Why are marketing calls from "Out of Area?"

Everytime I get a telemarketer to call here, the caller ID identifies the company as “Out of Area”

Why is Out of Area used all the time? Why not MCI Long Distance, or if it is truly Out of Area, wny hot “Houston, TX” or something to that extent?

If there must be one broad label for telemarketers, why not just have the callID say “telemarketer”?

When I was a telemarketer, we were only allowed to call out-of-state numbers. They said it was to prevent us from making sales to people that we knew and gaining commission from it, but my personal theory is that out-of-state calls are cheaper.

The reason that the ID does not say “Telemarketer” is because you’d never pick up the phone if you knew what was in store. Better to have it as an unidentified number and catch you by surprise.

These calls may not even be from “out of area”.

If, before you dial a phone number, you dial, *67 followed by the number, the recipient’s caller ID box will show your phone number but not your name. Instead it will say “out of area” or “private number”.

If, before you dial the phone number, you dial *67, *67, followed by the number, the recipients caller ID box will say “Out of Area” AND your phone number will not be displayed.

This may be just another telemarketing ploy.

At the carpet cleaning company where I work, the caller ID used to come up as “Bell Integra”, which was our telephone service provider. Now it comes up as “---- Carpet Cleaning.” I really prefer it that way. I used to get people asking about the ID, sort of implying it was a scam to hide who we were. I also think that having our company ID 'd right off the bat makes us look more profesional. Since I call mostly repeat customers, I don’t run into too much of the "pick it up and drop it " routine. I do get a few who will say something like “Hi ----, call me back in a month” before I even get my mouth open. Saves wear and tear on the throat!

BTW, I have a good friend who happens to work for MCI. They call from a huge office in Surrey and all the calls are to the States, so it really is “out of area”.

“Out of area,” “unknown,” “unavailable,” etc. are the display words chosen by various caller ID devices to indicate that the number does not register in the caller ID system. “Out of area” does not literally mean “outside of a certain geographic zone,” it means “outside the purview of the caller ID system.”

Certain types of phone systems are not compatible with caller ID and will not register. Some companies’ systems are incompatible for innocuous reasons, e.g. it’s an older system established before caller ID was developed. The telemarketers, however, consciously choose to have systems that do not register, for obvious reasons.

Most cold calls to the UK now seem to be from India with chaeap call centres so definitely out of area. They even train their indian workers to sound english and ask questions like “did you enjoy the football last night?” so people don’t know where they are from.

Just to clarify, don’t get hung up on the phrase “out of area.” If you get a different brand of caller ID, it might say “unavailable” for the very same calls.

While some, probably most, of these calls are coincidentally from some other “area,” you can also get “out of area” (if that’s the phrase your machine uses) on a local call, depending on the type of phone system it comes from.

“Out of area” is not specifically telling you that the call is from far away. It might be from far away 99% of the time, but what the display is actually telling you is that the call is not registering with the caller ID system.

“If there must be one broad label for telemarketers, why not just have the callID say “telemarketer”?”

Well, as you know, no one would pick it up. Maybe some day they catch up with email address tricks & the name would say “I want you tonight” :slight_smile:

BTW, I think that if you ask your local phone company, they can set your phone to block those calls…

Not in my neck of the woods.

I’ve got ATT Digital phone service with caller Id, and Anonymous Call Blocking. It’s SUPPOSED to give a message to anyone calling whose number is blocked that they need to unblock their number and try again.

However, this only seems to twork with residential numbers- telemarketers and some businesses (my woife’s work, for example) simply come up as “Unknown name, Unknown number”

The phone company can’t give me a reasonable explanation for this- I’ve gotten several different ones that only served to highlight the lack of the CSR’s understanding.

Anyone from the NE US onbaord with similar probs? Any answer as to why?

The local phone co.s have a neat system going: They charge you for caller ID, then they charge people to stop caller ID, then they charge you to block no ID calls, then they charge them to unblock blocked calls. Wait a few months and they will offer a new service “at a modest price” to block those calls again. Then they will offer a new service to telemarketers…

Greed only works if you buy into their system.

We never pick up when caller ID says ooa–and no ooa has ever left a message on the answering machine that indicates it was someone we wanted to talk to. So for us, “out of area” = telemarketer with 100% confidence, so the display might as well say “telemarketer”.

Some telemarketers use a net to phone system where they use their internet connection to call you at home, this can give some truly strange calls. I use a service called local dial (local dial uses the internet to bypass local long distance charges) and I often show up as calling from places like texas (I live in Seattle WA) or virginia…or as ooa depending on the caller id in use.

" The phone company can’t give me a reasonable explanation for this- I’ve gotten several different ones that only served to highlight the lack of the CSR’s understanding."

Well, we don’t have the same phone company :slight_smile:

I have no idea what it does with mine, I use Pacific Bell, only it’s a new company now…sigh.