Most people hate answering the phone to find a telemarketer on the other end. Some will treat them rudely, swear at them, threaten them and generally make their short time on the phone as miserable as possible. I know this because I have worked as a telemarketer for four years. I am going to let everyone in on some secrets about telemarketers and perhaps after reading this you will think twice before you yell at the person on the other end of the phone.
A lot of information is swimming through the media right now about do not call lists. They claim that once you enter your name on the list telemarketers are not allowed to call you. Some go as far as to tell you that you have the right to sue if a telemarketer calls you. Many claim that the telemarketer will be arrested. This is all untrue! You can put your name on all the do not call lists you want it’s not going to make much difference.
Let me explain the problem. You have given the telemarketing companies the right to call you. You have given your permission and sometimes you have given it in writing. That’s right folks! You put yourself ON the calling list when you signed the application for your credit card, bank card, loan, and many many other forms you haven’t thought about. Some websites that offer free memberships have clauses that allow your name to be sold to telemarketing companies. All of this is done legally and with your permission.
You are in effect yelling at an innocent person that you yourself gave permission to call. Everyone must learn to read the fine print on everything before you sign it. You and only you can be responsible for you own actions. People are suffering the curse of telemarketing because they have failed to read the fine print and just don’t realize it.
So how do you get off the calling lists? Well first let me explain how the Calling List works. Do not bother with the Federal or State do not call lists they will never work. Mainly because no state or federal governments bother to turn the lists over to the telemarketing companies or the clients they call for. Plus, least we forget, you have given your permission to each individual company that is calling you.
Every single telemarketing firm has its very own do not call list, actually they have TWO do not call lists. One by client, meaning that Tuesday they can call you for one company, put you on the do not call list and Friday the same telemarketing firm will call you for a different company. Very frustrating I know.
To fix the problem you have to:
1) call ALL your credit card companies and tell them to put you on their do not call list. You will be amazed at how many calls this will stop.
2) When a telemarketer calls you ask them to put you on their do not call list and ask for a copy of their do not call policy. Most telemarketers will be happy to do this. Some might give you a hassle, if they do demand to speak to their manager. These are poorly trained and usually very young people.
3) You must then Opt-Out. What is opting out? That is where you go online or in some cases send a letter to each and every company you can think of that might have you on a calling list or that might sell their customers name. Ahhh the punishments for not reading the fine print. That’s right you must now do work to dig yourself out of your own hole. Since I am a nice and wonderful person I will give you a website that has made the letter writing process easier with standard form letters and has even supplied lists of companies to mail and contact. Opting out will even cut down on your junk mail.
Now here are some other secrets:
There are certain states that have enacted laws forcing telemarketers to say their closing and exit the call if you say the word No or I’m not interested. This is where it gets interesting because this will ONLY work if your state supports this law and it doesn’t hold for every single telemarketing call. Such states are called no rebuttal states. This means that the telemarketer is not allowed to say anything except their closing (scripted exit statement sometimes contains a phone number) then they must exit the call. Pennsylvania, Utah, Kentucky, Oregon, South Dakota, Kansas, Arkansas, Idaho are states that are almost always on the no rebuttal states list. If you are lucky enough to live in Pennsylvania then your state is ALWAYS on the list. Remember though that these states are sometimes NOT on the list and so the telemarketer will be allowed to try to convince you.
There are other states that are permission to continue states and then the telemarketer is required to ask you your permission to continue if you say no then they are required to give their closing and exit the call.
The best way to protect yourself is to know your States laws on telemarketing.
The next time you get a call remember the person on the other end of the phone is just doing their job. Be polite, after all you did invite them to call.