Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Attack of the Telemonsters

Does this sound familiar to you?

“Hi is Mrs _____ there?”

“Who is calling?”

“Is Mrs ____ there?”

“Who is calling?”

“We will call back another time…”


Just a typical supper hour with the phone ringing; calls from people I don’t know, and don’t want to know. If it isn’t the Weedman, it is the phone company, or a charity which may or may not really exist. Like dust mites and bedbugs, these vermin invade the comfort and privacy of your home, and seem impossible to exterminate. As soon as the caller starts with the Mrs. crap, I know this person has no idea who I am. I never took my husband’s name. Anyone important to me knows that. I cut them off at the sound of my Mother in Law’s name- politely but firmly.

“I am sorry, we don’t take telemarketing calls of any kind; please remove us from your calling list.” And I hang up. But I can only do that when they identify themselves, I try to keep a track of who is calling, that way if I get a second call, I can get nasty sans guilt.

But the annoying fucktard who called me on Saturday with the above script did not identify themselves, and when I did a reverse look up on the number that called me- it of course had little information listed. When I called them back, they never answered their phone- funny that. What gives them the right to call me, refuse to identify themselves, and then hang-up when I won’t play ball? It should not be allowed.

There are things you can do to reduce the amount of phone spam you get, I know, because I used to process a lot of phone lists when I worked as a DBA. I will share with you what I know- and while I can promise a reduction in calls, it will not get rid of them completely.

1) Most legit companies who use telemarketing firms also keep track of who they call, what
the response was and try to remove people from their lists when they express a wish not to be called. Legitimate companies don’t really want to piss off potential customers. Every telemarketing company is required by CRTC rules to keep a "do not call" list (and similar "do not fax" list for faxes). So next time they phone tell them you do not want to be called again, and asked to but put on their do not call list.

2) Register with the CMA . The Do Not Contact Service enables individuals to reduce the number of marketing offers they receive by mail, telephone and fax. Consumers register to have their names removed from marketing lists held by members of the Canadian Marketing Association.

3) The CMA will not run the phone portion of the Do not Contact Service by the end of the year, instead Bell (ugh!) Canada will take over. Canadians will be able to register online, by phone or by fax to be added to the list, entirely free. Once added, telemarketers have 31 days to stop calling, and must refrain from calling for three years.

4) Participate in the Red Dot Campaign. This does not address telemarketers, but their print equivalent- Junk Mail.

5) Finally: when the next telemonster calls do not buy anything from them! The reason why you are interrupted daily by these companies is because it works. Don’t make it work for them. If they call you again, complain in writing to the company, and if they are members, to the CMA as well.

Good Luck!

What is the worst telemarketing experience you have ever had?


c'est moi said...

i don't even try to be polite anymore. I don't give a flying fuck that some poor kid or pakistani national is just trying to make a living as a telephone salesman. Fuck them and the horse they rode in on. They are calling me at my home and disturbing me in what I am doing there and I do not cotton that bull. I very abruptly and very rudely tell them as much, tell them that under CRTC rules they must taken my name off their list and make them repeat that they will take my name off their list. Finally, I ask for an apology and tell the piss ants to get a real job before slamming the phone. If more people stopped being nice to these dirt bags, maybe they're bosses would get the idea to keep their commercialism less invasive.

They are as bad as the religious freaks who show up at your door selling their brand of heaven. Invite those fuckers in for some beer, a hit off the pipe, and an eyeful of porn. They'll pray for you ;-)I know there a few praying for me.

Nuclear Mom said...

I LOATHE telemarketers. It is so rude.

Unfortunately my husband believes in being nice. He also for some freaking reason loves political surveys and insists on taking them over the phone. I tell him that just means they will call back again... his response? Good!

I have gotten to the point if I don't know the number on Caller ID, I don't answer.

Anonymous said...

Between 6 and 8 tonight, we received 8 calls. 7 were from telemarketers.

I usually just let them get through the first sentence.... the initial pitch. Then I interrupt them telling them that I'm not interested, or I can't help them this year, or I don't go for that kind of thing. If they choose to ignore me by being insistent, I simply hang up.

My son puts the phone in front of his computer speakers, which are usually playing rap or techno and "forgets" about them. :)

Steve said...

Ha! That last comment wasn't from "anonymous". It was from me!

Oh me NERVES!!!

Nancy Crozier said...

We use Call Display to identify telemarketers. If we're wrong and it's a legitimate caller - and we're rarely wrong - we'll hear their voice on our digital answering machine and pick up.

nadinebc said...

We were considering getting call display and dumping our answering machine just to avoid the telemonsters.

Deirdre said...

Well, it's not the worst, but I know a guy who had a telemarketer wake him up from a sound sleep. She apologized and they chatted for a moment, and she asked him if he'd be interested in XYZ product, and he said no, but would she be interested in phone sex. She hung up.

I still laugh out loud when I think of that story.