Today I learned about EnQ.

The IRS has a longstanding problem with call hold times; because of the volume of people calling, and a paucity of agents, it can take hours to get a real person on the phone.

The founders of EnQ decided to "solve" this problem: they bought a vast phone bank and now constantly auto-dial the IRS, locking up all their phone lines indefinitely. Then, you pay EnQ, and they attach you to the line that's been on hold the longest (and is therefore closest to talking to a real person).

I don't know how to relate as a human being to someone who can be this blatantly villainous.

@noelle how the fuck does the FCC even allow that?

Try that with a public sector phone service in Europe, the Communications Ministry are very likely to turn up on the doorstep of whoever is doing such things along with cops or other security agencies, and depending on the risk assessments its very likely some of these officers may even be armed!

In many countries its even illegal to configure a fax machine or other autodialler to redial too soon after a failed attempt to place a call..

@vfrmedia Corporate lobbyists, I'm afraid. Believe me, I'd love the FCC to crack down harder on autodialers!

@noelle part of my day job is in VOIP engineering and although we do have a problem with spoofed CLID and scam calls in UK, its not /that/ easy to present a duff ID into the main fixed telephone networks and dubious call patterns are scanned for and investigated (there's a whole unit of British Telecom in my area which does this) and dodgy CLID rejected.. Even on mobile a CLID from a sketchy source is often automatically detected and its country code (if absent) forced onto the start..

@noelle over here reputable VOIP providers will now only allow you to present a CLID you definitely own and they charge an admin fee for allowing this function, and sketchy ones tend to have their routing removed from the network and/or their whole number block is mistrusted by others (even if Ofcom don't immediately revoke it), which would of course impact decent customers using that block (all the block allocations of numbers to telecoms companies are on public record)

@noelle @lightweight It could be an attempt to get the IRS to fix their call center so the business model goes away....

But that would clearly be a bad faith explaination, there is insufficient political will to fund the IRS.

@LovesTha @noelle @lightweight clearly what the IRS should do to get funding is to charge money for reserving calls itself </s>

@a_breakin_glass @noelle @lightweight Or just replace the phone number with a automated calling system, drop your phone number in, say when you are free to accept a call and the IRS system calls you when they can.

@a_breakin_glass @noelle @lightweight (also more effort into giving good advice that reduces the need for a call would be money well spent)

@noelle I swear there's already services along the same lines for general call center stuff

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Hic quoque abibit.

Just Ellie (and perhaps some of her toys).