Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Say Bye Bye!!

We all get them. We all hate them! What am I talking about? Telemarketers!

I get that people need to make a living and that businesses have to find a way to get their services out there, but let's be honest here - is there anybody out there who actually likes getting these annoying calls? I don't think so!

As of September 30. 2008 we here in Canada now have the ability to register for a National Do Not Call List. Our friends to the south, have had a similar list for over a year now and millions of people have registered.

There has been a limited version of "Do Not Contact" available through the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) for years that covers both print mail and phone calls, but this only covers the companies that are members of the CMA. That left a huge gap for non member companies to take advantage of.

I don't get a lot of telemarketer calls. My phone number is unlisted. Aside from close family, good friends, doctors and a few business that I have regular contact with, I don't give out my phone number. I won't even provide it when requested for refunds/rebates. If they have my address they can reach me. Print mail can also be a pain but most companies would rather talk you into using their services rather than running the risk of you throwing their info in the trash - especially with the growing focus on being green and the costs of printing and postage on the rise.

When I do get a telemarketer call it is generally a prerecorded automated type or the semi-automated ones that dial several numbers and connect a live person with the first sucker to answer the phone. Both kinds are really annoying, but at least when you get a live person you can ask how they got your number and more importantly, you have the ability and the right, to ask them to remove your number from their data base.

If I get a call where the caller knows my name and/or claims to be with a financial institution, I tell them that since they supposedly know my name, then they obviously have an address and therefore should mail me whatever info they feel is so important. I refuse to confirm who I am for them or if I have a preexisting relationship with them. You can never be too careful in protecting your identity and personal information!!

The prerecorded ones are the most annoying of the bunch. I don't know about you, but I've been getting calls from the same chirpy female voice for about 13 months now. I have been unable to find out how this company(ies) got my number. "She" is calling on behalf of "insert business name here" (Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, Zellers, Air Canada are just a few of the businesses this same voice claims to represent). I've never listened to her whole pitch. I hang up as soon as I hear her voice. Actually, thanks to my talking call display, I usually know it's her before I answer the phone! After the first couple of calls, I went back into my call display history and started keeping a log of the calls. There have been 21 so far.

The calls are always Monday to Friday between 9:00 AM and 9:00 PM. They are all slightly different phone numbers but have always been from one of 6 USA area codes in 4 states: 301/410 (Maryland); 517/231 (Michigan); 601 (Mississippi); 201 (New Jersey).

1-517-933-2023 17:07 Thu. 8/30/07
1-301-392-8247 15:56 Fri. 9/07/07
1-301-392-8258 16:49 Wed. 10/10/07
1-517-933-2075 16:57 Mon. 10/15/07
1-231-732-2046 15:42 Thu. 11/01/07
1-616-980-2524 16:16 Fri. 11/09/07
1-201-257-4910 17:26 Thu. 11/29/07
1-201-257-4898 18:25 Thu. 12/13/07
1-201-257-4900 18:30 Tue. 12/18/07
1-410-774-8036 16:18 Wed. 12/26/07
1-410-774-8037 17:39 Wed. 1/09/08
1-410-774-8062 15:08 Thu. 2/14/08
1-410-774-8092 14:42 Mon. 4/14/08
1-517-931-2317 18:35 Mon. 4/28/08
1-517-931-2311 10:50 Tue. 5/13/08
1-231-732-2111 17:13 Wed. 5/21/08
1-410-774-8019 09:08 Mon. 6/02/08
1-616-980-2334 11:21 Wed. 6/04/08
1-517-931-2024 14:58 Tue. 8/26/08
1-410-774-8782 09:27 Thu. 8/28/08
1-410-774-8800 14:59 Mon. 9/15/08

Persistent aren't they? I know 21 calls isn't a lot compared to what a lot of people put up with, but until these calls started 13 months ago I was getting maybe 2-3 calls/year.

I know this new Do Not Call List may not get rid of these but I am going to sign up. There are exemptions to the DNCL, such as; political parties, surveys, charities, newspaper subscriptions and businesses you have a preexisting relationship with - however this should get rid of a big chunk of calls for most people.

For more info and to register on line;
You can also register by phone at:
1-866-580-DNCL (1-866-580-3625)
or 1-888-DNCL-TTY (1-888-362-5889).
The Canadian Marketing Association;

Most calls should disappear 31 days after registration. You need to re-register every 3 years or if you move or change your phone number.

Here's hoping that future phone calls will actually be ones that we want!


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