At the least, the postal service should be allowed to charge first-class rates for it.
I read an article about a man who purposely got on as many junk mail lists as possible and heated his home all winter. The Post Office tried to get a court order to not have to deleiver so much mail to him, but lost.
And I'd rather have junk mail than calls. The mail comes at 3 pm, and I toss it or keep it as I choose, and the rest of the day I'd be free of annoyance.
I heard of someone who'd take the junk mail with business reply return envelopes, stuff everything (including the envelope it all came in) into the return envelope, with a note of "take me off your mailing list" in there somewhere. He kept a record of who'd he'd sent stuff back to.
If there was a second envelope from them, he'd do the same thing, but tape it all to a brick, so they'd have to pay postage on the brick.
There was never a third envelope.
I don't know what to do about junk that has no business reply return envelope....
So totally in agreement. Back when there were live calls, I'd lecture them on how certain subject cannot be covered in two words, and I wouldn't vote for anyone who tried to. One suspects that they desperately don't want to hear the voters.
I know mine don't. And the fact that they restrict their rallies to their own partisans (of course, after the Giffords shooting, they can claim to fear the same.)
The problem is that when they ALL do it, then the only option one has is not to vote- and that's even more regressive.
am all in favor of not voting for anyone who inflic5ts robocalls on me. However, in several recent elections, that means I don't vote... and I'm not sure that's a responsible choice, either.
I do tell charities- who also can ignore Do Not Call lists- that we NEVER give any money to anyone who calls us, and if they ever want to get any money from us again, i suggest they put us on a Do Not Call list and respect that.
We put our phone as unlisted years ago; we figured that the only people who needed to call us would have our number already or we would give it to them directly. Even on voter registration, we mark it as unlisted. This has stopped almost all unwanted calls and we get *none* from politicians & charities and whatnot.
Might be worth trying.
Your number becomes public data when you fill out any forms for the county. I just created my DBA only 2 weeks ago, and already the garbage mail is coming in. We don't even bother answering the phone anymore, and we are on the Donotcall list too.
Thus I never ever give my cell number to anybody but those with real needs to reach me; friends and family and business connections. Oh, the registrar wants my cell number? Sorry, I don't have one -- now can we get on with the paperwork please? (Helps to leave your phone in the car for this though).
On all forms I've ever filled out, I just put "unlisted" in the phone number field. If it's online, I use all fives (if the field won't support text). We gave our phone number for our driver's licenses, but we still don't get political calls.
I put the phone down on a recording within a few seconds of realising that a machine is talking to me. Sorry, if you don't have something to say to me that you can tell me in person (or at least via a live human) I am not remotely interested in knowing about it AT ALL.
People who phone me at home after 6 PM, intruding into my private leisure time in the evenings, get short shift even if they are NOT robots. I don't give money to people on the phone at the best of times but these calls just get a cool, "sorry, not interested, goodbye" and a hang-up. Particularly those I can still hear talking as I am hanging up the phone. No means no, people, really. You can stop yapping now. Nobody is listening.
Politicians are by far the worst, yes, especially in run-ups to elections. Particularly since I already get all their flyers and postcards and whatsits in the mail anyway, and I get voters' information guides, and I"ll read those and make up my own mind THANK YOU VERY MUCH NOW GO AWAY.
I don't own a phone to be harassed through it. It's here for MY convenience, not anyone else's. And anyone who thinks otherwise has just destroyed any chance there ever was of getting anything at all out of me, from pure goodwill to financial contributions. And really, if people solicit me for money at home in the evenings I don't care WHAT they are collecting for - no matter what the cause it's dead in my eyes (and ears) the moment I hear somebody asking if it is me, by name, they are speaking to (if you don't know, you have no business calling me...)
My parents know the number of any incoming call, and if they don't recogize it, they don't answer it.
THIS THIS THIS
I confess that I briefly worked for a political telemarketer. Needless to say, I did NOT do well. I felt so bad calling people. And most people DID hang up. I know it wasn't personal but it still sorta hurt being rejected (not that I blamed them - I was in a really bad space at the time and I felt as dirty as if I was standing at the corner with a sign and tin cup. Luckily they decided to change the rules without telling anyone, thus making most of us "unrehirable" *shrugs*)
I blame bluetooths, people have those borg pieces and don't look at the caller id before hitting the 'answer' button then get mad at *us* Um, who answered the phone? yes, we called but you didn't have to *answer*
But at least we were live, even if we didn't work directly for the person who wanted the calls made.
REPEATING: NOT EVERYONE HAS CALLER ID. Assuming everyone has CallerID is like assuming everyone has broadband and can download your humongous attached file without any difficulty.
I blame the politicians who hire political telemarketers, not the people who don't have caller ID or know that their kid may be calling home from a different phone number, etc. It is not the fault of the person who has the phone someone calls. Not, not, not.
My landline phone is my business phone. I don't have caller ID. I get calls from legitimate callers whose numbers I don't know (people wanting to interview me, people with invitations to speak, etc.) I cannot afford to ignore all calls...and the phone is right beside me as I write, so letting it go to the answering machine is STILL interrupting my work.
I'm sorry that the people who work for telemarketers and get hung up on feel personally rejected, but it's not the fault of those who hang up on them. Supervisors should counsel the callers that they're going to be hung up on, because after all they're being unwanted interruptions...it's part of the job, like collecting a lot of rejections is part of being a writer.
I sold kitchen knives for a summer for Cutco. Great knives, I still use my sample kit after over fifteen years, but I was a lousy salesman. I get really self-conscious asking people for money.
At least I don't feel rude hanging up on a machine.
However, requiring politicians to actually listen to their constituents? That's a delightful idea!
Wow, I'm glad I don't receive those. That would be annoying.
2011-05-05 01:13 pm (UTC)
Answering machine message
My wife won't allow me to put this message on our answering machine. She feels it would inhibit legitimate callers from leaving a message.
"Hi you've reached the answering machine of ______. This device is owned by ______ and is for the free use of personal friends, family, and businesses we have used in the past twelve months only. All others may rent the use of this machine from us for the purpose of leaving a message. The rental fee is $999.99 per message, and leaving a message, either in person or via an automated system signifies your agreement to these terms. Have a nice day!"
2011-05-05 09:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Answering machine message
Your wife is probably right, but I still love the message. HAHA
2011-05-07 01:18 am (UTC)
Re: Answering machine message
2011-05-07 08:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Answering machine message
Cissa, You or any reader is free to use the above text for any purpose. All rights released. Author accepts no liability for the actions of outraged manufacturers of auto-dialer software of hardware, or others who are too stupid to understand the text and decide to leave a message.
I am currently a political surveyor, and I'm really good at it. The reason why I'm good is because I am probably the most polite person on the phone ever. Don't want to do a survey? That's great, have a nice evening! There are plenty of people who actually want to do it, I don't need to waste peoples time.
There are some secrets I can let you in on though. We almost never call in our own state. We have almost never heard of candidates we call and ask questions about. We almost always do surveys for right wing conservatives, and %99 of us calling are tattooed, pierced, and very very liberal. We don't like our job, but sometimes you do what you have to do. Rent rolls around every month. I don't know about every firm, but we don't use a list of numbers, we have a computer that just jumbles digits together in an area code and calls. But if you ask, we can make sure to take your number out of the pool.
I think that's it... oh! One more thing.
I know its annoying to get calls when you don't want them. I know it sucks to be bothered, but please remember that we are just people and please try to be civil to begin with. If we are jerks after you say you don't want to do the survey, then cuss. :)
I have had any number of telemarketers tell me that they have not "bothered" me, after I have told them they have. That is offensive. Apparently since what they've done is arguably legal, I am de facto not "bothered" by it, even when I am.
Calling people who have not asked to be called IS bothering them. Some may be OK with it. But it is not the job of the people being bothered to succor the feelings of those doing the bothering. (Yes, I know it's a job. It's still an unreasonable expectation to demand that people you're bothering not be annoyed and express that.)
I'm not trying to say you don't have the right to be annoyed. You can be annoyed and civil. What I'm asking for is please don't default to answering the phone screaming vulgarities. When I say 'We would like to get your opinions, do you have time for a survey' I do not deserve to hear 'My national opinion is that you f**k off and die!' That is all I'm saying.
It would be nicer for you if everyone were civil. Many of us are civil, though sometimes it's "as civil as possible given the circumstances" and means hanging up, and if the telemarketing caller tries to beg sympathy from the person they call, then civility is likely to depart. I find the "survey" calls often the least intrusive (I can say "No thank you" and hang up--as long as the person doesn't call back to harangue me for hanging up, which has happened.) I find the recordings (Mike Huckabee's among them) the worst. That being said, however,
What you are not grasping (and understandably would rather not grasp) is that you are like the soldier in an invading army--a home invasion. The invading soldier may be a nice guy, and know he's a nice guy, and have a family back home and a pet who loves him...and his feelings may be hurt when someone in the house he bursts into says (or mutters, or conveys with a facial expression) that they think he's disgusting and horrible because he broke down their door...but that's part of the job. He cannot those whose homes and villages he invades to be sensitive to HIS tender feelings, and if he tries the "But I don't deserve your anger/hatred; I'm only doing my job" it won't work.
Part of the job of a telemarketer foot soldier is being loathed and despised and cussed at. That comes with the territory, like being screamed at and shot at and hated comes with the job of a soldier.
Telemarketing callers--you--have no idea what's going on in the homes they call. They do not know if someone is asleep or sick, if a family member is dying or has just died, if someone has just been arrested, lost their job, suffered a foreclosure notice, been served divorce papers, is in the middle of arranging a wedding, funeral, anniversary party, a move across country, is waiting for a critically important call which they hoped the telemarketer's call was. They do not know if the person they call is waiting for calls back from their oncologist with news from the latest scan, or from a surgeon with news on the survival or not of a family member just shipped back from a combat zone. Etc. They--you--do not know what they've interrupted, and thus how serious their rudeness is. Whether they intend to be rude or not is not the point: breaking into a stranger's private life without warning or awareness to seek money, a vote, anything of profit to yourself or the company you represent is rude.
I realize that in a depressed economy, people take any job they can get, and telemarketing provides, as you said, the rent money. So I don't consider that telemarketing foot soldiers are slime from top to bottom. But that doesn't help me, when the result of their need for a job means I'm waked out of a sound sleep, interrupted in my work, expecting a call, having an important talk with a family member. I do not deserve to be waked up, interrupted, and hassled.
That being the case, telemarketing callers should face up to the reality of what they're doing--bothering people--and quit expecting either delicate shadings of courtesy or sympathy from those they bother. Certainly quit trying to lecture the call recipients on their behavior or beg sympathy from them. If you poke a bear in the eye with a sharp stick and it attacks you, it's not the bear's fault...it's yours, for poking it. Trying to tell the bear you don't deserve to be mauled because someone paid you to poke it with a stick isn't going to work. The person on the other end of the stick is the one going to get the reaction.
But I suspect we've come to the end of useful discussion. Someone who really understands the negative impact that telemarketing calls have on those who are called would not be defending telemarketing callers or asking for better treatment of them by those who are called. (By those who hire them, maybe--I understand it's a miserable job for more reasons than the resentment of those called.) You're not going to convince me that callers have a legitimate gripe if those called get mad. I'm not going to convince you that interrupting someone's life "deserves" an angry reaction. We must, I fear, agree to disagree.
I lost it once when a robo-dialer called when we were waiting on news about a potentially dying relative. I hung up, and the robo-dialer called right back, and chided me for being so rude as to hang up.
I ended up screaming for about thirty seconds into the phone, hung up, and spent the next ten minutes crying my eyes out.
That is exactly what robo-callers need to grasp: they have no right to one split second of anyone's time. If they get lucky and someone listens, fine. If someone hangs up--or cusses them out--they should recognize that's part of the job and get on with it. They do NOT have the right to complain--they were the ones who made the unwanted call in the first place.
I recognize that jobs are hard to impossible to find, and someone who's up against it may take a job in a call center. But in every job, you have to take the bad with the good.