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November 2nd, 2010
08:01 AM ET

Fed up with annoying robocalls?

Did you hear this story out New England? Comcast suggested a spike in the number of automated campaign robocalls may have jammed phone lines in New Hampshire, causing a temporary service outage in areas of the state

We wanna hear what you think! Tell me if you've gotten a bunch of robocalls this election year, and if they've ever swayed your opinion. Maybe getting a robocall is a deal-breaker for you. Leave your comments and Kyra Phillips will read some of your robocall stories in the 10am hour of CNN Newsroom.

Filed under: Anchors • Kyra Phillips
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Lydia

    Here in Florida, I have received several robocalls on my cell phone, one of which woke me up at 2:30 in the morning.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:21 am |
  2. Marissa

    I am a registered Democrat my husband is a registered Republican. I received HIS annoying robocalls all weekend. YES, they definitely encouraged me to get and vote...DEMOCRAT all they way!!!

    November 2, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  3. Joe

    I check callerID and if I don't recognize the caller I don't answer. I have ignored dozens of calls this year and intend to do so in the future.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  4. Robert

    I live in Bristol, VA and I got "spam-texted" by Rick Boucher's opponent last week. I thought it was annoying and rude and a breach of privacy. I am on the Do No Call List, and am on the Sprint network. I don't think they should allow to have my number, period.

    I made a "not so nice" response by text, but I'm sure they never receieved it.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  5. Marty Rosenstock

    I was smart enough to NOT register my home phone. No calls for me !!!

    November 2, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  6. J.

    Don't people have caller I.D? My phone's been ringing off the hook the last few days, but I don't answer if I don't recognize the number.
    It's still annoying though and I wish these calls would be added to the "Do Not Call" list.


    November 2, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  7. Steve F.

    My number is on the Do Not Call list and I don't get them. Personally, I think they should be banned completely.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  8. M L

    I hate robocalls, they are a deal breaker for me.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:24 am |
  9. Debby Fitch

    Hi Kyra,
    Yes, here in Maine I received these calls non-stop yesterday and they just started this morning again. I think they are very annoying and would like them to stop. I hope your survey will help get the word out.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:24 am |
  10. Barb Bailey

    I don't need reminders to vote. Mid-terms are talked about six months to a year ahead of the event and we've heard enough by then. Give me a break, voters are not stupid! We know when it's time to go to the voting booth, no matter if it's local officials or our U.S. government.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:24 am |
  11. tet1953

    Robocalls should be banned. And I have news for John Avalon: the Do Not Call list does not apply to non-profit or political calling. Go figure.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  12. Pat Gray

    You did not show robo calls. You showed a lot of hard-working Democrats and Republicans making individual calls to get out the vote - you had a Republican guest who I wager has NEVER done GOTV and frankly doesn't like to see a high voter turnout but you didn't ask him about GOTV and the gap between Dems and Repubs in that regard. And for those annoyed by calls - get over it - this is a democracy and you should celebrate the fact - too many angry, self-important people at election time.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:26 am |
  13. ghosha

    Stop blowing up my answering machine ! but i did save the one fron Bill Clinton !

    November 2, 2010 at 8:26 am |
  14. Ron

    Not only do they not sway my opinion, I hang up on them. Many come at inopportune times such as the dinner hour – but here is the sad but amusing part to me.

    We can register our phone numbers for the 'Do Not Call' list (which I've done) so that we don't have to receive unwanted sales calls – but the politicians exempted themselves from this law, despite the fact that their calls are a form of a sales effort.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:27 am |
  15. sheri marion

    The calls are not only irritating, they can lead to a dangerous situation. My mother is elderly. When she needed me to help her with something, she received so many calls from political parties, she finally just took the phone off the hook. Listening to your story this morning regarding land lines going down in New England, I wondered what would have happened if someone needed to call 911 for a medical emergency. I believe the irritation factor is almost secondary to the potential danger they could lead to. Is anyone out there paying attention?

    November 2, 2010 at 8:27 am |
  16. kate bieler, Delaware

    These robocalls became so annoying to me, (happening in church, work, and while asleep), that I decided to vote for whomever their opposition was. I figured anyone this desperate, certainly isn't relying and running on their successful record!!!! I hate this attempt at 'mind-control', especially when you DO NOT here from them at any other time of the year. Thanks.....

    November 2, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  17. Angela Tacoma Washington

    Actually Robo calls this year has a bit of history in the making with it... My grands "Future Democrats" have been following the election with me, They loved hearing the President call our home the felt special he knew our number,After laughing... II explained it as a recorded call, this did not make a difference for them, they were excited We replay it from time to time and will all day today! I saved it , just for them...Okay for me too! As far as the other calls it let me know how many Democrats were at work and motivated me make sure those around me made it to the polls!

    November 2, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  18. Erik

    I have received not less than 20 robo calls which last normally 30-60 seconds and many have not only annoyed me in their partisanship but also ads for electing judges showing partisanship erks me most because it's not only wrong, but I think unconstitutional!

    November 2, 2010 at 8:31 am |
  19. John S.

    RE: Do Robo Calls Work?

    Not with me... I hang up as soon as I hear that it's a recorded pitch message. It's just like the telemarketers, only it's even more annoying!

    I don't need a 'canned' recorded message to help me choose. I've already made my mind up who I'm voting for without R2D2 calling to remind me!

    P.S. I'm from Massachusetts and know many friends who lost their Comcast phone service as a result of Robo calls. I just glad they didn't need to call 911 yesterday as a result of phone service loss due to Robo-Congestion – That's why I'm with Verizon!!!

    November 2, 2010 at 8:31 am |
  20. Barbara Cammarata

    I firmly believe that "thinking" voters do their own research and decide on their choices for candidates without outside influence. Since we have caller ID, my husband and I don't pick up on callers we don't recognize and we delete any political messages left on our voice mail. Robocalls are aimed at people who don't read or think for themselves. If you can be swayed by them, you don't have a grasp of the issues and are not living up to your responsibility as a voter. It seems that there are a lot of candidates in this election that are counting on that very thing and they are hoping the robocalls will round up the sheep.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  21. elizabeth

    the robo calls and actual person political calls have made our phone ring off the hook. it made my democratic, poll working, absentee ballot voting moms day when the republican party called asking if they could count on her vote. she proudly said 'NO!!'

    November 2, 2010 at 8:34 am |
  22. Matthew

    I live in Manchester, NH. I was wondering why I couldn't get a call through to the company that services our furnace. At least it was only maintenance and not an emergency. Imagine if I was having a heart attack. It's time to put the politicians on the do not call list. I don't want to hear from them anyway considering that they are pursuing their own goals rather than the goals of our country.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:34 am |
  23. Deborah

    I hate those robo calls. I think they are very impersonal. I don't mind the calls from a human being that knows my name. The republicans over did it with the robo calls. I will not vote for a candidate that does robo calls.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  24. Tom Cicala

    expecting robo calls,as the phone rings I cringe, first the initial pause and than annoying repetitive sales pitch message that often seems as if it is intended to turn off the recipient,it works against the candidate calling . Whether authentic or opposition tactic the results are irritation . a feeling of dislike . I am tolerant, still I am turned off and would definitely suggest limited robo campaigning .

    November 2, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  25. Brian

    Three modes of election promotions have gotten WAY out of control. First off are the robocalls. I've been getting anywhere from eight to a dozen a day. I do not have caller ID, so I'm conditioned to (old fashioned response that it is) answer the phone when it rings. But at election time I simply don't pick it up. When I come home, the answering machine always contains several rambling political messages, and I delete them without even listening to them. Another big waste are the mailings. There have been big, expensive, four-color mailings promoting and attacking the same candidates every single day. Again, into the garbage. Huge waste of money and especially of resources. I live in a semi-rural area, and the profusion of plastic campaign signs everywhere has also spun way out of control. They litter the roadsides and every intersection has turned into a colorful jumble of plastic signs competing for attention. There are so many that it's evident that their purpose has gone beyond being read by passers-by. The real purpose is to simply go one-for-one and to outnumber those of the opponents. They are a repetitive eyesore and only serve to aggravate and demonstrate that NONE of the candidates are above relentless mudslinging. And again, represent a huge amount of plastic going into the landfills. I cherish my right to vote, and have never missed an election on any level. Still, my blinders are on to the signs, mailings, and robocalls. They only serve to cheapen and demean every candidate who is running for any office.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  26. Tammy

    I don't have a home phone so I don't get the calls. Thank goodness. But, I do have friends who have been bombarded with them. Hopefully, as more people get rid of landlines at home, the robo calls will go away.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  27. Darrell Johnson

    I received 13 robocalls yesterday, but the deal breaker came last week when I got one from Esther Scott, Senate candidate Rick Scott's mother, telling me – and I swear this is true – "Rick's a good boy."

    November 2, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  28. Laurie

    Just recently had my first robo call for the season. What got me was that the call came through under a private name "Smith, Jane" and a local number. I answered the call thinking it was something else and I wasn't too busy to not pick up the phone. Well, it was a robo call! I listened long enough to find out who it was just so I make sure to NOT vote for him. My thought is this – IF they are not calling under the banner of 1 800 vote for whomever – then they are NO better than the annoying sales calls that try to trick you into answering the phone. If they are not required to identify themselves as such and such candidate , and giving me the option to answer the phone (do I want to learn more? then I will answer) – then they should NOT be allowed to robo call!

    November 2, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  29. Donald Thorne

    I invented the Robocall systems US Patent 3999017 back in 1976. I am also fed up with the political parties calling non stop.

    Don Thorne

    November 2, 2010 at 8:44 am |
  30. marieann clifford

    I had at least 14 robo calls from the same person's campaign. I told them I already made up my mind and I would not vote for him. I will not vote for anyone who supports Govenor Chris Christie's policies. But they just keep calling me anyway. I am for the working class. I won't vote for anyone who support tax cuts for the rich, who send jobs to China.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:45 am |
  31. Joe

    Good morning Kyra,

    How annoying! I am a registered democrat from Pennsylvania an had deceided weeks ago on the candidates I would vote for. The robo
    calls are made at the most inconvient times. I watched your interview with John Avlon this morning and like others, I was so angry with the calls that in spite, I was going to vote straight republican. I did come to my senses this morning before voting.

    Is there a way to put robo calls on the "do not call list"?


    November 2, 2010 at 8:46 am |
  32. Tom Cicala

    Robo Calls
    I'm fed up if I wanted you aggravated with my opponent I would call for that person asking you for support ,over and over and over and over .

    I'm fed up if I wanted you aggravated with my opponent I would call for that person asking you for support ,over and over and over and over .

    I'm fed up if I wanted you aggravated with my opponent I would call for that person asking you for support ,over and over and over and over .

    agrgravating isnt it.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:49 am |
  33. Dan

    I signed up for the do not call list, and have gotten zero robo calls.
    All of those above who have, look at the bright side. After today, these calls should cease for at least 22 months, until the next election cycle.
    All, do you constitutional, tax-paying citizen right: VOTE!!!

    November 2, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  34. Joy

    I live in North Idaho and have received tons of these calls but the one from the Arizona Sheriff urging me to vote for a candidate that would be tough on illegal immigration got a laugh. Is illegal immigration a hugh problem in Idaho? Not so much.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  35. Gerard Braud

    No means no! I'm on the do-not-call list to stop telemarketers. I'm tired of the double standard. The people who passed the do-not-call law left a loop hole that lets them still call my home.

    I just got a robo call featuring the young son of our Louisiana senator who hired prostitutes in D.C. and New Orleans. There's another double standard to try to portray yourself as a family man when you've been cheating on the boy's mom. That robo call made me decide to vote for one of the other 5 candidates.

    November 2, 2010 at 9:25 am |
  36. Caroline Keem

    Here in Illinois I was barraged with campaign calls. Since I don't have a land line, all of these came to my cell phone. I have put my cell on a do not call list – but that didn't seem to make a difference! I made sure, when I got to the voting booth this morning at 6 am, NOT to vote for ANY candidate whose campaign called me. Luckily here in IL, we have a lot of 3rd party candidates who are talking a good deal of sense and I have already done my voter's homework to find the better alternatives!

    November 2, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  37. Jimbo

    We haven't answered the phone in over two weeks. It all goes to the message recorder and deleted later.

    November 2, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  38. Paula

    I laugh every time the phone rings.They won't speak speak to the media so we know who they are or what they stand for yet they have the nerve to ask blindly for my vote.Robocalls do not ever get my vote.

    November 2, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  39. Marti Spang

    These calls are soooo annoying that I became tempted to vote against the subject of the calls. They certainly had no positive influence on me. I also was not influenced by the glossy mailers. It is so easy these days to find information about any candidate I hate to see the waste of money. I would prefer to see the money going to our local emergency food pantry or the free health clinic.

    November 2, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  40. Doottie

    I hated them and I still hate them. They have been coming in GA since the first of the year. They are an enoumous interruuption to my day and night.
    Please do not let them do it again in 2012.
    I hated them.

    November 2, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  41. john schreiber

    If I can remember who called, I do not vote for them. The biggest problem is that there are so many calls, I need to keep a list.
    I voted for Mr. Obama, in 08, but today I will vote against all incumbents, unless their opponent robocalled me.

    November 2, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  42. Candace

    Yes, one robo call definitely will influence my vote. The call from Democratic Alabama State Senator Hank Sanders is sending me running to the polls to vote Republican all the way!!! I was leaning toward one Democratic candidate on the ballot; but now - no way. Playing the "race card" did it!!! That man is a disgrace and looked like a complete FOOL on your show last night!!!

    November 2, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  43. V. A.

    I don't understand how you sign up for the GOVERNMENTS do not call list and it blocks people except the GOVERNMENT from calling you. What they don't understand is the more calls I get, the less I want to vote for that person. I don't need anyone calling me and telling me how to vote when I think I can do that myself.

    November 2, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  44. Norton Mansfield

    I seriously am considering running for president next year. My platform: repeal Daylight Saving Time and Ban ALL Robocalls. What do you think?

    November 2, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  45. Jennifer Stormont

    Yes, sick and tired of them. I hang up. Sure wish they would spend that money more wisely. Times are tough for so many people and these idiots are spending this money for campaigns like it grows on trees. Sure would be nice if these corporations would use that money to hire people. Thanks to our so called conservative supreme court for their campaign funding decision. What a bunch of nuts! Throw them all out and start ovewr.

    November 2, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  46. D.B.

    People should be aware that robocalls to cell phones are illegal unless you have given consent to receive them. See 47 U.S.C. Sec. 227. It is surprising the number of politicians (including my own congressman) who do not understand this law or who think it does not apply to them. When I get more than one or two robocalls on my cell phone from the same person or group, I send a letter threatening legal action. It is also possible to sue for penalties of $500 or more for each call.

    November 2, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
  47. Phyllis

    At this point it is beyond the point of being annoying. It has now become a dangerous and costly side effect directly impacting millions of people. If these outbound calls can take down an entire telephone system, there are some potentially harmful consequences beyond being harassed on the phone.

    I work from home and am totally dependent on the telephone to fullfill my job requirements. I now have to work a double shift today to make up for lost time (and revenue) Guess no going to the polls for me.

    That seems secondary to the number of elderly or sick people whose only lifeline is their telephone. What happened to them yesterday ?

    November 2, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
  48. debbie ptak

    Yes I am Sick of all the robo calls,and the political ads.This backbiting,negative comments about different partes runing for election is tired of them,plus all the campaign ads i got thru the mail are nasty.This is like middle school,and high school kids fighting with one another.For goodness sakes these are adults that are going to be in our goverment! offices! and they have no class.I would like to hear once a candidate say,i hve nothing to say about my running mate,and just talk about his message.I would have more respect for him/her.And most people accept this behavior as natural! this is not acceptable behaviour to me.These people are going to be running our goverment?No wonder were in the mess were in.I live In Mich.its terrible here. thank you Debbie Ptak

    November 2, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
  49. Frank Wirth

    In Oklahoma, the only robo calls I have received, have been for the district judges. I have received approximately 8 to 10 calls around dinnertime. They do not sway my vote one way or the other; however, I find them very inappropriate and just hang up.

    Reading the other posts where the robo calls took down the phone system due to over loading them is a problem, I would be furious if someone was trying to call 911 for help and could not get through.

    November 2, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  50. B.R.W.

    P.S. They do not sway me at all b/c I do not even listen to the messages.

    November 2, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
  51. mike adelitzo

    hi kara i am disapointed the american people i guess they want the country to go back the way it was in 2008 we will never get out of this mess that we are in with the rep in charge i and my wife voted dem if people complain in 6 months it is there falt thank you

    November 2, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
  52. MJ

    Comcast phones were down in my part of Mass on Monday.
    I can't say that they are a deal breaker, because I hang up as soon as I hear that that it is a recording.

    November 3, 2010 at 7:59 am |
  53. Lee turner

    After weeks of phone calls, any and all call was monitored for origination, and we voted by absentee ballot days ago. So all those calls were worthless. lol

    November 3, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  54. Ardis

    As an independent, I received several from Republican special interest groups. I did not appreciate their tactics or propaganda, and would really like a list of all who funded them. I believe in facts & actually do my own research instead of falling for sound bites. The phone calls & extreem mailings only pushed me away. I only wish more in this country ignored the sound bites and just went for facts. The propaganda needs to end. We should be better than this.

    November 3, 2010 at 1:27 pm |

    some of the call made me mad, about some thing and some people running I did not want to go out and vote!!

    November 3, 2010 at 8:12 pm |
  56. LG

    I received them during dinner, on the weekends, and every other inconvenient time you can imagine. Several a day. I honestly can say that some pushed me to NOT vote for the candidate they were promoting. Unless I'm a registered Republican or Democrat (which I'm not) or have signed up for some other political party, no one should be bothering me...I DEEPLY resent the invasion of privacy.

    November 4, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  57. Constance

    I was a CA Democratic party volunteer who made local calls in person using the recipients name and identifying myself. My purpose was to ask for the candidates support and give information if asked for. I only had one person hang up on me. I hope you make the distinction in your column between mass recorded and live phone calls with specific targets.

    November 4, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
  58. Lisa B.

    I think it's a big deal. Robo calls should only be used in case of emergency or immediate schedule changes. People say that it's not a big deal to get robo-called, but school districts aren't the only ones calling my cell phone. For someone who really values peace and quiet, it's very annoying to be pestered all the time. How can you screen the calls from the school if it might be an emergency? Last year our district sent out a robocall to virtually every parent saying that their kid was absent – at about 1:00 p.m. I nearly had a heart attack. Turns out the system went haywire. This week alone I've gotten calls about the free/reduced lunch program, and early release(which is EVERY Friday) – these are notices which we already received in the TAke-home Tuesday packets. They really need to be more judicious about their calls.

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