We need a new firewall / NAT / VPN box for the office. If you know about these and could recommend one, please email me. [Update: thanks to everyone who wrote in. I think we’re going with the SonicWall XPRS2. If you have any horrible experiences, please warn me!]


Last week I got a call from MCI.

“Hi, this is your local phone company,” they lied. “We’d like to save you money.”

“Please take me off your list,” I responded.

“List? I didn’t put you on my list.”

Now I was getting angry. I thought the law here was that they had to take you off their list if you insisted. But they refused. I hung up on them.

That night, Jared told me that they are only required to respond if I use the exact words “please put me on your do-not-call list”. Apparently the telemarketers are now being trained that unless they hear this magic phrase word for word, they should keep calling you.

And call they did. Today, the same moron called me back. I told him the magic words: “Please put me on your do-not-call list.”

“Oh, OK,” he said. Same guy. So now I have proof that MCI actually has this insane policy, Jared is not just being paranoid.

Why do they want to call me if they know it makes me angry? What kind of company would do that? It can’t possibly help and can only hurt. If anyone has any insight into the messed up management process at this company that actually made them reach this decision, I’d love to hear it.

If you live in New York State and don’t like telemarketing calls, there is a web form you can fill out which makes it illegal for telemarketers to call you.

I filled it out today. According to the web site, the next “do not call” directory will be published October 1 and telemarketers have until November 1 to stop calling me, or they will be subject to a $2000 fine.

If enough people (and states) figure this out, maybe one day telemarketing will be worthless and nobody will bother any more.

About the author.

In 2000 I co-founded Fog Creek Software, where we created lots of cool things like the FogBugz bug tracker, Trello, and Glitch. I also worked with Jeff Atwood to create Stack Overflow and served as CEO of Stack Overflow from 2010-2019. Today I serve as the chairman of the board for Stack Overflow, Glitch, and HASH.