Telemarketing: You can do something about it
You know the drill. The phone rings as you are just sitting down to dinner. A friendly voice begins and you realize that someone is trying to sell you something. If you try to be polite or considerate, it seems that this person has an answer for everything you say. You find yourself getting uncomfortable and feeling that you are being probed. Sometimes you answer the ringing phone and there's no one there. Other times you find yourself listening to a recording. If you are like many of us, you can end up feeling exasperated and helpless and often angry.
In one Seinfeld episode, Jerry responded to the call by saying he was busy and asking the caller for HIS home phone number.
Many telemarketers work from a carefully developed script designed to get a hook in you by taking advantage of your courtesy, your dreams, your charity, your logic or your emotions. The script tells them what to say, gives a set of your likely responses, and then tells them what to say next. Many of us have resigned ourselves to simply hanging up on such callers. My wife tells them that she's an alien from Mars or Venus. That seems to be off-script and causes at least a momentary delay in the caller dialog.
And, if you didn't have enough to worry about already, keep in mind that if your Mom or Dad are alone and getting a little less sharp than they once were, they too are getting these persuasive calls. Lists of people are bought and sold. Don't you think that a list of names filtered to include only those who have bought from a telemarketer will be worth more than an unfiltered list? Buy once, get more calls. Something that is an annoyance for you or I could develop into a serious financial loss for a vulnerable elderly person.
If you get to the point of being truly fed-up, or if you simply want to take a positive action, you'll be happy to know that there is a website devoted to helping us battle these types of calls. There are government regulations whereby you can collect money from the callers if they can be proved to have broken the rules.
The website is www.junkbusters.com. Click HERE to go specifically to their information about telemarketing. The site includes mailings to major telemarketing services to be placed on the "do not call" list. There is a script you can use to question the telemarketer on incoming calls. There is legal information about how you can collect when they break the law. The site gives you the tools to fight back at a simple level or a battleground level. The more legitimate telemarketers will respond to the simple level and that alone should reduce your number of unwanted calls. However, it may not be so easy getting rid of a more aggressive telemarketer.
A lady named Diana Mey took on one such aggressive telemarketer. Her saga reads like a TV movie. Click HERE to read the USA Today article from 1999 about this determined lady. You may not want to go quite as far as she did, but I sure felt good to know that someone was willing to go to the battleground. It is very interesting reading.
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