Sutton Massachusetts



Carpet Cleaner Automated Calling


We are on the do not call list. This means no random company should be able to call our number. However, over the years we repeatedly get calls from a voice recording for a carpet cleaner. It's not a human being, it's a recording that babbles on about cleaning our carpets and then says to "Press 1 for more details". Finally one time I did press 1 and got a person. I asked them who they were - and they tried to hang up on me. However, the way phones work, the line stayed open because I did not hang up on my end.

I used another phone to call Charter (my phone provider) to ask them how to press charges against this company. They said I needed to call trace the number, to prove who it was that was calling me. You do that by pressing *57 on your phone after a call is made to you. So I hung up with the recording, then did *57. A message told me that the call had been traced. Note that this is $20 **per trace** which seems ridiculous since I am tracking down illegal activity to get it to stop.

I went down to the Sutton police department to ask them about the next step. They told me I had to do this three times to prove it was a pattern and not just a one-off random occurrence. So I waited and sure enough, they called back a few weeks later. Each time I did *57 and had the call trace done. I brought down my bills with the date and the time of the trace marked. The police gave me an incident number and said to call Charter up with that incident number, to have Charter forward all details about those calls to them. They were also really annoyed at Charter for charging me $60 total to do this.

It's immensely painful to call in to Charter. They have an automated service that asks you specific questions - none of which have anything to do with this kind of an issue. Finally I get through to a human. They said to call Charter's legal department at 866-894-0103 and said that automated calling of someone on a do-not-call list carries a $15,000 fine.

OK, the legal number only has options for 1) corporate customer escalation, 2) identity theft or 3) law enforcement officers. I'm none of these but I chose 3. Luckily this one was quick. They said they'd email me a form which must be signed by me and the police department. So a bit more running around but it seems like progress is being made.

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