That's how many calls the company responsible for the annoying "Rachel from cardholder services" made in a year and a half time span according to Time Magazine.
Hanging up the phone doesn't stop the calls. Pressing number 3 or whatever option they list in the recording doesn't stop the calls. Trying to actually speak to a live person doesn't stop the calls and, most importantly, being on the "Do Not Call" list doesn't help either.
So what can you do?
The Federal Trade Commission advises robocall recipients to do the following:
- Hang up the phone. Don't press 1 to speak to a live operator and don't press any other number to get your number off the list. If you respond by pressing any number, it will probably just lead to more robocalls.
- Consider contacting your phone provider and asking them to block the number, and whether they charge for that service. Remember that telemarketers change Caller ID information easily and often, so it might not be worth paying a fee to block a number that will change.
- Report your experience to the FTC online at www.donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222.
The FTC is also taking steps to combat the proliferation of robocalls. Earlier this month, the FTC announced the FTC Robocall Challenge, which includes a $50,000 reward for the person(s) who can come up with a solution to stop "Rachel" and other robocallers.
“The FTC is attacking illegal robocalls on all fronts, and one of the things that we can do as a government agency is to tap into the genius and technical expertise among the public,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a released statement. “We think this will be an effective approach in the case of robocalls because the winner of our challenge will become a national hero.”
The Robocall Challenge is free and open to the public. Participants may begin submitting entries today, Oct. 25, 2012, at 5 p.m. ET. Entries will be accepted until Jan. 17, 2013 at 5 p.m. ET. If a winning solution is submitted, the winner will be announced next April.
For more information, visit the FTC website.
Have you received a call from "Rachel"? If so, how many have you received? What steps have you taken to prevent further calls? Let us know in the comments.