The Ramifications of the Do Not Call List

English is a complicated language. I know it. You know it. Everyone apparently knows it save for telemarketers.

Recently I switched away from satelite providing all my services (phone, internet, cable) and returned to a land line phone based system. The reasons? A: I'm really damn tired of my cable bill going up every two months when it's already ridiculous. B: I like to work when it's raining. and C: Because the local provider REALLY pissed me off. As soon as I got the new phone number, I placed it on the national Do Not Call reegistry.

I get enough phone calls from the people I owe money to. There's no need for someone to call me to get me to spend more money.

At any rate, this morning the phone rings at 8:15 a.m. Being a preternaturally light sleeper, of course it woke me up. Since I tended bar last night, I'm thinking it's GOT to be an emergency of some sort. No one in their right mind who knows me would call me before noon the day after a closing shift.

"Good morning, I'm ****** from AOL. I'm calling to -"
"I don't care." Celina is in her full-blown rude state despite being groggy. "Not only it is freaking 8 am, but I work as a bartender AND I'm on the Do Not Call Registry."
"Oh. I'm sorry. Let me double check that against my records."
"Dude, double check away. Write on your little list that regardless of what great deal AOL wants to offer me, I'll drop them as my internet provider if they EVER call this number again."

*Click*

(this would be the spot for the purple smiley guy insertion, Dragon's Den folk)

Yesterday morning, it was this:

"This is an automated message for Edward P. *****. If this is the correct number, please push one. If this person is not available, please push two. If this person is no longer at this number, please press three -"

It was the THIRD time for that phone bot in a week. The first two times, number three was pressed. Time number three, I waited for the HUMAN number to return the call. That was ugly.

Monday morning much the same, only then it was roofing. Satruday night at dinner time, we got the infamous outsourced replacement windows telemarketer.

Okay. Elementary English time. "Do Not Call". Let me break it down for you.

do:
Function: verbInflected Forms: did; done; do·ing; doestransitive verb 1 : PERFORM, EXECUTE2 : COMMIT verbal auxiliary —used with the infinitive without to to form present and past tenses in legal and parliamentary language —do business : to be engaged in business activities (as soliciting sales); specifically : to engage in activities sufficient to subject a foreign company to the personal jurisdiction of a state —see also DOING BUSINESS STATUTE

not:
(nt)adv.
In no way; to no degree. Used to express negation, denial, refusal, or prohibition: I will not go. You may not have any.

call ( P ) (kôl)v. called, call·ing, calls v. tr.
To say in a loud voice; announce: called my name from across the street; calling out numbers.
To demand or ask for the presence of: called the children to dinner; call the police.
To demand or ask for a meeting of; convene or convoke: call the legislature into session.
To order or request to undertake a particular activity or work; summon: She was called for jury duty. He was called to the priesthood.
To give the command for; order: call a work stoppage.
To communicate or try to communicate with by telephone: called me at nine.
To dial (a telephone number): call 911 for help.
To lure (prey) by imitating the characteristic cry of an animal: call ducks.
To cause to come to the mind or to attention: a story that calls to mind an incident in my youth.
To name: What will you call the baby?
To consider or regard as being of a particular type or kind; characterize: Let's call the game a draw. I'd hardly call him a good manager.
To designate; label: Nobody calls me a liar.
To demand payment of: call a loan.
To require the presentation of (a bond) for redemption before maturity.
To force the sale of (a stock or commodity) by exercising a call option.
Sports.
To stop or postpone (a game) because of bad weather, darkness, or other adverse conditions.
To declare in the capacity of an umpire or referee: call a runner out; call a penalty for holding.
To indicate a decision in regard to: calling balls and strikes; called a close play at home plate.
To give the orders or signals for: a quarterback who called a poor play.


You know, it took me all of 30 seconds to get those definitions from dictionary.com -- HOW FREAKING HARD IS IT FOR THE COMPANIES OUT THERE TO FIGURE IT OUT? What good is a Do Not call registry that doesn't work? On top of that, if I'm working online and a telemarketer calls, causing me to lose whatever I was working ON I tend to get a little annoyed.

Of course, there's no one to blame but myself. After all, telemarketers couldn't get me on satelite....could they? Well, they COULD technically, but only if the sun was shining.

Comments

Daniel Ausema said…
Yeah, I hate those automated 'We're looking for Joe Shmoe" messages. When I've tried to complain, they just claim that they had the wrong number for Joe (and usually they're a collection agency). I'll never do business with Capital One b/c of the harassing recorded messages they had call me repeatedly though. (A sinister voice not saying who they were calling for or who they were calling from, just telling me to call a certain number during certain office hours)
Uno said…
I used to work as a telemarketer for a windows company, it's rough stuff. I won't tell you to be nice to them though, I'm sure as hell not, and most of them are hoping you won't be so they don't have to do their spiel.
Samantha Iriks said…
I haven't had many problems with telemarketers. They are out there, but they call during the day and I'm not home. If I do answer, I just hung right up. No fuss. But we can also have the choice of manking our phone numbers private. Therefore they don't make it onto any list, even the phone book.
Bibsy said…
As someone else who is on the do not call list yet gets more phone calls from people selling crap than people I actually want to talk to, all I can say is:

telemarketing = evil

I really want to hunt down the people who make it worth a company's buck to telemarket in the first place and slap them.
Lesli said…
I think this is the ugly side of beautiful technology like Tivo and more subversive peer to peer stuff like bit torrent. They're losing advertising space. Marketing must become more aggressive.

Not to mention, of course, more and more jobs being cut and consolidated to further the advertising budget to get folk to spend the money they don't make anymore....

Side note. My sister used to telemarket, but she quit because she said she couldn't handle the evil.

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