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Thu Aug 1, 2019, 12:32 PM

I'm about to blow my lid. Phone calls for Medicare supplemental insurance are driving me insane.

We are getting calls all hours, every day, for my husband by companies selling supplemental insurance. He doesn't need it. For starters, he's just retired, but we will pay for insurance through his company until he's eligible for Medicare, and then I'll continue on it until I am. We get supplemental health insurance through his company (that we will pay for). If I let the phone calls continue, the dogs howl and they call again, two, three, four more times. I know how to block these calls on my cell phone, but not our home phone. Yes, we need a landline because we have spotty cell service here.

ARGH!

44 replies, 2687 views

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Reply I'm about to blow my lid. Phone calls for Medicare supplemental insurance are driving me insane. (Original post)
phylny Aug 2019 OP
asiliveandbreathe Aug 2019 #1
phylny Aug 2019 #4
asiliveandbreathe Aug 2019 #6
keithbvadu2 Aug 2019 #43
lark Aug 2019 #7
asiliveandbreathe Aug 2019 #11
Backseat Driver Aug 2019 #2
phylny Aug 2019 #3
lapfog_1 Aug 2019 #5
spinbaby Aug 2019 #8
phylny Aug 2019 #22
ooky Aug 2019 #9
SeattleVet Aug 2019 #14
ooky Aug 2019 #15
Post removed Aug 2019 #21
phylny Aug 2019 #23
lpbk2713 Aug 2019 #26
phylny Aug 2019 #31
lpbk2713 Aug 2019 #32
mercuryblues Aug 2019 #29
phylny Aug 2019 #30
mercuryblues Aug 2019 #36
NurseJackie Aug 2019 #40
SeattleVet Aug 2019 #41
DFW Aug 2019 #10
matt819 Aug 2019 #12
nykym Aug 2019 #13
phylny Aug 2019 #25
customerserviceguy Aug 2019 #16
phylny Aug 2019 #24
customerserviceguy Aug 2019 #37
brooklynite Aug 2019 #17
CloudWatcher Aug 2019 #18
TheBlackAdder Aug 2019 #20
TheBlackAdder Aug 2019 #19
pangaia Aug 2019 #27
phylny Aug 2019 #34
still_one Aug 2019 #28
phylny Aug 2019 #33
still_one Aug 2019 #39
Patterson Aug 2019 #35
trueblue2007 Aug 2019 #38
Revanchist Aug 2019 #42
keithbvadu2 Aug 2019 #44

Response to phylny (Original post)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 12:36 PM

1. Wait until the mail starts filling your mailbox..you will be able to wallpaper your whole

house with the brochures...will make your she shed chicierÖ.

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Response to asiliveandbreathe (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 12:40 PM

4. Ooo, it'll give me something to read

when the power goes out!

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Response to phylny (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 12:44 PM

6. That's funny...

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Response to phylny (Reply #4)

Sat Aug 3, 2019, 01:10 AM

43. And burn for the lighting

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Response to asiliveandbreathe (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 12:45 PM

7. I quit getting the calls but my mailbox is still filling up.

I didn't really use the supplement last year and it cost plenty, including the additional drug coverage. I'm saving almost $200/mo. since I switched to an Advantage HMO. The only issue is I've nearly died from a head trauma and it took way too long to get the care I needed, I seriously was at risk of dying for over 2-/2 months. I'm lucky, I didn't fall a 3rd time despite my neuropathy and had a successful operation, so the gamble has paid off, but my husband and I were really stressed for all that time.

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Response to lark (Reply #7)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 01:09 PM

11. So glad to hear you are on the mend..yes, the stress is almost too much to bear...

I have been so lucky to have good health..I signed my husband up for Medicare Advantage last Dec..he turned 65 in January..Feb 28th he went to a PCP (in-network, a must), and got a stat referral for a urologist..biopsy came back that sunk us into despair..since then, through all the tests, MRI was denied, but CT, Bone scan (okayed by ins), his cancer did not spread to other parts of body, nor to his bones - but he does have an aggressive cancer of prostate..urologist was still able to do biopsy..Dr. said, "insurance companies dictating healthcare"..with second opinion referral, (IN-network), he had beacons implanted in prostate, and what is called a spaceor, to protect his other organs from radiation treatments, started radiation 2 weeks ago..is 9 weeks, 5 days a week..20% co-insurance..

When I look back at all the calls to BCBS, Dr's offices for appts..it was truly a maze trying to fight through it...I never took anything for granted (info), and for the most part, it wasn't misinformation from BCBS..but from front office staff at Dr's office..I feel like I earned a medical degree thru the process..oh, and the dr's office (first urologist ofc) know who I am -

I feel bad for people who do not have a business background, or an advocate to help co-ordinate all that is required.....

I am still waiting for bills to come flying in....of course I care what the cost is, but that is secondary to him getting well..

Be well - you are a trooper.....

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Response to phylny (Original post)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 12:36 PM

2. Can you mute the ringer?

and allow voicemails. Bet most won't even leave a message.

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Response to Backseat Driver (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 12:39 PM

3. I think I'll have to! They dont leave

messages, you're right.

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Response to phylny (Original post)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 12:44 PM

5. I get two phone calls a day, every day

from a recording that says my Social Security has been "compromised" and that my benefits are now frozen UNLESS I contact the SS administration. At the end of the call they very helpfully offer to connect me with the Social Security admin if I would only "stay on the line" ( LOL )

The phone calls are always from an 800 number that changes with every call (so blocking them doesn't help).

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Response to phylny (Original post)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 12:46 PM

8. If you can get a human on the line

Tell them to put you on their do-not-call list and that you will take legal action if they call you again. Thatís worked for me to get rid of calls from the company that wanted to get rid of my time share for me. It does not seem to work for the kind of spam robocaller with an automated dialing system.

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Response to spinbaby (Reply #8)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 02:51 PM

22. I have started to do this, thank you.

And, since the number and a name comes up on caller ID, I've started reporting them to the FTC. This number has been on the Do Not Call Registry since 2007.

Thanks!

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Response to phylny (Original post)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 01:01 PM

9. I use an ooma phone as my back up phone to my cellular phone

and for some reason the telemarketers haven't found it, probably because I've never given that phone number out to anybody for anything. Its an internet phone service and I pay $4 a month for the service. plus had to buy the system for a one time $100 investment. That money is recovered quick from getting rid of the traditional land line and its monthly phone bill. It worked with my old cordless phones so I didn't need to buy any more phones. I've been using it for about 5 years now and its always been reliable and there were no other catches, and I'm not bothered by telemarketers!

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Response to ooky (Reply #9)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 01:26 PM

14. We *love* our Ooma system. Have had it for 8 years now.

We ported our number so it's the same that we've had for 30+ years.

We pay the extra few dollars per month for the 'premiere' service, which includes an excellent array of junk-call blocking features. Besides a personal blacklist they have a 'community blacklist' - if enough people block the number, it i automatically blocked for everyone that uses this feature - and they have a hook into the NoMoRobo robo-call blocking service.

We have gone from 5 or 10 scammer calls week to maybe 3 a month. Worth every penny just for that feature!

We use the forwarding feature so that we can receive calls to the home phone on our cells when we're out and about. It rings through to us on the Ooma app.

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Response to SeattleVet (Reply #14)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 01:42 PM

15. You can do a lot more with Ooma then I am doing. I think its a good value.

In my case I didn't port my old service number because my old phone had pretty much become a depository for the telemarketers and everyone was calling my cell phone by then anyway. It was just the last step in getting rid of the land line for good, and I just wanted a back up to my cell phone with a number that nobody knew. I think Ooma must be doing a good job protecting their clients' privacy since telemarketers don't call me on that phone. But for sure, someone who wants to replace their entire land line service it should be a good option, the only drawback being during an internet or power outage, and that's when the cell phone becomes the back up.

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Response to ooky (Reply #15)


Response to Post removed (Reply #21)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 02:53 PM

23. Thanks, Bryan,

I'll get in touch with you when we get reliable Internet here - right now, Hughesnet, and it's awful. But thanks to a public/private partnership, real service is coming by the end of the year!

I will contact you. Thanks to you and all who suggested Ooma.

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Response to phylny (Reply #23)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 02:59 PM

26. Ooma was one of the early email spammers.



About fifteen years ago a scan revealed how the installed some junk on my hard
drive without my knowledge or consent. I blocked them entirely with my firewall.

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Response to lpbk2713 (Reply #26)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 03:29 PM

31. Good to know, thanks.

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Response to phylny (Reply #31)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 03:31 PM

32. They might have cleaned up their act to stay in business.



But they used to send out spam by the hundreds of thousands.

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Response to phylny (Reply #23)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 03:14 PM

29. We finally got a choice

other than hughesnet. They more than suck. You pay top $$$ for shitty assed service. In 2 weeks we will have fiber optic cable and pay a lot less for a lot more. No more waiting 5 minutes (sometimes) for a page to load. Unlimited internet means I won't get slowed down at the end of the month because I'm close to my limit. Did I mention we have the best package they offer?

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Response to mercuryblues (Reply #29)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 03:28 PM

30. Oh, we have their top plan, too. It's awful. So embarrassing when company comes to the

lake and we can't share our WiFi password. We have Verizon Mifi hotspots, but those are useless (see earlier Verizon Wireless difficulties).

Here in Virginia, Governor Northam and our county have been working to provide high speed Internet to the rural areas. My "representative" in the House of Delagates is all for it - now. Previously, she wrote legislation (which failed) to prohibit governments from providing service. Do I need to tell you one of her corporate "sponsors" is Verizon?

I hope you enjoy your fiber optic! We are excited to join the rest of the world

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Response to phylny (Reply #30)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 03:39 PM

36. My son had the same company when he rented

a home in the next county. He told me to be prepared for a life altering experience.

I just checked my download speed...14.02 mbps and upload. 1.7 mbps. Only 1 person can be on the internet at once or even those speeds drop.

I have 3 more months on my hughesnet contract. They will probably make me pay a penalty.

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Response to SeattleVet (Reply #14)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 04:52 PM

40. We recently signed up for the Ooma Premier service. We use the "whitelist" option...

We recently signed up for the Ooma Premier service. We use the "whitelist" option so that ONLY known callers (who are in our contact list) are able to get through and make our phone ring. All others are sent directly to voicemail.

All voicemails are sent to us as email attachments, so my phone will *ding* and I can check voicemail by playing the "mp3" audio file attachment.

If we forgot to add anyone important to our whitelist, they can leave a message. Or if it's a true emergency, then they can leave a message or call my cell phone.

So far, the only voicemail messages I've received have been appointment reminders AND one call with a HORRIBLE ROBOTIC voice letting me know "your social security number has been suspended because of unauthorized activity". Ugh!

The whitelist method is VERY restrictive, and spammers still have the option of harassing us by voicemail, but so far, every time the phone rings, it's someone we know.

I'm no longer afraid to answer the phone.

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Response to NurseJackie (Reply #40)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 05:10 PM

41. That's one of the things I have always liked about the Ooma system...

it is very customizable so that each user can tailor it to work for their particular situation and needs.

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Response to phylny (Original post)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 01:08 PM

10. They don't know my US or my EU phone number, but they send me mail weekly

I don't respond. If I do get a phone call like that, my knowledge of all languages except French, Catalan and Russian temporarily fails me.

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Response to phylny (Original post)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 01:12 PM

12. So far we've only received mailings

Thought I don't answer calls from numbers I don't recognize or from locations where we don't usually do business.

I haven't read any of the mailings yet, but spouse has. She's not stupid. And she can't make heads or tails of what Medicare does or doesn't do and what supplemental insurance we do or don't need. And if she can't, I won't even try, since she's much smarter than I am.

Any recommendations for sources of responsible, reliable info?

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Response to phylny (Original post)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 01:22 PM

13. Look up NO MO ROBO

Its a free way to stop robo calls it sends them off to the digital void.
It's free for landlines you just need to sign up.

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Response to nykym (Reply #13)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 02:57 PM

25. Thanks, I'll look into it.



ETA, we can't use VOIP right now, for reasons stated. It was worth a look

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Response to phylny (Original post)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 02:13 PM

16. Now you see

why a lot of people have dumped landlines, they're just magnets for verbal spam.

As for your spotty cell phone service, check with your neighbors and see what they say about their service. When I switched from T-Mobile to Sprint about two and a half years ago, my call quality went way, way up. You might have a provider that doesn't have good coverage in your area.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #16)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 02:55 PM

24. Thanks, every other carrier except Verizon has very poor service here,

and my Verizon is like everyone else's here - good until the vacationers come, and then the service is spotty. They are building new towers, and we are getting real Internet by the end of the year, so I suspect things will change.

ETA, I KNOW everyone gets rid of their landlines because of the constant barrage of telemarketers, scammers, etc., but as I stated in my OP, it's not an option for us right now.

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Response to phylny (Reply #24)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 03:43 PM

37. I had a landline phone

back in 2005, and I worked nights, so had to sleep during the day. I found a phone that needed to be plugged into an AC socket to work, and I had it put on a timer. I turned the ringers off on the phone in my bedroom. That way, if I got any calls during my sleep period, I wouldn't hear them ring. During my days off, I turned the ringer back on for my bedroom phone, so I could get calls during the day.

Good to hear that things are looking up for the future, all the best to you.

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Response to phylny (Original post)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 02:15 PM

17. If they're legitimate companies, they won't call if you have a DO NOT CALL registration...

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #17)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 03:06 PM

18. It's worth a try ... here's the URL

https://www.donotcall.gov

It doesn't stop a lot of the calls, but at least you can tell them that this
call is illegal and they're in for some major fines if they continue.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #17)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 03:09 PM

20. Also, if they are legit, they won't be spoofing other people's phone numbers.

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Response to phylny (Original post)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 03:08 PM

19. I keep them on the phone for a few minutes and then say, call again so I can waste more of your time

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Response to phylny (Original post)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 03:01 PM

27. this may or may not help

https://www.donotcall.gov/

The only calls I get on my land lne are every few days somebody who is CHinese calls because my ex is Chinese.. If I don;t just ignore it, I hit the answer button, then the hang up button.
OR. if I am feeling frisky I answer in Chinese, carry on a brief conversatio, which ain't much for me.. then tell them to stop fucking calling me.. in English...


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Response to pangaia (Reply #27)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 03:36 PM

34. This number has been on the do not call registry since 2007.

I did recheck it, and it's still listed.

I speak Spanish when they call from out of the country.

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Response to phylny (Original post)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 03:03 PM

28. I am glad you get your supplemental insurance through his company, but a lot of people don't, and

Medicare is a very complicated process, and there are a lot of rules, and it can be costly if those rules are not followed on time

If you don't want the information, then let it go to your voice mail, and delete it when you hear their pitch.

If they send mail, that is what recycle bins are for

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Response to still_one (Reply #28)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 03:33 PM

33. Thanks for your advice.

I wouldn't trust any of these companies hawking their wares on the phone. We are lucky to have the supplemental insurance, but I will clarify to say that they do NOT leave messages. They hang up. Hence, my frustration.

I count 22 calls since July 31. No messages. Several companies called daily. Fourteen different entities in all.

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Response to phylny (Reply #33)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 03:49 PM

39. I wouldn't either. It isn't the trust I meant to infer, but more the reminder to people who might

be naive to start called Medicare.gov, and explore options

Sorry I didnít make it clear what I meant in my original reply

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Response to phylny (Original post)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 03:39 PM

35. The calls should slow down after December 7, I think,

when the open enrollment period is over.

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Response to phylny (Original post)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 03:46 PM

38. WE GET PROB 3 CALLS ON THE LANDLINE .... and hubby gets calls on cell EVERY day

i just put them on block.

I yell and tell the scammers they should suck their own armpit .....

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Response to phylny (Original post)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 05:24 PM

42. You can buy a landline with a call block feature

Once you enter a number it will ring on e and then be disconnected

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Response to phylny (Original post)

Sat Aug 3, 2019, 01:16 AM

44. When you have spare time to kill.... and get a human

When you have spare time to kill.... and get a human

-----------------------------

How to answer spam phone calls...

Keep asking: What is your name?
... until you get an answer.

What is your company/org name?
... until you get an answer.

What is your company/org address?
... until you get an answer.

What is your company/org phone number?
... until you get an answer.

What number can I get in contact with you?
... until you get an answer.

So what if they lie?
You're just going to hang up on them anyway.
Even better if you say 'sorry, not interested'.
.
Their time is also important to them.

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