Some telemarketers don't get it

by brian d foy

The October issue of Circulation Management focuses on telemarketing and its response to the US Do Not Call Registry.

Some telemarketers just don't get in. On page 29, in a sidebar to "Telemarketing: A Tale of Two Cities" (partial article online), Debbie Dawson of Dial America is paraphrased saying

it's a shame that of those who have placed their names on the Do Not Call list, most do not realize how many calls they are missing out on that they would really like to receive.

Yeah, whatever. My guess is that people who took the affirmative action to put their name in the Do Not Call Registry to not want calls. They didn't sign up for the Do Not Call Me Unless You Think I Want Your Product Registry. It seems pretty simple to me: just don't call. No, non, nein, нет, não, nr, αριθ! (I got Babelfish right here, and I can keep going).

The article also notes that Mother Jones and Weight Watchers stopped calling subscribers at the end of their subscription period because they were getting complaints that they were violating the Do Not Call policy (although they weren't, since they had an existing business relationship). Still, those companies listened the to consumers, who were saying "Do not call me".

[Side Note: Even if you have an existing business relationship, you can still tell them not to call you and they have to not call you. ]


2004-10-19 22:17:28
The Solution
The Do Not Call List is not a solution, as those who employ telemarketers are interested in only their own purpose. They make it their business to find a way around regulations, as they have zero concern for personal privacy. Apparently some people make purchases from telemarketers, but I don't know a single one.

I have eliminated 99% of the nuisance by getting Caller ID, and I make it a point to never make a purchase from a business that uses marketing tactics that offend me. The 1 percent that manage to get through to me are politicians trying to get elected next month. I haven't yet found out how to opt out of political phone calls, but they infuriate me equally. Since so many of them do it, I can't entirely fight back by not voting for those who call, but when it is possible, that is what I do.

2004-10-19 23:31:23
The Solution
The Do Not Call list has worked for me. Caller ID may be great, but the phone still rings and a telemarketing robot still has a chance to leave a message on the answering machine. I don't experience any of that any more.
2004-10-20 00:43:44
UK Telephone Preference Service
For any UK readers reading this, use the Telephone Preference Service at :

After a month, I found that the endless India based call-centres trying to flog you various rubbish stops.

2004-10-20 04:23:06
The Solution
you're lucky with a legal status to the do not call list.
There's one here as well but it's managed by the association of telemarketeers and the biggest telco (who makes tons of money selling phone numbers etc. to telemarketeers).
Strangely they require a LOT of personal information to put you on the list.
Not just phone number but postal address, income, education, etc.
Ostensibly (they claim) it's to ensure it's really you and not someone else signing you up to not be called but I'm sceptical. My guess is it's just like a spammer's "unsubscribe" feature...

CallerID doesn't work with telemarketeers either, they by now have all turned off the number transmission function.
As they're by far the only people who've done that (most companies have including the one I work for) you can't very well ignore all calls without a verifiable number that you know so they have you anyway.

I've found the best way is to be extremely rude to them OR to feign interest for a long time and then say no thanks. They either hang up or spend so much time on the phone with you trying to sell you that it's no longer profitable.
You'll be put in that company's list of bad people to call and at least for a while will be ignored.

2004-10-20 06:04:45
The Solution
My experience (in the U.S.) shows that telemarketers are generally no longer blocking their numbers. Phone companies offer an "anonymous call reject" option that causes your phone not to ring if the caller ID is blocked. For a while, this was great: telemarketers did not get through. Now, though, the telemarketers have adjusted, and usually either "Dial America" or city, state (e.g., "Topeka, KS" or "Atlanta, GA") shows up, along with a number.

I know not answer calls from Dial America, and am pretty weary of calls from Topeka, KS, but as I live in Atlanta, "Atlanta, GA" appears to be a cell phone call from a friend or colleague. Regardless of who its from, it's annoying because I still have to go to the phone to check the caller ID.

The Do Not Call Registry, however, has worked for me, at least.

2004-10-20 06:05:41
The Solution
Along the lines of: "I've found the best way is to be extremely rude to them OR to feign interest for a long time and then say no thanks."

I had a call a few years back that caught me in the mood of wanting to screw with someone. I had been following the antics of Tom Mabe around that time.

The call was from Sprint trying to get me to change service. I rattled off a few details about needing to sustain a minimum throughput over three lines to three different locations for specific times of the day for a new business I was starting. After several minutes of the guy getting all the details nailed down, he brought on a supervisor to ask a couple more questions. My response to the supervisor was something along the lines of just asking to price match my current service.

We did this a couple more times before they realized I wasn't playing by the same rules they were and they dropped the line.

2004-10-20 13:06:23
Don't buy a house.
The Do Not Call list worked well for me, until I bought a house. Then the Toxic Chemical, er Lawn Service, Vinyl Windows (no thanks, I like glass), and Water Softener (mine's quite soft, unless I freeze it) sellers came out of the woodwork. Unfortunately, I'm too lazy to write down the details and go to Small Claims. I guess they're counting on that.