Thursday, October 30, 2008

The sound of silence

Completely unrelated to the Simon and Garfunkel song...

On September 30, I registered our home and cell phone numbers on the National Do Not Call List (DNCL), as did millions of other Canadians. According to the rules, telemarketers had 31 days from registration to comply and stop harassing us (I could have sworn it was 30 days, but I noticed it was 31 as I was searching for other information).

Anyway, by my calculations, today is the day they stop! Our home should no longer receive annoying calls from telemarketers, with a few exceptions.
"Registered charities are still allowed to call for donations, and certain other organizations-such as companies conducting polls or surveys, political parties, and newspapers looking for subscriptions-can also continue to contact you. As well, if you’ve done business with a company in the last 18 months, that company is considered to have a relationship with you and is allowed to call."
I'm really not sure how many companies they'll actually punish for not complying. You need their company name or phone number to file a complaint, which means you'll more or less have to go along with the call to get that information, if their number isn't displayed on your call display box, before tearing them a new one. It's much easier and quicker just to hang up on them, which I suspect is what most people will do unless the calls are frequent.

I have a feeling that many have already stopped calling. For almost a week, we were getting daily canned messages on our answering machine from HBC Credit Services or hang-up calls and they've suddenly stopped. It's unusual to get home after work and see a ZERO on our answering machine, yet that is how it has been.

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  1. You're lucky. 99% of the telemarketing calls we get are from the US, so we're not going to be lucky with the DNC list. "This is your captain speaking" or the generic "we;ll get your better interest rates on your credit card" pre-recorded phone spam are the type of calls we get, originating from US area codes. Unfortunately the DNC list does not apply to US telemarketers, as there's no jurisdiction. One of the biggest pissers is that there's no way to talk to a live person other than calling a long distance number. These are just recordings.

  2. Coincidentally, I did have a partial message from one of these "lower your interest" rate telemarketers on our machine when I got home today. I didn't catch who it was from because their recording started speaking during the outgoing message. All I heard was something about 'call now to lower your interest rate' and 'press 3 to discontinue these call'. Maybe I should record a stream of presses on #3 in the outgoing message.

    We do still get the occasional 000-000-0000 call as well, which we never answer.