“If You’re Human, Press One”

Save On Phone

Save On Phone

My husband is trying to write a computer program that will work to screen calls for us. Our son tried to do this for us a couple of years ago, but the hardware wasn’t reliable and the software tended to degrade, so the project was given up.

It’s still complicated, but supposedly we can get the system to answer the phone before it rings in our home. It says, “Hello? Hello? Hello? If you’re human, press one.” Assuming you are and you did, the next thing you would hear is one of us picking up, if we’re here, or a chance to leave us a message if we’re not.

On our end, we don’t hear anything until the caller has pressed one. If it’s a robo-call, the system hangs up. If they don’t press one, it hangs up. We aren’t bothered unless a salesman is brash enough to press one. If he does it, we can blow him off and then add his number to a black list that won’t allow him to call again. We can also build a white list that allows people we know to not hear the press one message at all.

I’m amazed that my husband is learning a new computer language called, “Asterisk” in order to talk to a test phone and build the program. I heard a built-in message when I called the test number today. I pressed one, so our test phone rang.  That’s a huge Step One.

We each have cell phones, so you ask, “Why don’t you just stop having a house phone and then you won’t have the problem?” That’s an excellent question. We do it because

  • a lot of our financial stuff is based on our home phone number.
  • long time friends call us on our home phone number.
  • even 911 likes it that it can figure out where we are if we call it – MUCH better than if we used our cell.

If my husband can get this all to work, we’ll really save a lot of time and hassle. It won’t stop all crank calls. We know that. My husband just cleared six crank calls off his cell today. But it’ll give us the illusion that we can control one small thing in our lives. A very welcome feeling. :0)


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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes

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