Unwanted phone solicitations are up, according to the people who keep track, and I'm not surprised.

As far as I can tell, the "Do Not Call" registry works to a point, but not as well as I'd like it to. And we all know that it doesn't stop political calls, which might be the most annoying of all.

When someone calls and the caller mispronounces your name, it's going to be all downhill from there. When I get a call and someone mangles our last name, I sometimes have a little fun and tell them "There's no one here by that name."

Yes, I know it's rude, and the person calling is probably some poor Joe who's just trying to make a living. And the longer you keep them on the line, the more you're wasting their time, while they're already wasting yours.

But how many people do you know named "Unknown Name?" And why is their phone number "Unknown Number?"

Usually, when the caller I-D says it's an 800 service, I don't bother to answer, but I wish there were a better way to screen the political types.

At any rate, this is how the Associated Press reported the depressing trend about telephone solicitations:

Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - So much for silence from telemarketers.

Complaints to the government are up sharply about unwanted phone solicitations.

The biggest one is about those annoying prerecorded pitches, called robocalls. They hawk everything from lower credit card interest rates to new windows for your home.

Government figures show robocall complaints up about 225 percent since late 2010. The spike raises questions about how well the federal do-not-call list is working. That list bars telemarketers from calling the more than 209 million phone numbers on the registry.

The Federal Trade Commission says the registry is doing an effective job fighting unwanted sales calls. The FTC does acknowledge that robocalls have become a bigger problem in recent years. The calls are hard to trace because scammers use caller-ID spoofing to mask their phone number.