Here’s some good news for a change, but I’m still gonna bitch about it.
As of September 30th, Canada will officially have an active do not call list.
All of the exemptions make it somewhat toothless, but it’s a decent first step. At the very least it’ll stop those pricks at Capital One from calling us 12 times a week. Unfortunately, it won’t do much else. check out this list of allowable callers and tell me how much frustration this is going to save anybody.
- political parties
- polling firms
- companies that have done business with an individual over the past 18 months
I’ve got no issue with the last one. People you have an existing business relationship with should certainly be allowed to call you. Sometimes they can even save you money, which nobody should be complaining about.
Polling firms I’m kind of undecided on. I don’t mind taking surveys in general, but I do mind taking them at 10 PM in the middle of the week or early on a Sunday morning. Seriously guys, who’s idea was that? Whoever it was, murder him and we’re cool.
Newspapers? No. if I want one I’ll buy one or read it online, and if I really like it I’ll call you. Spend the telephone money on radio ads or billboards if you’re worried that people don’t know you exist.
Political parties? Definite no. If ever there was a group of people that needed no advertising whatsoever, this is it. They get free advertising every day on this thing called the news, and anybody who’s not seeing it is somebody we don’t need voting.
This brings us to charities, the worst telemarketing offenders there are. I understand that organizations need money to survive, but there needs to be some standards governing how that money is extracted. I have yet to speak to a charity canvasser either door to door or over the phone who wasn’t a total asshole. They bully people, they lie about pledge histories, they say they call once a year when in fact many of them call much more than that. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that they belong in their own special ring of hell.
I did learn something from the CBC story I linked above though.
In March, an internet law professor at the University of Ottawa set up a website, iOptOut, that allows users to proactively prevent calls from organizations on the exception list. The site has a database that allows users to choose from the hundreds of excepted organizations and send them an automated e-mail removal request.
Good idea, but who knows how effective it will be. That said, if there’s even the slightest chance that I won’t have to talk to a guy like Gordie from the burn camp again (long story that I’ll probably never post), I think I may be willing to find out.