Soapbox Sunday: Telephone Shenanigans

>> Sunday, November 22, 2009

*Steps on soapbox

Sometimes, of course, I like to talk about important topics on my soapbox, things that have a big impact on the world, like global warming (yes, I believe it's a big issue), healthcare reform (we so desperately need this, and, like global warming, I think it is a moral issue). Truth is, though, most everyone who reads my blog (all two dozen of you or so) probably already know how I stand on these issues.

But, sometimes, the soapbox is about stuff that just torques me off.

I'm grateful for the "Do Not Call" list, though, of course, it isn't perfect and there are groups that apparently refuse to abide by it. Unfortunately, I have donated to enough charities and am involved with enough businesses that I still get plenty of calls. Mostly, I'm OK with that and deal with them - "No, I don't want to sign on with this or that insurance/shopping service/credit protection/etc".

However, now that telemarketers have lost many of their customers, I'm finding that they're trying new tricks. One that I hate is calling in as a "private caller" on my caller id. My ex' number comes up as "private caller" so when my daughter's with him, I have to answer.

That's bad enough, but now they're calling and then, when I pick up, an automated voice says "Hold on for a representative. Your call is very important to us." Some frickin' unwanted organization (who doesn't identify itself) calls me and puts me on hold? Are you kidding me? (And what's with "my call is very important to us?") However, since I answered the call at least once, this damn company keeps calling me. Over and over.

I don't know which company it is because I refuse to wait on hold for it. On principle. However, this keeps up, I am going to wait on it. If it comes to that, believe me, they're going to wish they never got my number.

I'm more than capable of being a bitch.

*Steps off soapbox


  • Jeff King


  • Boris Legradic

    Isn't that illegal? I seem to remember having read somewhere that automated tele-marketing calls were made illegal in the US a while back. Didn't pay too much attention though, because tele-marketing as a whole doesn't exist in Europe (or at least not in France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, don't know about the rest for sure). I only get a call once every couple of months on my office phone, asking me if we don't want to buy some more oscilloscopes - which is annoying enough. Oscilloscopes last a long while, and we just got two knew ones last year, what do they think? They probably don't, at that...

  • Stephanie B

    I don't know if it is illegal, Boris, but given that it's a "private caller" I wouldn't be surprised. But, if it isn't, it ought to be.

  • The Mother

    Unfortunately, in order to tell them to take you off their list, you do have to wait for a representative. But you should only have to do it once. According to an attorney I know, you need to get the name of the representative you speak to and the name of the company, write it down, with the date.

    They get 30 days grace to take you off their list. If they call you again after that, you report them to the state attorney. And they DO go after them.

    I have gotten rid of lots of these guys this way. The penalties are steep and these companies rely on you not knowing your rights.

  • Roy

    Yeah, the Do Not Call list works pretty well, but they do have ways to weasel their way around the regs. I've even had some telemarketing calls on my cell phone - a prerecording in Spanish, and some time-share thing that calls every couple of months, again prerecorded.

    But all of this reminds me of the greatest telemarketer karma tape I've ever heard. My stomach hurts from laughing every time I listen to this one.

  • Shakespeare

    If I answer the phone, and it isn't an old college calling (which is half the time), I pretty much seek out a representative. I press "1" or whatever number they ask me to press, and tell them to LEAVE ME ALONE and NOT CALL AGAIN. And woe betide them if they do, even a day later. All I need say is the word "harassment" and I never hear from them again.

    I often don't answer. My phone is my phone. I don't even answer relatives if I don't want to talk to them. My phone. Of course, if you were to call, I'd answer. Love ya!

  • Quadmama

    I like the Do Not Call list, but you're right, companies are finding tricky ways around it. When I had caller ID I stopped answering "private" calls and rarely did anyone leave a message. Even now I tend to screen calls through my machine. It's my understanding that if you do business with a company they are allowed to call you even if you're "on the list." For example, my bank can call me whenever it wants to see if I want to "upgrade" or open a credit card, etc.

  • Relax Max

    Well, you know. Cell phones. But they have started to call on those too. I dunno. Tell them you will go get her and then just lay the phone down. Time is money to those people, so steal some from them. Eventually they will hang up.

  • Relax Max

    I doubt you are capable of being a bitch. :)

  • Stephanie B

    You would be wrong, Relax Max. Would you like references?

  • Stephanie B

    It does occur to me, Relax Max, that my toddler LOVES to "talk" on the phone. I could let her do the talking.

  • Bob Johnson

    I feel quite fortunate, I don't get that many calls at all, they just started coming up as Private caller when they do come through but at the end of the month I'm dropping my landline anywho and just going cell, never had a telemarketer on it yet.

  • Stephanie B

    Bob! It's lovely to see you!

  • flit

    I had someone from an alarm company call me this weekend. I said I was not interested and hung up.

    5 minutes later, same voice calls back and says he is a MANAGER with that same company and ...I interupt him and tell him that I am still not interested and that I am on the do not call list so -

    he interupted me and said "That's why I am calling you..."

    You are CALLING me BECAUSE I'm on the Do Not Call list? Yeah...right!

    I did telemarketing and was very good at it, actually - but a big part of the reason I was good at it was because I did not waste my time on people that were not interested.

  • MA Fat Woman

    Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for visiting my blog!

  • Relax Max

    A public apology to Stephanie for doubting her knowledge of Marie Curie. She had two daughters and not a daughter and a son. You have no idea how this pains me to say this where others can read it: YOU WERE RIGHT.

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