Big fun with telemarketers

Big fun with telemarketers

To continue my adventures as described yesterday, yes, SBC telemarketers called me yet again today. That makes something like eight times in three days — and after I repeatedly asked to be taken off their calling list — something they are legally obligated to do when asked.

So, I tracked down the company that was doing the telemarketing for SBC, ITC Group, from the caller ID and called them. Got a recording saying if you want to be on our Do Not Call (DNC) list, mail your address to us and it’ll take, oh, several weeks to take effect. Hmmm, I thought, I’ll bet it doesn’t take me nearly that long.

Their web site has a 800 number for sales. I told the nice saleswoman that ITC Group telemarketers were ignoring my DNC requests and the national DNC registry as well. Further, I had filed a complaint against them on the DNC registry for several of their previous calls and would continue to do so every time they called again. Then I expressed my desire they all drown in a vat of untreated sewage. (HA HA, just kidding about that last part, although the thought did occur to me).

She gasped and said, but I’m sales. I said, then connect with someone who can fix this now. She put me through to a VP’s voice mail and I left a message.

To their credit, another VP called me quickly, at 7:30 pm their time, seems genuinely concerned, says he’s investigating why this happened, and apologized. He doesn’t appear to be a flak-catcher or a PR hack either. Plus, I am now firmly ensconced their DNC list (no doubt with a special notation to NEVER, EVER, NO MATTER WHAT call me).
Ways to stop telemarketers

Do Not Call Registry
If you haven’t already, register on the federal DNC registry, Telemarketers are obliged to honor the names on the list. When you get unsolicited telemarketing calls, file a complaint here – it takes about 30 seconds.

“Take me off your calling list”
When a telemarketer calls, speak those words, “Take me off your calling list”, and note who called and when. They are now legally obligated to take you off their calling list. If they don’t, file a complaint on the DNC registry.

The TeleZapper
This gadget claims to stop telemarketings calls by issuing a special tone that tells predictive dialers used by telemarketing that your number is disconnected.

The TeleZapper attempts emits “the first tone in a three-tone signal used by Ma Bell called the SIT Tone” which “precedes the announcement you get when you dial a disconnected number. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, “Daa, Dahhh, DAAAT, The number you have dial has been disconnected.”

However, technogeeks can do it for free!

Since the TeleZapper is merely adding the first tone in the SIT cadence when you answer a call, anyone with an answering machine can do the same thing by adding the SIT tone to the beginning of his or her answering machine message.

Drawbacks to both systems. There is a beep or maybe even three beeps everytime you answer the phone or someone leaves a message.

Anyone using these ‘trick the predictive dialers’ methods? Do they work?