Canadian Telemarketers Play The FUD Card On Do Not Call List

from the look-south,-people dept

Michael Geist points us to the news that telemarketing firms are coming up with bogus reasons why a Canadian Do Not Call List is dangerous. The latest is particularly ridiculous. They’re afraid (no, seriously) that people will upload other people’s phone numbers to the list — and those people might actually want to hear from telemarketers, but will not be able to get their daily dose of dinner-time interruptions thanks to the nefarious uploaders. Seriously. Of course, there’s an easy response to these claims by telemarketers. Just point out that telemarketers made similarly ridiculous claims prior to the US implementing a Do Not Call list a few years back, and nothing horrible happened then.

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Comments on “Canadian Telemarketers Play The FUD Card On Do Not Call List”

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Ajax4Hire says:

Perhaps a better list would be the

“Please call me with special offers at any time of the day” list.

I still find it hard to believe that a business can be made by un-solicited calls and emails. I am amazed that this kind of business not only exists but thrives and I am also amazed that people respond.

You would have to be a sad lonely person to use the telemarketer phone call as a way to connect with the human race.

Especially today with such wide-spread internet options.

Zach says:

Re: Perhaps a better list would be the

I was completely behind your comment until the last line.

“Especially today with such wide-spread internet options.”

I find it amazing that you think using the internet is somehow more social or personal than talking on the phone. I know many socially inept people who spend most of their time on their computers all day. At least a phone call would make them say something… ANYTHING.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Perhaps a better list would be the

People can be perfectly social online. Heck, even MORE social than they would be otherwise. Granted, you do lose the physical tip-offs and interactions, but many people get great fulfilment from socializing online. Go join a popular forum and then make your decision.

justin k says:


why cant people just say “NO”? we dont make laws AGAINST TV COMMERCIALS, AGAINST BILLBOARDS, AGAINST JUNK-MAIL, why should phone calls be banned? what makes a phone call SOOOO SPECIAL? this law is ruining the lives of countless people not making a living anymore. why? so your not bothered by a phone ring? what about when aunt sally calls when your eating, do you tell her never to call you back? or say “dont you know im eating” as many people do to telemarketers?

Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) says:

Re: telemarketing

I think you just signed up for the ‘”Please call me with special offers at any time of the day” list.’ Are you one of the lonely?

Let’s think about your ‘this law is ruining the lives of countless people not making a living anymore’ statement. We should keep jobs just for the sake of jobs? This law may have cost some their jobs (I am pretty sure they found new ones) but it probably helped the telemarketing business by making their process more efficient. Now they don’t waste time and money calling people who will not listen to them anyway. They now have a refined list to which they can focus their attention. They can also use all that wasted employee pay and use it more effectively.

fiona says:

Re: telemarketing

you can turn off your tv, turn your head at billboards, filter your junk mail, but shouldn’t we be entitled to one method of commuinication that is not violated by unwanted spam. I used to get ‘cold called’ during my babies’ naps where they’d wake up, bathtimes (where I’d think I’d be getting an important phonecall), 8am when my children are sick and we have only just got them to sleep again. They certainly ARE bothersome, we used to get it 5+ times per day. At least your family and friends have a clue about when to ring and they have something to say that interests you.

Douglas Gresham (profile) says:

Re: telemarketing

I’m amazed your argument is that people have trouble saying “No” and this is an *opt-in* list for the express purpose of saying “No”.

I also contest your assertion that it’s taking away people’s livings. Care to show figures? I work for Google, so I know a little about targeting advertising, and we know that you do much, much better by increasing relevance and decreasing the number of ads you show. We’d also say intrusive advertising to people who don’t want to be advertised to actually does damage to the advertised business.

I’d also say that cold-calling is sufficiently intrusive and disruptive to be very different to the examples you give of allowed advertising, with the possible exception of junk mail.

Larry says:

Re: telemarketing

Ok, you asked, so I’ll try to explain…


1. There are no laws against TV commercials because that is the “price” of the “free” content. Don’t want TV commercials, don’t turn on the TV. Heck, save a lot of money, no TV, cable/satellite, no electricity usage…PLUS, it doesn’t EVER annoy you when it’s OFF.

2. Actually, there are many laws on the books against billboards. Mostly having to do with placement and types of advertising allowed. Other than that, passing a comparable “law” that you seem to be advocating would equate to equal laws against other “driver visiblity” items such as…oh I don’t know…TREES or MAILBOXES…

3. There are (US) Federal and State laws making SPAM illegal. Simply spoken to answer your “question” my PC doesn’t “ring” during dinner to provide me with viagr@ offers OR Aunt Sally asking what to bring to the birthday party.

Telemarketers, Spammers, TROLLS…Jeez, just get off my planet.

James says:

Re: telemarketing

You really are an idiot. Your comparison of advertising mediums fail. Television shows have commercials to pay for the content you are otherwise CONSUMING FOR FREE (sans electricity).

Billboards are a manageable (ie ignorable) neusance and sometimes very well do provide helpful information.

There are lists managed for/by the DMA if you do not wish to receive junk mail (it even saves their advertisers money).

Telemarketing phone calls on the other hand are an intrusion into a person’s home. You will not find anyone except another whiney telemarketer who will feel sorry for you. The DO NOT CALL list is perhaps one of the best things the US Goverment has ever actually gotten done (and done right).

And as a public service.. REMEMBER (for those in the US) it is ILLEGAL for someone to make a telemarketing call to your cell phone. If they do this, you may sue them at $500 a pop.

Robert (user link) says:

Re: telemarketing

That is about the dumbest thing I have ever heard.

Telemarketers only get to keep their jobs if they make sales.

People who sign up for “Do Not Call Lists” are people who don’t want to hear from Telemarketers and would not buy anything anyway.

What this law does is keep Telemarketers from wasting their time calling people who wouldn’t be interested anyway, thereby improving their sales percentage and perhaps allowing them to keep their jobs.

BTR1701 (profile) says:

Re: telemarketing

> we dont make laws AGAINST TV COMMERCIALS,
> why should phone calls be banned?

Because none of those things bother me in my home and force me to stop what I’m doing and attend to them.

> this law is ruining the lives of countless people
> not making a living anymore

Too bad. If they can’t make a living any other way than by bothering people in their homes, then that’s their problem. It’s certainly not my obligation to turn over the peace and quiet of my home life to some phone operator just so they can “make a living”.

> what about when aunt sally calls when your eating

Aunt Sally (and all my friends and family) know my well enough to know when it’s appropriate to call me. Hence I’m rarely, if ever, bothered by their calls. Not so with telemarketers. On a typical day, I come home from work and find between five and ten messages on my phone’s voice mail, most of which are the same pre-recorded messages about lowering my mortgage rate (I don’t even have a mortgage) or reducing my credit card debt (I have no credit card debt). Their machines just keep calling over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. One of them has been going on for years now. And calling them to complain or ask them to stop does no good because then all you’ve done is just verify that your phone is a good number and that you’re receiving their calls.

And that doesn’t even get into the six or seven calls I get *after* I get home from work each night. Pollsters, surveys, vacation offers… it would be funny if it weren’t so damned annoying. My home sounds like an office, the phone rings so often.

But hey, so long as someone needs to make a living, I should just suck it up, right?

Bite me.

Paul says:

Re: Re: telemarketing

I administrate telemarketing programs for a B2B marketing firm, so the programs I oversee are a sight different than the DTC activity you’re describing, and as someone who deals with telemarketing representatives on a daily basis, I must admit that I find your comment “Too bad. If they can’t make a living any other way than by bothering people in their homes, then that’s their problem” appallingly insensitive and childish.

The easiest way to get yourself off of a list is to answer the call, be polite, and calmly let them know that you would like to be placed on their Do Not Call list. That some of these calls have been going on for “years” smacks of hyperbole on your part (I doubt this is the case that the SAME company has been calling you for years – more likely, it’s similar companies with similar offers), laziness (if someone called me for two DAYS in a row, you can bet I’d pick up the phone and let them know that they should stop), or simple, base stupidity (are you sure you quite understand how the phone works?). If you want it to stop, you need to pick up the phone and tell them so. Until then, you simply have no disposition next to your name on the list, and, for all the TM company knows, you could be interested, so it would be our job to continue to see if we can’t get ahold of you.

Telemarketing is a grind, and more often than not, it’s a job that nobody wants to be in for very long, because they have to bear some of the most vulgar, vitriolic, and disgusting things said to them, about their FAMILIES, and about their “choices in life” (I, for one, would like to see some of the “life choices” made by the people who say these things to my reps). Needless to say, it’s an emotionally wearying job, but like all jobs that are, in fact, emotionally difficult to handle, they’re often populated by people who don’t quite have the “skills” (a.k.a. expensive degrees from private universities) for something higher paying, but who still have the intelligence and interpersonal skills to be successful at telemarketing (which is one of the most well-remunerated, “low skill” jobs available). But to bring it to a point – very few children leave high school saying to themselves “man, I really, really want to be a telemarketer”.

I’m not saying that all TM companies are saints ( all you need is a bank of phones, a phone book, and facilities to enter the biz – so this does attract a certain amount of hucksters to the game), because there’s some really, really lousy shops out there. But if you’re looking for someone to blame for “annoying you”, blame the biggies: American Express, Citigroup, Drive Financial (and that’s just in the Fin sector). Because they all do DTC. And do you know why? Because it makes money, and because, like it or not, it works.

You’re a child for reacting this way, and wishing unemployment says so much more about your fetid character and sense of self than any words I could write. And do you know what I wish? That YOU were fired.

Grow Up.


Josh H says:

re: telemarketing

It is becuase in addition to being unsolicited, telemarketing actually impairs the use of the device. For instance, those without call waiting (or using call waiting with the telemarketer) can miss a call due to the unsolicited advertisement. For cell phones, texting and incoming phone calls are charged to the consumer, so that they are actually paying to recieve unsolicited advertising. It is an unsolicited disturbance that can cost people money and time, and impairs the use of the device.

And it is not unique – there are laws banning spamming as well. Like telemarketing, the spamming interefes with the use of e-mail.

Another example – there are very hefty fines for unsolicited faxes. Same reason. If there were unsolicted faxes being sent, it would impair the use of the device (by not allowing or delaying transmission of legitimate, i.e. solicited, faxes).

Your examples are not applicable. There are laws cocnerning the places and manners billboard advertising can be used. You can’t just put a billboard on your front lawn (or your neighbor’s front lawn, for that matter). And TV commercials are actively solicited by the consumer – they choose to watch, and the commercials don’t infringe on the use of the TV.

steve says:

plenty of options

the only people who get interupted by calls either have an option to block calls from people who are not on a list that they manage, or they can accept calls from strangers.

There are plenty of options to implement in either case.

Most people are 10 to 15 different kinds of “stupid”, so it doesn’t matter what can be done. Opt-in policies leave too many people with few to no options because they simply never hear about things.

CHL Instructor (user link) says:

The filters on my VoIP line...

I now have more than 200 numbers in my VoIP block-list (my VoIP number is the ONLY number I expose to the internet). Whenever a telemarketer calls me for the 2nd (and subsequent) time, they get a busy signal. My phonelogs show a few epsilon-minus telemarketers that attempt to call my number several dozen times.

If only there was some way to reach back through the phone line and neuter them so they can’t reproduce…

JustMe says:

The guy who wants me to create an Allow List

Earlier in the stack someone (I assume a person working in the telemarketing industry) suggested that if we were so annoyed by these calls we should create a list of allowable phone numbers.

I’ll be nice and say it isn’t going to work. I’ll even give you one (of about a million) of the reasons why it isn’t going to work:

Your spouse gets in an accident while out of town. The local hospital / policeman / good samaritan needs to get in touch with you. Do you really think they will be on the allow list?

See, I was nice (for a change).

Fernando says:

Just point out that telemarketers made similarly ridiculous claims prior to the US implementing a Do Not Call list a few years back, and nothing horrible happened then.

Nothing horrible for your viewpoint, perhaps. But there’s nothing ridiculous about these claims: the American telemarketing industry did in fact implode.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Nothing horrible for your viewpoint, perhaps. But there’s nothing ridiculous about these claims: the American telemarketing industry did in fact implode.

That’s not quite accurate. While fewer people are involved in telemarketing, it certainly didn’t create widespread unemployment as predicted. Instead, many in the telemarketing industry ended up shifting to offering call center services or other customer support offerings.

BTR1701 (profile) says:

Re: Implosion

> But there’s nothing ridiculous about these claims: the American
> telemarketing industry did in fact implode.

Good. That means their entire industry was based on annoying people who had no desire to receive their solicitations or to be their customers in the first place. Such an industry is nothing but an intrusion on society and needs to go away as fast as possible.

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