Telemarketers & statements about them I don’t agree with

“One shouldn’t be rude to a telemarketer, after all, he/she’s just trying to earn a living.”

You can say the same of a crack dealer, a prostitute, or someone who rifles your car looking for money or credit cards. The telemarketer is taking something of value from you — your time — without your consent or invitation in the hopes of financial gain. This is a form of petty thievery. I guess if you feel you should be polite and turn the other cheek to thieves, then it follows you should be courteous to a telemarketer. In any case, when the phone rings and a telemarketer is on the other end rudeness has already been initiated by the caller.

“You can take care of telemarketers by putting your phone number on the “Do Not Call” registry.”

This is of some use for a residential phone number, but of no use at all for a business. The telemarketers that harass businesses are an almost entirely different group than the ones that call your home. They mostly push credit card processing services, group health plans, questionable loan programs and internet marketing schemes. The “Do Not Call” registry has no legal application to a business phone. In any case, even at your home, telemarketers trying to sell political candidates, a telemarketer calling from an entity you have transacted business with, and telemarketers trying to stick a hand in your wallet on behalf of alleged charities are all exempt from being required to follow the registry. An ethical law-abiding telemarketer will honor the registry and not call your home. Wait a minute! “Ethical, law-abiding telemarketer?” Isn’t that an oxymoron?

“You invite telemarketing calls by owning and answering your telephone.”

In one sense true, in another sense not even worthy of rebuttal, but I have heard it said.

“You should put your cell phone on a “Do Not Call” registry because publication of a directory of all cell phone numbers is imminent.”

This is a persistent urban myth. See this Snopes report. I suspect it’s probably a bad idea to put your cell phone on any list which could be used to verify its a working number.

“I am NOT a telemarketer…….”

“I am simply trying to help your business get to the top of the Google listings, I am trying to help you save money on your credit card fees, I have a college degree and am trying to help you manage investments…..” Etc., etc., etc….. Barf! OK, you are not only a telemarketer, but you are trying to insult my intelligence with an obvious lie, or perhaps you need a dictionary.

“Telemarketers raise money for causes such as fighting drugs, aiding the family of fallen law enforcement officers, etc. etc.”

They raise money for those that own the boiler room operations. The state troopers associations or whatever get only the most token percentage. Its despicable and wrong that they let their name be used by disreputable businesses on the theory that any pittance they might receive is that much more than nothing. Perhaps even worse, is that public school athletic booster clubs do the same.

There’s nothing you can do except hang up on them.

I use this program which I cannot recommend too highly. You will also need a voice modem in your PC (cost approx. $19), caller ID service from your phone company, and to plug a phone line into your PC. The program is highly configurable and you can rest assured that any telemarketer who transmits caller ID will only cause you to answer a call from them phone the one first time. You can block anonymous calls also if you wish, and you can play any message to them that suits your taste. It can be loud painful screeching noises or a polite “Not interested. Please don’t call again.”

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