Friday, February 04, 2005

Telemarketing Rant

Does your phone ever ring and there is no one there? And *69 doesn't work? It happens here very often, often daily for a week or more. I have long suspected that this is some sort of auto-dialling from a telemarketing call center, and yesterday my theory was confirmed.

I stop what I am doing, set down my tools, switch off the machines that are running and rush to the office to pick up the phone. "Hello" I say. No answer. "Hello.... Hello", then just as I was about to hang up, an automated recording starts. "This is a telemarketing call from *** Book Club. All of our representatives are busy. We will call you back again." Well, I don't remember their exact words, but that was the gist of it.

So in other words, they don't give a rat's ass how much inconvenience they cause me, as long as they don't have to have a telemarketer waiting for a few seconds for the phone to ring and someone to answer. This is done using a Predictive Dialer. What's more there is no one for me to rant to about how I don't appreciate being disturbed by these calls. I always feel a lot better after I have given one of these people a hard time. It would be really nice if I could get them to quit their low-life job, then the company they work for would have to spend money recruiting and training a new sucker to work for them. Hitting their bottom line is the only way to stop this anti-social form of marketing.

I really like Jerry Seinfelds conversation with a telemarketer. As for this from a telemarketer, all I can say is too bad. You choose to do the job, if you can't hack it, quit and get a real job.

As for this opt-out service by the Canadian Marketing Association, we will see what happens now that I have registered. But I really don't see why I should have to take the initiative to opt-out. Why not an opt-in service? Maybe because no one actually wants to receive these calls?

The CBC offers these Tips for Dealing with Telemarketers.

Over at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission website, I really thought I was onto something good:
"As of October 1st, 2004, the telemarketer must give you a unique registration number which you should write down as proof that your "do not call" request was made. " However, further reading shows that this never came into effect. The document outlining the objection to the suggested changes makes interesting reading:

"The CMA argued that a number of smaller businesses and not-for-profit organizations that rely heavily on telephone solicitation in order to sell products and services or to obtain donations and funding may have to abandon the use of telecommunications for this purpose if forced to implement these new measures." Well, I for one wouldn't loose any sleep over that.

".... the requirement to issue a unique registration number to every customer who makes a DNC request was causing Canadian businesses to incur significant start-up and re-training costs...."
"..the requirement to maintain a live operator, as opposed to an interactive voice mail system, during regular business hours was causing Canadian businesses to incur a huge expense..."

See, it's all about the bottom line, so I will continue my policy of making their lives hell and never-ever buying anything from a telemarketer.

On a more positive note, the CMA does seem to prefer "a coordinated, enforced, national DNC (do not call) list.", but I guess that isn't going to happen anytime soon. In the meantime I guess I will have to continue winding up these time-wasters a little longer.

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