When the call came in the pre-dawn hours of November 12, it awoke me and my wife from a sound sleep. After groggily picking up the phone – my heart suddenly pounding as I dimly expected news of a death in the family or other emergency – I was appalled to hear a pre-recorded advertisement for a local handyman/landscaping service. I hung up without listening to the rest of the message.
Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get back to sleep because of the jolt of adrenalin. As I lay there cursing myself for not getting the company name and callback number, I decided to get even. Since I don't have Caller ID, I invested 75 cents in Verizon's *69 service to get the last caller's number. When I tried calling that number (240-453-XXXX), I got repeated busy signals; eventually, my call went through to what was obviously an autodialer trying to make outgoing calls.