August 14, 2002 at 2:52 PM CDT - Updated July 12 at 4:01 AM
Most of us get aggravated at telemarketers. The state no-call list really helps. It's free to sign-up in Missouri and Kentucky, but you have to pay $5 in Illinois. For those of you who haven't gotten on the list yet, or if you refuse to pay for it, you may have another option. It's called the EZ Hang Up.
EZ Hang Up claims to do the dirty work for you, and give telemarketers a firm "goodbye." It
hooks directly into your phone, and features only one button. If you push that button, you're supposed to hear a message that cuts-off the telemarketer's conversation, asks them to remove your name from their database, and then disconnects the line.
Makers say the $15 device works on just about any phone with a single line, as long as the phone is not digital. However, it's supposed to work fine even if digital answering machines are hooked up.
Amy Jacquin connects EZ Hang Up to a single line running directly into our newsroom. Then, another Heartland News staff member, Heather Flanigan, plays the part of a telemarketer.
"Hi, I'm Heather with XYZ phone company from Anytown, Missouri."
As soon as you realize it's a solicitation call, you press the EZ Hang Up button, then hang-up. It does the rest for you.
"I'm sorry, this number does not accept this type of call. Please regard this message as your notification to remove this number from your list. Thank you. I'm sorry, this number..."
EZ Hang Up repeats the message twice, then disconnects the line.
"... thank you." Click.
So this $15 device works like it promises. So we give it an 'A.' However, there's no guarantee telemarketers will really remove you from their databases. Signing up for your state's no-call list is pretty effective at that.
A lot of people are requesting that Amy test the TeleZapper, too. The TeleZapper is supposed to electronically delete your information from the caller's files. But that requires a telemarketing company to let Amy see it from their end, to prove if the information is really zapped away. And she hasn't found a business willing to cooperate, yet, so you just have to wait on that one!