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5 Magic Words

June 30, 2009

As most Canadians are aware the “Do Not Call List” went into effect last September and of course, now everyone in the country makes it through dinner without having to answer the phone with their mouths full.

What? No?  You’re still getting calls?  Look at the shock on my face.ImageFetch

When the CRTC announced it’s intentions to launch the DNCL, the average Canadian was thrilled that they could simply make a call or sign up online and they’d never be “harassed” again.  More than 5.8 million numbers were registered with the DNCL right off the top.  There are certain exemptions (political parties, opinion polls and the like… check out the DO NOT CALL website for more info) so you are likely to still get some calls.

But, telemarketing is big business in Canada. In 2006 alone, $4.1 billion was spent on telemarketing in Canada, generating $26.1 billion in sales and creating 155,000 jobs.  And,  the issues with the Do-Not-Call list are many.  So the telemarketers are not going to roll over and play dead.. as much as you wish they would.

Anyone can go online and purchase the DNCL.  Telemarketing companies are obligated to do so in order to update their call lists – they have 30 days to remove your number.  However.. they have 30 days. In which time they can still call you.  As well, this only applies to Canadian companies.  Businesses calling from the U.S. or India can conceivably get the DNCL then dial to their hearts content.

However, this isn’t the point of my post.  My point is to help you get through dinner each night without having to re-nuke it…

You’re eating dinner or painting the kitchen or bathing the dog or what have you and the phone rings.. you don’t recognize the number but you pick it up anyway.  And you immediately get “Hi Mr/Mrs Homeowner..my name is Nancy and I’m calling from the ABC Company to inform you about our huge promotional deal on lawn care/driveway sealing/storm windows…”

At which point you either are intrigued by Nancy’s great offer and engage in witty banter or hang up/tell her it’s a bad time/scream at her until you pop a blood vessel in your eye.

These people aren’t trying to ruin your lives or poison your dog.  They are doing a job. How do I know?  I’ve done telemarketing on several occasions and I’ve been sworn at, yelled at, and instructed to perform various sexual acts to myself which I am very certain are anatomically impossible.

Most of these people did not pick this as their dream job. Likely, as in my case, it was a “make do” situation to pay the bills till something else came along.  It’s not strenuous, but it’s not an easy gig. At times it’s mind dumbingly boring.. waiting for someone to pick up the phone.  And the near constant rejection can be either extremely amusing (to someone like me… like when one woman told me she’d rather set her own hair on fire than talk to me…) or very hurtful.. You’d be surprised at what “sweet little old ladies” will tell you to do with your phone and your “great deal”.

So here, my friends, is the biggest secret I will ever tell you: screaming at telemarketers, swearing at them, hanging up…. doesn’t get you taken off their list.

The lists that these companies purchase are expensive and it’s a pain for them to take numbers off (so they say).  So they will merely file your number away to be called on another occasion several months down the road… when you might be in a better mood.   Telling them that it’s “not a good time right now” just makes them think that a later time will be better for you.

And then you will get another round of calls. And another cold dinner.

Here are the magic words.. the most important words you can utter: “Take me off your list”.  That’s all you have to do.  You can also ask for a confirmation number (they are legally obligated to provide one should you ask).  The telemarketer on the other end is likely more than happy to accomodate you.  It’s part of their job.

No need for threats or screaming or rudeness. Just “take me off your list”.  Five magic words.. It’s a win/win. You get a hot meal.. the telemarketer doesn’t have to figure out how to accomplish anything remotely anatomically impossible.

Enjoy your meal.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 30, 2009 2:44 pm

    When I get a call such as this, I in turn ask them for their number so I can call them back after dinner…they get quite annoyed with me…I ask why can’t I call them back just as they have called me…well, you get the picture! 🙂

    Thank you for yet another informative post!

  2. June 30, 2009 2:45 pm

    P.S. Or I put them on hold and never return to the line…simple wickedness I know! *wink*

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