Rachel's Blog: Do Not Call, Visit, Send Snail Mail or Engage in Idle Chit-chat

Tue, 24 Apr 2007

Hands up if you love unsolicited telephone calls. I see no hands raised. (har har). Feel like you've been getting more than your fair share recently?

In our house it's got to the point where if, after picking up the handset, there is a >2 second delay between me saying "Hello?" and a response, I will hang up. I will not talk to anyone with an automatic dialler. This has probably led to me hanging up on some close personal friends and relatives who are trying to drink coffee or something while calling. Sorry about that.

Here in outer Mongolia suburbia we're averaging one marketing call a day. Doesn't sound like much, but we average fewer personal calls than that. If the phone rings around here, it's a big deal. (email, people...email)

What completely pisses me off is the way they waste time. I don't care what your name is. You don't know my name. (You pretend to, but you're so wrong.) As for how I am? How could you possibly care? Yes, I do know, or can make an educated guess at what your charity supports, what your company does or how I could benefit. Save some time for both of us - you could fit more calls in.

So, if I were very hard up and obliged to write marketing copy to feed my family, this is how the phone calls would go:
"Good morning/afternoon/evening. I am sorry to disturb you. This is a marketing call from XYZ Bank/I'm raising money for XYZ charity/I'm promoting a new home loan/This is a survey on XYZ habits.
Cut to the chase and allow me to hang up faster.

The Australian National Do Not Call Register will launch in May this year. Hip hip hooray! Calloo! Callay! Glancing through the front page, however, I am disheartened to see "Religious Organisations" are exempt under the explanation of them being considered to be operating in the public interest. If they are not already exempt by way of being a registered charity, I reserve the right to be very rude indeedy.

Now we've just got to get the ball rolling on the National Do Not Visit Register. This evening we had two door-knockers in 20 minutes. One, a well known charity, began with name-tag waving and "Hello, mumble mumble mumble..." to which I responded, "No". And shut the door.

The second actually engaged Richard for a few minutes under the pretence of being our gas supplier. Lies, lies, all lies. Not a bad effort though; they both stumbled down the front steps in pitch darkness without breaking anything. I do like having my pot-plants placed just so.