Remember, way back in the day, when you'd get spam -- how you could hit Unsubscribe and it was accepted. Then you weren't bothered anymore. Nowadays you can't, because instead it means "Human at other end" and the sender[s] never stop.
An attitude shift, sure, but it's also something else.
I think skip tracers [collectors] have bought into that new system too. That a human answering means it doesn't matter if it's the human sought, it's human, and that's all that matters. The reason I think so is that my parents have been hassled by collectors for someone else. People who've never lived here; the previous owners of their current phone number.
When did half a loaf start to be more important? It's dehumanizing.
More, it's scary.
This is a little like a fairly chilling part of a Patricia McKillip book that I happen to love. One character tells another that being alive is the only criteria required.
So is it?