August 27, 2003
or not, telemarketers have job to do
telephone still rings, night after night, with pushy telemarketers.
I thought some laws were passed that had put a stop to
their calls. But, they still call when we are eating dinner
and sometimes after we have gone to bed. Slamming the
phone down is wrong, but what else can I do? My own way
of treating people does not allow me to be rude, but this
type of abuse is wrong. Can you help me?
are not alone in being frustrated and irritated by their
intrusive and incessant calling. The telemarketing industry
has seemed to operate without any regard to the consumers.
Comedians have made jokes about it and some suggest placing
the receiver of the phone down, after such a caller has
interrupted your evening, and saying you need to get a
pencil and paper, only to ignore them until the line goes
dead – wasting their time and reducing your stress
by not listening to them.
as this might appear, it is not a proper response. Those
who are working for a telemarketing firm need to find
customers. This is how they are trying to make a living,
and it isn't appropriate to make their lives miserable
because their employers are making our lives miserable.
is a better way, really an integrity-centered way, to
handle unwanted phone solicitation. As you may know, on
October 1, a new federal law puts into effect something
called the "National Do Not Call Registry."
Telemarketers face fines of up to $11,000 each time they
call someone listed on the federal do-not-call listing.
Anyone can get on the list by calling the Federal Trade
Commission toll free at (888) 382-1222 or registering
through the Web at: www.donotcall.gov.
good reason to act soon is that consumers, must sign up
by Sunday to be on the registry by Oct. 1. Those who sign
up later will have to wait three months before their numbers
appear on the registry. In the coming weeks, households
can expect to be deluged with phone solicitations as telemarketers
try to establish relationships before the registry goes
into effect. The FTC already is getting reports that telemarketing
call volume has soared. After Oct. 1, those who have not
signed up for the registry can expect a flood of calls
as marketers zero in on them.
to an article in the Los Angeles Times, the telemarketers
are pleased with this new regulation. At least that is
what the spokespeople are saying. They say it will greatly
simplify their operations by drawing a line between those
who don't want to be called and all the others,
who the telemarketers will assume are eager to talk. Some
of the major telemarketers support the registry because
they say that they believe in the consumers' right
to be left alone.
these same organizations have lobbyists who feel differently.
The American Teleservices and Direct Marketing associations
have filed lawsuits to stop the registry which they say
is a violation of free speech and will ruin the telemarketing
this industry did not regulate itself. It became too intrusive
and abusive of people's time at home, especially
during the evening. As a result, the government stepped
in with a legislative response, the Do Not Call Registry.
We know that when free markets do not regulate themselves,
frustrated people like us may demand external restrictions.