Wednesday, 9 July 2003
|1242 - Take that, telemarketing slime|
I slammed two telemarketers today.
The first was Minnesota Auto Glass. They called me Monday, for the sixth time since I asked them to put me on their do not call list. They sleaze their way out of the Minnesota do-not-call law because that law makes an exception for companies that do not complete the sale on the phone. This time, I decided that, since they were willing to keep wasting my time, it would be fair for me to waste some of theirs. I made an appointment for them to fix a chip in my windshield. They went through the process of filing the insurance claim and sending a guy out from Mankato, an hour's drive away. When he got here this morning, I told him that I wasn't interested in having the job done, and explained my problem with his company. He went away grumbling. I then called the company office and told them what I'd done, and why. The lady I spoke to expressed incredulity that anyone would go to all that trouble when they weren't interested in getting the work done, then hung up on me.
The second one was an outfit called Creative Innovations (how's that for a generic name that conveys zero information?), out of Des Moines. They called me twice, once yesterday evening, once this morning. In this case, they were in clear violation of the law, since they were selling the product during the call. I got their phone number and address, and told them they were breaking the law...and then filed a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
Telemarketers are slime. They should find honest work.
current mood: determined
Well, telemarketing might be dishonest, but only as much as what you did. I mean, you knowingly lied to them in order to waste a significant amount of their time and money. Sure, it got your point across, but it also proved that you're willing to stoop to their level. I'd be grumbling too; it wasn't that employee's fault that his company was making those phone calls, and you wasted a couple hours of his day. In the end, you ended up screwing with someone that deserved it no more than you did, in order to prove your point.
I've been there, before, myself, and it's a really shitty thing to have to go through, trying to make an honest living and someone treating you in a way you didn't deserve because someone else in your company pissed you off. It sucks, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. That guy wasn't a telemarketer; he was a window repairman. And you wasted a couple hours of his time, and if he's paid on any kind of commission, a good deal of his money (probably some of his money anyway, depending on how his fuel and mileage costs are allocated). And you wrecked his day to prove a point. This makes you better than what you were responding to how?
It doesn't. Sure, telemarketing can be a pain, but what you ended up proving was that you're no better than they are. You should find honest ways of dealing with telemarketers, if you want to rant about dishonesty.
That window repairman benefits from telephone spamming just as dishonest web hosting companies benefit from email spamming. I have zero sympathy for the guy or his employer. They're breaking the law, ferchrissakes.
If he doesn't like it, he can find another employer, or else get the one he works for to quit using telemarketing. As it happens, the exemption they slide through now will go away in October when the FTC's do-not-call list goes into effect, and they'll all have to find honest employment.
What would you have me do? I'd asked, repeatedly, them not to call me any more. They insisted on continuing to do so despite my requests. They brought that upon themselves. All they had to do was honor my request, as required by law.
Since opting out is a big deal now, unless your law is completely retarded by their loophole, I would think that there was something in the law that would say that when you opt out, that they can't call anymore or they're breaking said law.
At the very least, a call to the Better Business Bureau might have been a bit better than ruining someone's day to make a point. You may not like the company he works for because of their calling, but this guy had nothing to do with those things, and since you don't know him, you can't exactly make blanket judgements that he should work for a "better company" when he could be perfectly happy there, or else he wouldn't have been the one to show up at your door.
What would I have you do? Use means that aren't as dishonest as those that you're protesting. Perhaps, if they won't honor your requests, you could notify them that because you've notified them that their calls are a nuisance, any further calls will be considered harrassment and you will file charges and a civil lawsuit for damages if they continue. That'd be less ... immoral.
In the real world, many people don't have the luxury of quitting their job because of the immoral practices of a division of the company they're not involved with. Also, in the real world, people can be fired for telling their bosses that what they're doing is wrong and immoral (ironically, this is how unions came about, so that individuals could protest wrongdoings by their company and not face retribution). Even with unions, employees do not have the power you're suggesting they should have, and if they did, you'd be protesting it yourself as anti-capitalist, since corporations are all good and noble and stuff and can be trusted, right?
You might have broken the law, yourself. You requested services that you admittedly had no intention of paying for, by making an on-site service request. You didn't say you paid for that request, so I'm assuming you didn't; you may receive a bill for it, and if you refuse to pay it, you might face charges for theft of services. And that would be your fault, because all you had to do was protest using more legal and moral means yourself.
You say that they're breaking the law. Methods that could result in you breaking the law yourself aren't the best way to deal with such actions, as their lawbreaking doesn't justify yours. If they were breaking the law, as you said, then why didn't you deal with it using legal channels?
Uh... wait just a sec here. You TOLD them to "place me on your do-not-call list," I take? Why are they calling you, again? Can you not collect per-incident damages from them as a result of their disregard?
Of course, they're playing nasty word games. If you say, "Do NOT call me again," I believe they can still call you anyway, because you didn't tell them to "put me on your do-not-call list." It's asinine.
I know how I handle the phone. Caller ID works for most of the nation, those whose CID doesn't reach and who really want to talk leave voicemail, and the rest are routed to the bitbucket without effort. MO's DNC list works great, as well. I get a telemarketurd about once every month now, and I think they fall into the "charity" exception of the DNC law.
The job market's a little tight to just drop an employer, it seems.
And I'd have to say that as admirable as it is, complaining to the wrong department never really gets any good results. I'd say it's more likely you'd just end up as another entry in customers_suck
One problem with corporations is that the left department doesn't know what the right is doing. It might even be that the one has no authority over the other. And venting all over the repairman when he arrived would be as effective as someone staging an accident when you were a paramedic, then chewing you out for high insurance and medical costs. They'd feel all fine, but I seriously doubt that you'd appreciate it. (And yes, you'd be able to call the law on them. I'm just using that as a sample situation.)
Sadly, it seems that the marketing side isn't going to listen to you. Unless you can get them to listen to the state, I can't think of any *effective* ideas. That's assuming you've asked your state representatives or law folks about this, of course.
Creative Innovations sucks. I worked there. It sucks. balls.
Turn them in! It's 8.00/hr hired on the spot, it was tempting. I lasted three days. They are crap. I hated it. Gr.
I also used to work there. Im someone else by the way i lasted two days and I second the sucks balls thing!!!