In a struggle to be happy and free

Drystone Wall

Telemarketing must die

Telemarketing really annoys me. This is doubly true since I got rid of call display. It’s even more annoying the spam. Spam doesn’t make me stop what I’m doing and go pay attention to it when it arrives. Granted my host has excellent anti-spam measures in place, but a telephone call you don’t want is certainly more distracting than an e‑mail message you don’t want.

It is for this reason I enter my information on the CMA ‘do not call/mail/fax list’ and if an outfit still calls, I usually ask for the person’s name, and then ask they remove my number from their call-list. Sometimes I just send an e‑mail message to the company afterwards. I sent off this message last week:

Subject: Primus calls soliciting business
From: Rick Pali <>
Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2007 19:32:22 ‑0400

I’ve had two calls from Primus in the last week soliciting business.

First, I don’t do business with companies who use telephone solicitation as means to get customers. Why should I when you know how much it bothers people, yet you do it anyway.

Second, I told the first caller I was not interested. Despite this, I received another call. Even worse, this second caller seemed unable to understand “Thank you, I am not interested” and continued to tell me about all the wonderful savings he could get me. Do you seriously think I will sign up with a company that has such difficulty listening to potential customers? Goodness knows what it’s like for those unfortunate enough to have signed up for your service.

So as a consequence, please remove my phone number (613 XXX-XXXX) from your calling list. I would appreciate confirmation. In case you again have trouble understanding, I will certainly file a complaint with your privacy commissioner and the CRTC should I have the misfortune of receiving a call from Primus Canada again.

Again, I should’ve left my message and read it over an hour later. I meant to explain why Primus wouldn’t see a dime of my money, listing the reasons with ‘first’ and ‘second’ points. I included the points, but no explanation of what I was counting. Ah well, it happens, right?

To my great surprise, I received a response.

Subject: Re: Primus calls soliciting business (Thread:838280)
From: “Primus Canada Residential Care” <>
To: <>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2007 13:47:31 ‑0300

Dear Mr. Pali,

Thank you for your inquiry regarding telemarketing calls received from Primus Canada. I regret to hear about this situation. Note that Primus Canada is in the Telephone Communications Business, it is quite normal that we would contact our customers by phone. However, we regret the unfortunate challenge our telemarketer calls have created for you.

Consequently, your number has been sent to the department that handles these requests and we can confirm that your number will duly be removed within the next 24 – 48 hours, your ticket number is XXXXXXX. We thank you in advance for your understanding and patience.

As a leader in the telecommunications industry, we strive to maintain a high level of integrity in all our business practices. We can assure you we are committed to quality and processes.

Yea, the high quality of bugging me when I’m trying to watch The Lost Boys.

It amazes me how companies think they can talk their way out of things. The best they could do is not annoy me further. To do this, they should’ve informed me my number would be removed from their list and apologized for the inconvenience. Period. End of story. Don’t get all sugary about how they’re an industry leader (they wish) and the very picture of integrity. Somehow, I don’t see any of this through their actions. Instead, I’m even more determined not to let their pitch work on me.

So I wrote back, and this is my favourite part:

Note that Primus Canada is in the Telephone Communications Business, it is quite normal that we would contact our customers by phone.

Then you shouldn’t be bothering me. I’m not one of your customers, remember?


Speaking of which, Jonathan suggested an excellent and fun way to handle telemarketers. When a telemarketer calls to offer a service, simply say, “Let me check with my robots.” Remove the phone from your ear and press a random sequence of buttons on the phone. We can only hope the telemarketer isn’t expecting the loud tones. Return the phone to your ear and let the telemarketer know you’re back by saying, “Hello?” When they respond, simply report, “Robots say ‘No’ ” and quickly hang up.


Hay! For horses.


Snakes and Arrows


  1. Jonathan

    beep dih dah boop!!!

    The best part about the robot technique is that you get to have fun and the telemarketers might actually get a laugh out of it. They’ll probably think you’re waste of time since they don’t know if you are joking or actually loopy! But it is certain you said NO!

    Depending on my robot mood I sometimes hope telemarketers will call!

    Also I have this other idea about talking like a pirate to them. I was inspired by the good people who promote “international talk like a pirate day”

    Btw Sept. 19 is ITLPD…every year!

    Two things I haven’t decided on are: Do pirates really want/need to win an all inclusive cruise? Too, were they around when ducts were invented? If they were around, were they still around when the ducts then needed cleaning?

  2. Good coverage Rick — and Jonathen’s method seems fun — but we get so many calls i dont even respond„ just hit the flash key and set the phone down.

    ‘a whole list of rules and such can be laughed about here…

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