Don’t Call Me

Canada launched its Do Not Call legislation today. In general, I think it’s a good idea, but I should ask my family before I go ahead and add our home number to the list.

There is a possibility that telemarketers are upset with this change, but they shouldn’t.  The people who are registering on these lists are people who wouldn’t take those calls anyway, so really, they’re increasing their success rate by decreasing the irrelevant population.  Of course there’s the consideration that us consumers don’t know what we want, but I think many telemarketers get disconnected even before they have a chance to pitch their offer.

In my family, we usually pick up the phone “Hello?” and if there’s no sound in the first second, we hang up.  Sounds risky, but surprisingly, I’ve only ever hung up on one friend, and she called right back.

Of course we know that the DNCL is not going to eradicate unwanted phone calls from our lives.  The exemption list is a cause for concern for me.  I don’t mind market research, or newspapers, and especially charities.  What I do have a problem with are those vendors who have previous ties with us.

Back when I used to listen to the telemarketer’s whole spiel before disconnecting, I would get a lot of calls from Bell, my landline provider, asking me if I wanted to use their high-speed Internet services, or from our banks, asking if we wanted a low-interest loan that was only offered by phone.  I am never interested in these.  I don’t care if I’m using Bell as a land-line.  If I wanted them as an ISP, I would have them as an ISP.  They’re just as bad as regular telemarketers.  Too bad these won’t stop.

People may wonder why market research is exempt.  After all, they interrupt our dinners and irritate us just as much time as people who sell.  The thing is, when you’re doing market research, sampling from a representative study population is essential.  Obviously, if they could only sample from people who didn’t register on the DNCL, their results would be confounded by some unmeasurable variate that differentiated between the people who registered, and those who didn’t.  Even though I have all this info about research, and I support it (I’m kind of a statistician), I have to admit, they’re still annoying as hell.

Anyway, if you want to do it, go register here.  You won’t have to click through a load of crap with this link.  I wish you many uninterrupted dinners.

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  • September 2008
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