I HATE, far, far more, automated calls from companies/organisations which fail completely not to be out-and-out abuse/harassment. These are recordings or computer-only calls which make me want to go thermonuclear.
The calls of this nature that we receive (on our home line) all fall into one of two categories, both horribly wrong.
- The message says that "by listening to the following message, you agree that you are <person-who-doesn't-exist>" ... and you have NO way to identify the scum calling you -- not even a phone number -- without you listening further, and thus by their bullshit claim verifying that you are the non-existent person! ARGH!
- The computer provides a way to "press 1 if you are <non-existent-person>" or "press 2 if this is the correct household but <non-existent-person> is not at home" but ... REQUIRE YOU TO CALL THEM (and they only give a number and DON'T identify what company is harassing you) to *%@^ing tell them that the person does not live here.
I don't know if there's even any rules/laws that would stop them acting in this manner. Maybe "oh, we were trying to contact John Doe, with whom we have a legitimate business relationship" is a catch-all get out of jail free card.
The primary abusers seem to be collections agencies, which seem to think it's perfectly ok to harass people, since that's what they do, but while it may be ok to "harass" the person who's failing to pay their bills, it is NOT ok to harass innocent third parties. I think these scumbags go "hm, we don't know exactly where to find John Doe, but it's cheap to have our computer repeatedly call every Doe in the phone book!" This really needs to STOP. Argh.
 A whole LOT more. I get very few plain telemarketer calls these days since they instituted the Federal DNC (Do-Not-Call) List. The calls now are even more infuriating, because it's harder to tell if they're simple SPAM or if they're some misdirected "legitimate" business call. Plus, the edge cases that are legal around the DNC list (charities, political organisations ... and businesses under certain circumstances) irritate me. Heck, it almost makes me appreciate telemarketers. At least there's a little bit of honesty in their blatant SPAMishness even if they are also horrible.