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A Town Full of Prank Callers

Actinguy1Actinguy1 Registered User regular
edited October 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Hi guys! I used to live in California, and while there, I bought a cell phone with an 805 area code (California.) I have since moved to Pennsylvania, but kept the phone number (and phone.)

Shortly after arriving in PA this past May, my grandfather was basically given days to live. At the same time, my sister was approximately 13 months pregnant. As such, I fully expected to receive one important phone call or the other pretty much 24-7. I slept with my cell phone by my ear, ready to come running at a moment's notice.

Finally, one night around 2 AM, the phone rang. I grabbed it, and saw that it was an 805 number calling me. My grandfather was in Florida and my sister in Pennsylvania, so there was no way it would be about either potential emergency. Still, I answered it. Nobody was there. Okay, whatever. Hung up the phone, back to sleep.

Maybe two minutes later, the phone rings again. This time, the caller id is "blocked." I answer, nobody there.

This goes on for six more times in a single hour. Finally, my girlfriend insisted on answering the phone and said "Hello?" She heard what she thought might be a teenage girl say "Who is this?" My girlfriend replied, "You called me. Who is this?" At which point the teenaged girl remained on the line but didn't say anything, so my girlfriend hung up.

At the seventh call (still "blocked"), I answered with "Never call here again." This ended the phone calls.

The next day, I texted the original caller to inform her that she had forgotten to block her number the first time, and that I had notified the police. I hadn't of course, but I was still pissed and figured this would scare the girl straight. Some guy texted back with this completely ridiculous story about how he didn't know what I was talking about, but there was another phone with his same phone number, so it must have been that guy. I responded with how ridiculous that story was, since how could I call THAT guy if they have different cell phones but the same phone number? This went back and forth, until I finally said that I didn't care, I had already passed it to the police and they would sort it out.

That was last May. Since then, my niece was born and my grandfather passed away. But the calls have continued.

It's not always the same phone number. There appears to be 8 numbers or so, all 805 area code. Almost never say anything. Generally call between 6 PM - 2 AM east coast time (they're west coast).

I've programmed all 8 numbers in my phone as "NO", so that I know not to bother answering when they call. But it's still extremely annoying. What can I do?

I do receive calls from a few valid 805 numbers. Is it possible to have ATT block the entire 805 area code from calling my phone, with the exception of a few numbers I provide them? Or could they at least block all 8 of the known prank callers (although in theory they can still call with a blocked number)?

Is there a charge for blocking numbers?

Let me know what you guys think! Thanks!

tldr; Receiving prank calls, etc, from 8 phone numbers in the 805 area code. Been going on for months. Thoughts?

Actinguy1 on

Posts

  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Spending too much money eating out. That's about it. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Change your phone number.

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  • Actinguy1Actinguy1 Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I appreciate the suggestion, but not practical. Any others?

  • EskimoDaveEskimoDave Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    It's plenty practical.

    Other options consist of talking to AT&T and seeing what they can do. Or talking to police. AT&T is a better option.

  • Actinguy1Actinguy1 Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Called AT&T, they offered me two options:

    1) Change my phone number, free of charge due to harassing calls.

    2) Pay 5 dollars a month to block up to 15 numbers.

    Told them I was going with option 3: Service provider who cares about their customers.

    Anyone know of a provider who blocks calls for free?

  • RayzeRayze Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Actinguy1 wrote: »
    Called AT&T, they offered me two options:

    1) Change my phone number, free of charge due to harassing calls.

    2) Pay 5 dollars a month to block up to 15 numbers.

    Told them I was going with option 3: Service provider who cares about their customers.

    Anyone know of a provider who blocks calls for free?

    If AT&T is offering to change your number for free, then it's plenty practical. Why are you so against that?

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  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    You can also actually go to the police.

  • Actinguy1Actinguy1 Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    SOLVED!

    I called each of the prank callers back just a moment ago...and each of them seemed sincerely confused as to why I was calling. Given that each number was answered by a different sounding person, I decided to use that as a weapon when I called ATT the second time. Insisted it wasn't prank calls but an actual mechanical problem. Second guy was very helpful, although he did basically offer me the same first two options as before. When I refused, he suggested that Verizon (my previous carrier, same phone number) may have assigned my phone number to a new customer after I left (despite the fact that I had taken the number with me.)

    Verizon was baffled but said they had done no such thing. Called ATT back for the third time, resolved to the fact that this wasn't going to be fixed, but maybe they could at least give me an "annoyance" credit on my bill or something.

    But my third call went completely unexpectedly. Woman said she'd been with ATT for three years and never heard of this, but she wasn't letting me off the phone until it was fixed. After reviewing the previous two rep's comments, she decided that she was going to give me the call blocker for free for two months. She's also going to call me back next week, and after the first and second month to see if that fixed the problem. If it did, she'll remove the call blocker at the end of the two months so I'm not automatically charged. If it didn't, we'll come up with a plan B.

    EXTREMELY impressed with this ATT customer service rep. She took me from getting ready to leave the company to telling you how happy I am with the service, in less than an hour (and it cost the company, what, ten bucks?)

    Anyhow, solved! Thanks for everyone's help!

  • GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Sometimes it is just a matter of finding the one person who actually gives a shit and knows what they're doing. In some companies it's the equivalent of rolling a natural 20.

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  • DeathwingDeathwing Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    After reviewing the previous two rep's comments, she decided that she was going to give me the call blocker for free for two months. She's also going to call me back next week, and after the first and second month to see if that fixed the problem. If it did, she'll remove the call blocker at the end of the two months so I'm not automatically charged. If it didn't, we'll come up with a plan B.

    I actually was able to get this same deal from ATT last year also - I canceled my XM radio service, and they WOULD. NOT. STOP. CALLING.

    Finally got someone who offered this deal after going through 3 different reps on different days...definitely agreed that it's a roll of the dice sometimes :)

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  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    The same thing happened to me two weeks ago. Four nights straight of a call from Burbank, CA (I know no one in Cali) and then a blocked number immediately following. I'm on ATT as well.

    It just stopped after four nights. I think someone got a hold of a call sheet or something.

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    You're probably ultimately going to have to change your number, by the way. Just be prepared in the future.

  • RaneadosRaneados Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I hope you called the lady's supervisor and congratulated her

    more people need to be doing this when they get good customer service

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  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    This sounds a lot like what happened to me before. Several years ago there was a hurricane and it fucked up the phone lines pretty good, as you would expect. After Verizon thought everything was fixed, it actually was not. They had something retarded with the lines that would actually cause my phone to ring AND another phone. We'd both answer and be all confused. After a few times of that happening I called Verizon and they looked into it and confirmed that.

    So, could be something like that.

  • Gilbert0Gilbert0 VictoriaRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    What others have said, you need to keep calling back and asking for someone who cares. Congrats on it getting fixed :).
    Raneados wrote: »
    I hope you called the lady's supervisor and congratulated her

    more people need to be doing this when they get good customer service

    As someone who used to work FOR AT&T wireless, you don't need to know the exact person that helped you or the exact supervisor. Everything should be logged when she went into your account.

    Just call back ask for ANY supervisor and they should fill out their electronic form and it will eventually be routed to the right person.

    PS - PLEASE do this. The good ones do not get enough recognition.

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    You really should just change your number. :P

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