Time to hang up on the telemarketers
April 28, 2004
After signing up for the “do-not-call” list, I thought some of my troubles were over. This morning I decided that it had just been an exercise in futility on my part.
As I was getting ready for work, the phone rang.
I stepped out of the shower and answered. A recorded message said, “This call is to verify the number. Sorry for any inconvenience.” As I stood there, I doubted the recording’s sincerity.
I assume telemarketers were told “no more hang up calls.”
You know, the ones where your phone rings, you answer, no one’s there, and eventually you get a dial tone. Supposedly this tells telemarketers when you’re usually at home and apt to answer the phone.
My question is, are these calls covered by the “do-not-call” enrollment, which I understand is being fought by the telemarketing industry as violating their right to free speech.
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I’m proposing a “I-do-not-buy-from-or-donate-to-any-organization-that-calls-me-at-home,-but-I-sincerely-appreciate-your-efforts-at-keeping-my-phone-bill-down-by-supporting-whichever-phone-company-you-use” list.
Knowing that my name was on such a list would probably keep me from feeling so frustrated with what I deem “nuisance” calls.
I called my local phone provider and was told that there was nothing they were doing or could do regarding telemarketing calls.
The gentleman I talked to suggested that I sign up for caller-ID – but I’d still have to get out of the shower to identify the caller, plus pay extra for the service.
Along the same line is the mail you receive asking you to fill out an application for credit cards or whatever.
I’ve taken to writing a note on them requesting that my name be removed from their files and returning them in the postage-paid envelope included – I’ve returned up to 10 in one week.
Hopefully this will keep the post office’s revenues up, and help keep my postage expenses down.
My next step is to type a letter stating that I have returned five of their requests with notes to remove my name from their files and further mailings will be viewed as harassment.
Will this have any effect? Maybe not, but it will keep me from feeling so frustrated with “nuisance” mail.
Here at The Record-Courier I’ve been typing some articles that appeared in the paper in the early 1900s. It’s been really interesting to read about how things used to be.
Maybe someday, 100 years from now, someone may read about how things were in the old days of 2004.
How businesses could call anyone at any time at their home and interrupt their daily life with requests to BUY, BUY, BUY.
Mary Ann Richardson is editorial assistant at The Record-Courier