Stop Calling Me! How to Avoid Telemarketers
The world of telemarketing has evolved from the tradition of sitting down to dinner and being disturbed by a telemarketer wanting "just a few minutes of your time" for a survey, or to ask you to donate to their cause, or to sell you something you probably don't need.
These days, you often aren't even being called by a human being; a computer calls. You say "hello", and hear dead air. Against your better judgement, you say "hello" again, and hear that ominous click. Then if you're lucky you will hear a live person's voice as the computer that called you clicks over to the next available operator. But sometimes, as if to add insult to injury, you will be informed by an electronic voice that "abc" company is trying to reach you and that an operator will be with you shortly. Cue in the elevator music.
Meanwhile, dinner is getting cold.
You don't have to succumb to this invasion any longer.
A single toll-free call or visit to the Federal Trade Commission website can remove you from all professional telemarketing companies' lists nationwide. Visit them here or call them at 1-888-382-1222.
Every 31 days, telemarketers must update their Do Not Call lists from the national registry, so within a month the dinnertime disturbances will subside. Your name will stay on the list for five years, at which time if you notice an influx of calls you can renew your listing.
For more information, check out FTC's website.
You're not out of the woods yet though! You might still be contacted by research surveys, charities, political parties, long distance phone companies, airlines, insurance companies, or companies with whom you have had recent dealings.
However if you receive said calls and tell the company that they are not to call again, they must honour your request.
And it goes without saying that any company calling claiming you have won something or asking for credit card information for charitable donations are to be treated extremely sceptically. A general rule of thumb is to ask for their contact information and call them back if you think they are legitimate and you are interested in doing business. If they are unwilling to cooperate then you should run for the hills.
In the meantime, you can contact the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance to see if companies claiming to be national charities are scams. For local organizations, contact your state consumer protection office and ask if the charity is registered.
Scam charities can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Response Center, with complaint forms available here.
Let peaceful quiet dinnertimes all over the world be reinstated and celebrated! Stop the marketers in their tracks! We live in a world where we are being constantly bombarded with sales pitches - on television, radio, movies, newspapers, billboards, heck - even public washroom stall doors…let's keep the home a sacred haven from such invasions.