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Dave Barry Rocks!
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And socks it to the telemarketers...
MIAMI (Sept. 12) - Telemarketers are now screening their calls, instead of the other way around.
The American Teleservices Association isn't laughing at Dave Barry, not after the Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist for The Miami Herald listed the group's telephone number in his Aug. 31 column and sparked a flood of phone calls to the group's offices.
Barry told his readers to call and ''tell them what you think.''
''I'm sure they'd love to hear your constitutionally protected views! Be sure to wipe your mouthpiece afterward,'' Barry wrote.
Thousands of Barry's readers have done as they were told, forcing the association to stop answering its phones. Callers now hear a recording, which says that because of ''overwhelming positive response to recent media events, we are unable to take your call at this time.''
''It's difficult not to see some malice in Mr. Barry's intent,'' said Tim Searcy, executive director of the ATA, who said the added calls will be costly to his group because of toll charges and staffing issues.
Barry hardly sounded apologetic.
''I feel just terrible, especially if they were eating or anything,'' he said. ''They have phones like the rest of us have phones. Their attitude seems to be if you have a phone, people are allowed to call you.''
ATA officials have said about 2 million of the 6.5 million people working at telemarketing call centers across the nation will lose their jobs because of the rules that established the nationwide ''Do Not Call'' list.
Barry also attacked that logic in the same column.
''Of course, you could use pretty much the same reasoning to argue that laws against mugging cause unemployment among muggers,'' he wrote. ''But that would be unfair. Muggers rarely intrude into your home.''
Barry's column is syndicated to about 500 newspapers across the country.”
“Dave Barry has some good stuff.
I think Dave Barry's "apology" was funny.
We bought a "Telezapper" about 6 months ago. After only two weeks we noticed a drop off in calls. Now we get only 20% of the amount of calls we used to get.”
“Has anyone noticed that the calls you get lately from telemarketers the caller sounds like they can barely speak english?
It's because they can't. The telemarketing companies are sending the work overseas and by having the calls originate from teleharasser companies outside the US they are exempt from the do not call laws.”
“Lol I just read that article before I wandered in here.”
“I LOVE that guy!!!”
“He he he he!”
“HPM - that's frustrating.
Phil - what is a telezapper?”
“everybody hates telemarketers and all they see is an inconvenience to them, but to the person that is calling you, thats how theyre putting food on the table and a roof over their heads. i did it in college for several weeks to make extra income. just say "no" and hang up the phone. its not that big of a deal and not that big of a hardship on you, not like everyone makes it out to be. if you sit there and listen to them out of politeness or whatever, then its your own fault youre being bothered, not theirs. when i did that job, i would rather someone say "no" right away and hang up, than out of meekness or politeness, listen to my whole shpiel, then say "no, im just not interested. thank you anyway". just tell me to f!ck off at the outset and ill be much happier. my feelings wont be hurt.
but i do think dave barry giving out the number and telling ppl to call is funny. combat them however you like, but dont whine about it is my attitude towards telemarketers. they have to eat, too.”
“now, to be consistent, if we can get on a no-call list, we should be able to get on a "no-spam" list and a "no-junk-mail" list. o and while we're at it, we should get on a "no-television-commercial" list, and "a no pop-up" list, and a "no billboard by the side of the road" list, and....”
“Those things don't interupt you while you're sitting on the can though, 2scoops.”
“get a phone in the john”
“I don't get sales calls anymore, I get market survey calls. grrr...”
“the ones that annoy me are the ones that leave lengthy messages on the answering machine”
“Scoopie - Have you ever had callers call you 5 times in the middle of dinner, while your 3 year old is in the middle of a fit, while your waiting for outta state family to call and tell you what time to pick them up at the airport, while your changing your infants dipar, in the middle of a family fight?
I tell ya what's even wosre than that: My number used to be the number to a local gas station. We've have that number for a real long time now. Every week, I get at least a hand full of calls asking or road side help or asing if we're open. I've call the phone campany, but they never change the number in the phone book. I have had to take a light hearted view point with the callers (it's not there fault), as it was just getting annoying as hell. I was averaging almost 5 calls an hour during the Black out. I've thouht about opeing my own business, tho. I've got the built in clinetle....”
“laq, if it was really that bad, i dare say youre the exception. youve got more reason to kvetch than most.”
“Hundreds of thousands of people have it as bad as laqtis. It's a serious problem. I used to until I got a private number and never gave it out to anyone except family and friends, and even then, telemarketers still got through. The practice of cold-calling someone at their home is downright scummy. At least Bush has done one thing right by enacting this list.”
“I'd actually say MILLIONS have it that bad, come to think of it.”
“Put a phone in your butt!!!!
“huh. i just dont get that many.
are you talking about the massive blackout on the east coast a few weeks ago? why would they call more then?”
“wow. i had no idea the emotional trauma everyone has suffered.”
“Blackout? I don't know what you're getting at. But the original point I was trying to make is that it's unfair to compare telemarketing calls with other means of "advertising". There's a big difference between someone calling your house and interupting a family dinner than looking at billboard for Sonny's Real Pit BBQ while driving down a highway. Spam sucks, and probably should be regulated like unwanted sales calls, but IMO, nothing is more intrusive in the ad world than telemarkers calling your house. It's just downright rude, and I hope the CEO's of those companies go broke.”
“laqtis said he was getting 5 calls an hour during the "Black out"
and i was being somewhat facetious about the rest”
“2 x a scoop - They were calling to see if the gas station was open. nobody during the blackout could pump gas because of the lack of power, so people were scrambling to find stations outta desperation. Also, people were running outa gas on the Freeway and were looking to get there car towed. It was very interesting, almost like the beginining of the end.....
CMB - You talking to scoops, artex or me?”
“I see it now, thanks.
And about Dave Barry giving out that phone number... FRICKIN' GENIOUS!”
“so it wasnt telemarketers that were hassling you. if youve got the same number as the gas station, thats a totally different issue, and i would complain about it, also, but you cant use it to back up your gripe about telemarketers.”
“scoops - if you reread what I said "You know what's worse...." I was never trying to say it was their fault. I do stand by the fact that telemarketers need to stop.
Former Telemarketer for one year....”
“I was Talking to 2scoops...8)
By the way I got on the list and I also have privice manger and have my number unlisted and I don't get any phone calls from the Telamarketers.
Laqts that sucks that they will not change your number man I don't know what I would do I think I would get mad enough that I would go down to the phone company and tell them to there face about it!
“Crazy - Tanks fer clearing that up.
I just deal with it and hope maybe one day the gas station will go outa business...”
“I don't think its fair!!!!Dude I would try my best to do something about it?What I don't understand is how 2 places can have the same phone number?
How does that work????
“A telezapper is a device you plug between your phone and the jack that sends a special beep signal when you pick up the phone. I paid $29 for mine at Radio Shack. It sends a signal back to the telemarketer's computer that makes them think the number is not valid and the computer hangs up on you. All you hear when you pick up is a dead line.
What is nice is that your number gets removed from their data base...which is shared with other telemarketers. So over time the number of calls goes down.”
“I used to get a lot of annoying calls from telemarketers, but now I let my answering machine screen all my phone calls. When telemarketers get the machine, they invariably hang up without leaving an annoying message.”
“What I hate is the telemarketers that leave message on your machine. I've gotten one a day for the last few business days, either from an insurance company, or from a company that offers credit card consolidation loans.
Funny thing is, the balance on my cards is $0.00......”
“laqtis - add a napping baby to your list.
I like to have "Sugar" by System of A Down cued up on high volume to play when I answer telemarketers.”
“Youíre all just a just a bunch of communists.”
“Put a phone in your butt!!!!
Crazy Mike Backpacks
Crazy Mike - have you ever heard that OLD Eddie Murphy song? can't remember the title, but it's basically a list of ridiculous things to put in one's butt. thanks, now it's stuck in my head. :)~”
“Well, I didn't put the phone in my butt, but I did put one in the toilet and flush it once so the telemarketer could hear it.”
“CMB - We don't have the same number. My number is ther old number. They changed it, but he phone Co. hasn't. Going down there does nothing fer me but be a waste of time and money.”
“Oh I see I guess with time that will stop with the phone calls to your house.
No problem Tarbubble!!!!
“Like 2scoops, I also did a little telemarketing to earn extra cash for a short while. I also employed a company to generate leads for my business for a while.
*hangs head in shame*
Sure there are folks that earn their living that way and Iím never rude to them - I just tell them to put me on their do not call list Ė but telemarketing is the greatest evil on this planet next to internet haiku. Iíve got elderly parents and a teenager Ė either of which could mean an emergency phone call so I canít just screen them. Getting an unwelcome call when Iím changing a diaper, giving the baby a bath or out in the yard is more than a minor hassle.”
“"Getting an unwelcome call when Iím changing a diaper, giving the baby a bath out in the yard is more than a minor hassle."
Do you use a hose on the baby?
Telemarketing is BIG BROTHER trying to stick his hand in your pocket.”
“I undersatnd your point about telemarketers making a living. I don't think anybody on here with any sense would give another person a hard time about going out and making a legitimate living. It's just that some occupations have inherant qualities about them that make them rather unpopular with most people. A city will employ poeple to do nothing all day but seek out people to write parking tickets. They are out making a living too, but not too many people like them, right? Hell, even a dentist is nota popular dude (or dudette). Most folks don't show up there for pleasure (unless you are one of those with a sever masochistic tendancy). Point is, if you go into a business, you should know what you are up against, especially something like telemarkeing. Most people know that these folks are rather diliked by a large number of people. As for the point of not stringing them along when they present the spiel, I am in total agreement. Matter of fact, I had a conversation a few months ago, which I posted on a different thread, with a telemarketer. I think I got right to my point. I will reprint the conversation, pretty much verbatim, right below. Didn't mince words here:
Had an interesting conversation...
"...last night with a telemarketer. This is pretty much how it went, word for word!
TM: On behalf of Capital One, you being a cardholder, I want to take this opportunity to make a special offer to you today.
Me: Listen, you are obviously a telemarketer. I no longer accept calls from telemarketers.
TM: But, you don't know what i am going to offer you...
Me: Ma'am. I am signed up to not have telemarketers call my house anymore.
TM: But, that doesn't go into effect until...
Me: Correction. It is in effect as of now. Do you understand that?
TM: But, that list...
Me: I don't think you heard me. This is a yes or no answer to a simple question.
Me: Uh Uh! Yes or no.
TM: Uh, yes.
Me: Good. Now, I will be glad to talk to you if you just give me your home phone # and I will be happy to call you back during dinner time. What time do you eat?
TM: Sir, you can't call me...
Me: Uh uh! What is your home phone #
TM: ok, you can call 800...
Me: Oh no no no! You don't live at an 800 #. I want your home phone #.
TM: My home phone was disconnected. This is where you can get me.
Me: Nope. Deal's off. Home phone or you leave me alone. Understand?
Pretty much left it at that. I must give credit to Jerry Seinfeld for giving me the idea abut the home phone #. I more or less got the idea from an episode where he did that, except his dialogue came off a little different."
“Calling people at home and annoying them is not a legitimate business.
Get some real job skills and get a real job.”
“Treebeard, You dirty dog!
For telemarketers to complain about their victims' rudeness is the height of absurdity.
When someone makes a living interupting strangers, they oughta be able to take it or leave it.
If ya don't think lookin' up A-holes sounds appealing, forget about proctology.”
“Let me just footnote that my conversation with the telemarketer also shows that i spelled out my feelings right form the get-go and some of these folks just don't take a hint and feel that persistance will get them everywhere. I have to add that if this lady had quit when I asked her to, she wouldn't have been set up for what ensued after that...”
“Thick as a brick?”
“thats pretty damn hilarious, tree. ive thought about doing that from time to time.”
“lol, Scoops. Can't say I didn't give her a chance to hang up...”
“I wish I could have sone something like that to one of them.
“I understand that these companies purchase these lists of names from other companies. Are there any 'privacy' regulations in the works for that? If not, perhaps there should be. I don't know anyone who has ever given personal permission to have their names sold on a list like that to people who are going to solicit you by phone, mail, etc...”
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