least 25¢ per minute per call. It stands to reason that a change in the cost to place a nuisance call from less than a tenth of a cent to 25¢ or more would discourage all but the most determined of scammers from intruding into our lives.
How could it work? Ring-ring. (Since you now have a reason to answer, almost every call will be answered by a live person if one is present.) “Hello, this is Rachel with….” Hang up. Count to three, lift the receiver and dial or punch *00 (or some other simple code established by the phone companies for this purpose) to tell the phone company to charge the caller. If Cousin Sue calls or your auto mechanic calls to tell you your car is ready for pick up, you don’t enter the *00 code.
The phone company then charges the caller the 25¢. Why should they do this? Because they get to keep 10¢ of it for doing the bookkeeping and collecting the fee. The other 15¢ gets credited to your phone bill.