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BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising

Don Firth 07 Dec 08 - 09:14 PM
JohnInKansas 07 Dec 08 - 09:39 PM
Ebbie 08 Dec 08 - 10:25 AM
dwditty 08 Dec 08 - 11:23 AM
Anne Lister 08 Dec 08 - 11:28 AM
Jeri 08 Dec 08 - 11:36 AM
Little Hawk 08 Dec 08 - 12:09 PM
Don Firth 08 Dec 08 - 02:19 PM
Rapparee 08 Dec 08 - 03:15 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 08 Dec 08 - 04:31 PM
Little Hawk 08 Dec 08 - 05:21 PM
Cluin 08 Dec 08 - 05:37 PM
Anne Lister 08 Dec 08 - 06:15 PM
Little Hawk 08 Dec 08 - 08:01 PM
Liz the Squeak 09 Dec 08 - 03:40 AM
Anne Lister 09 Dec 08 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,Bob L 09 Dec 08 - 08:46 AM
katlaughing 09 Dec 08 - 11:06 AM
Little Hawk 09 Dec 08 - 12:02 PM
Mr Red 09 Dec 08 - 01:14 PM
Liz the Squeak 09 Dec 08 - 06:41 PM
ranger1 09 Dec 08 - 07:23 PM
semi-submersible 10 Dec 08 - 03:33 AM
Gurney 10 Dec 08 - 05:00 AM
Anne Lister 10 Dec 08 - 06:12 AM
Sandra in Sydney 10 Dec 08 - 07:10 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 10 Dec 08 - 07:42 AM
Anne Lister 10 Dec 08 - 05:02 PM
Sandra in Sydney 10 Dec 08 - 05:56 PM
semi-submersible 11 Dec 08 - 04:25 AM
Janice in NJ 11 Dec 08 - 06:33 AM
Anne Lister 11 Dec 08 - 11:47 AM
Don Firth 11 Dec 08 - 02:19 PM
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Subject: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Dec 08 - 09:14 PM

This is a fairly long and kind of angry screed.

Has anyone else noticed the increase in rude and intrusive advertising of late?

My telephone is on the Federal Trade Commission's "Do Not Call" Registry. Nevertheless, we receive telemarketing calls from outfits that apparently ignore this law. Sometimes the outfits who do this don't identify themselves very well, making it hard to report them. But fortunately, until lately, it didn't happen all that often. But lately we've been subjected to a kind of telemarketing harassment that makes me want to break out the horsewhip and go hunting.

A couple of months ago, I started receiving mail with "WARNING: THIS IS YOUR FINAL NOTICE!" printed in large, red letters on the outside of the envelope. Anyone who saw the envelope might easily assume that this was a notice from a bill collector threatening a deadbeat debtor (me!). Inside, the letter said that my automobile warranty had lapsed and that I needed to renew it NOW! The extended warranty offered was by no outfit I had ever heard of.

Well, our automobile is a 1999 Toyota Corona, which we bought new, and we did get an extended warranty—from the dealer—but that was up several years ago. We have regular maintenance done on the car, it has only about 22,000 miles on it, and it's running just fine, thank you. We have no intention of getting another "extended warrantee," especially from some fly-by-night outfit we've never heard of.

The letters stopped, but I started getting automated telephone calls from this same outfit. Again, "This is your final notice! This is your LAST CHANCE to renew ("renew?") your warranty," etc. I've been hanging up on these calls. But I kept getting them, sometimes three times a week. Finally, I decided that the next one I received, I would "press 1" as instructed and ask whatever live person came on the line just who in the hell they were and what the **** did they think they were doing! But the next call never came. They seem to have stopped. Maybe they go the idea.

Yesterday, I got an automated call from a different outfit (I think) that was downright threatening. It was another "THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE! YOU WILL NOT BE NOTIFIED AGAIN!" kind of call. It was a woman's voice, with the kind of tone that might be used by a school teacher who caught some kid peeing in the classroom wastebasket for the sixth time. This time, it was my LAST CHANCE to take out a loan to pay off my credit card debt.
We don't have any credit card debt. We do use a credit card, but we pay it off every month. Undoubtedly the credit card company would much rather we let it ride so we would have to pay interest, but we're not playing that game. We are, happily, debt free, and we intend to stay that way.

I was so knee-jerk offended that I hung up immediately. But next time, I'm going to respond by poking the appropriate number and have a few choice words with whoever comes on the line.

And then just a short time ago, I pulled up the Comcast TV listings to see if there was anything fit to watch on the boob tube tonight. I was confronted by a half-screen ad for tonight's episode of "Desperate Housewives." I clicked on "Skip Advertisement" as I usually do when this sort of ad pops up (despite my Pop-Up Blocker) and instead of going away, the ad changed to full screen and started to play a video of a preview of the show.

I clicked the X box in the upper right hand corner of my screen. Nuthin'. I pressed "close program" (Alt-F4). Nuttin'. I clicked on Start and tried to restart the computer (like Reset). Nuthin'. Finally, I unplugged the computer and dropped the battery out (I was using my laptop). That shut it down, and I was able to do a clean restart.

I have noticed of late that many web sites with ads connected to them simply do not display the material you are looking for until you have had several seconds to look at the damned ad—despite pop-up blockers and other such crap-blocker programs.

Whoever came up with this kind of intrusive and offensive "in-your-face" advertising—well, I am generally a fairly peaceable and tolerant fellow, but I would like to take them by the scruff of the neck and the seat of the pants, carry them over to a brick wall, and use their faces as a wrecking ball.

Am I alone in this or are there others who also get a bit incensed?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 07 Dec 08 - 09:39 PM

If you can identify the caller, either by phone number or company name, you might be interested in the web site described at SITE 'OUTS' DO NOT CALL VIOLATORS

I've received about thirty calls recently, twice per week, from the ones offering me my "last chance to reduce my credit card payments." They always tell me that if I don't sign up now they'll never call me again - but they do. I hit the button to "talk to an agent" once and asked him for a number I could call back, 'cause "I'm very busy right now." He promptly recited my phone number to me and then hung up.

The worst - IMO - are the snail mail ones who try to "look like an official government agency" or "veterans org" to sell medical "supplement plans." One of these recently had no company name anywhere in the correspondence, a P.O. box for a return address; but to impress me it was signed by the "Vice President" - of what?

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Ebbie
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 10:25 AM

Over the last few months I've received maybe 20 of those 'Please listen carefully- I've been trying to reach you - the insurance on your car or vehicle is about to expire...' calls. (My "car or vehicle"? They don't know?)

It says to 'press 1' if I feel this call is in error. I did that successfully just once- I got a person on the line and told her that #1, I do not HAVE a car or vehicle and #2, they are to cease and desist.

She appeared contrite and said my number would be taken off the list.

There was a break in the number of calls and then they started again. Now, if I 'press 1', it breaks the connection. I've never gotten hold of anyone again.

So I decided to accept it as one of life's events and just hang up when the voice says 'Please list...'


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: dwditty
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 11:23 AM

Don, this type of behavior surprises you? We have evolved to a state in which so many ignore any sense of decency....but these tactics must work, because they keep using them - phone calls, spam email, pop-up ads, direct mail - so I don't think they are going away soon...after all, there really IS a sucker born every minute.

Here are a couiple of tips we use:

Unwanted phone solicitations - no matter who in the family answers, we say - "That person moved out on us - took off...left." and offer to tell the whole sad story. We hear, "click."

Any mail that does not have a first class stamp is junk...it is tossed unopened.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Anne Lister
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 11:28 AM

I've ranted about this before, but ever since we moved into this house we have been plagued with calls for a "Mrs Clements". They come in at a rate of at least three a week, normally late afternoon. We're the first people to have this phone number (we checked) and there is no "Mrs Clements" in the area with a number remotely like ours. The calls are coming from Spain, so all we get on caller display is "international", and as we do get some legit calls from "international" we can't identify the calls before picking up the phone.
We've tried being polite and explaining they have the wrong number - nothing changes. We've tried being terse and saying they have the wrong number - and get a variety of cheeky or insulting comments back. Thought we'd cracked it the other week when one woman had the nerve to call back after I'd ended the call with one sentence (not offensive, just abrupt) and asked the pertinent question about whether our address correlated to the phone number - which of course it didn't. Then came a call from an older-sounding man, who apologised for the calls and promised we wouldn't get any more. Hah.
Last week I became totally incensed by a woman who again called back after I'd ended the first call and started saying "Now listen here young lady ..." as if about to tell me off. So I ended that call and when she tried a third time I simply put the receiver on the desk and got on with what I was doing, letting her talk to the air. I wish I thought that was the end of the story, but I strongly suspect there are more calls to come.
We've got letters typed up to send to the address we think the calls are coming from, telling them to cease and desist on pain of us invoking the Data Protection people - I don't suppose they'll make any difference, either. It seems to be a time share company.
Short of changing our phone number (which would be a very drastic solution, as a lot of my work comes from phone calls and I've given out a fair number of business cards in the past) we're stuck with the situation - and furious about it. It's pointless from their point of view, as they're not trying to sell us anything once it's clear there is no "Mrs Clements", so you'd have thought someone would have had the sense to update their lists.

Anne


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Jeri
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 11:36 AM

My opinion is that if I have to lie or rationalize why I'm saying 'no', they've gained a bit of control over me. THEY know that too.

Just say 'no', not 'no, because...'. I say 'no' and 'goodbye', then hang up. It results in me not feeling like I've been stressed and the person at the other end who's just working there to pay the rent is OK too.

The recordings about credit card debt and extended warranties are easy to hang up on. They shouldn't be calling, but hanging up is healthier than having my blood pressure spike.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 12:09 PM

Don, you are simply allowing yourself to be more easily reachable than is necessary. There are ways of almost completely avoiding all aggressive advertising.

The number 1 pest is the telephone, and I was greatly bothered by telemarketers until I arrived at a simple solution. I got "call display" and "call answering". When the phone rings (if I am there to hear it) I look at the call display. If I recognize the person who is calling (and I wish to talk to them), I answer. If not, I don't answer, and whoever is calling can leave a message after 4 rings. Telemarketers virtually never leave a message, because they KNOW you won't call them back. ;-)

I NEVER pick up the phone anymore unless I know in advance who I am talking to and it's someone I want to talk to. Everything goes on the call answering, and then I check my messages. If I'm in doubt or concerned about who it might have been, I check the message right after the call came in.

I have not spoken to a telemarketer in the last two years. I get calls from them every day, though. I can see the 800 numbers and the other strange numbers (like 000-000-0000), nobody I ever heard of, and none of them bother to leave a message. I can't tell you what a sense of quiet satisfaction I get watching the phone ring (very quietly...I've got it turned down low) and NOT answering, knowing full well that it's some pest trying to sell me something I don't want.

Ha! ;-) I get about 30 or 40 calls a week here, I'd say. Out of those 30 or 40 there are generally, oh, maybe 2 or 3 at best which are actually calls from real friends or real business contacts whom I have any reason to talk to. All the others are telemarketers, I talk to none of them, none of them ever leave messages either. Mission accomplished. They haven't bothered me. I haven't been rude to them.

Now...junk mail. Junk mail is not a big deal. I don't have to answer it when it arrives, so it doesn't interrupt me. A quick look at the envelope is usually all that's required...and into the wastebasket it goes. If I'm not sure, I open it, take a quick look, and into the wastebasket it goes.

Most other obnoxious advertising is easily avoided by:

1. not watching commercial television
2. not listening to commercial radio
3. having software on your computer that blocks popups

As it is, about the only commercial advertising that I am subjected to much anymore is that found in the newspaper (which is easily ignored) or some radio station that is playing in a restaurant or gas station.

There are two ways of having and using a phone, Don. Either you are in control of it...or it's in control of you. If it's the second, then you are at the world's mercy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 02:19 PM

Little Hawk, some of your solutions won't work in our case. The co-op apartment building in which we live subscribes to a fire alarm service, and due to the way the building is wired, communication to and from the fire alarm company goes through the telephone lines in our apartment. Unfortunately, for reasons I don't fully understand, this obviates our option to have caller ID on our phone. We do have an answering machine, but frankly, I don't like it when I call someone and get shortstopped by an answering machine, and I don't want to subject our friends to it. Ofentimes, they assume we aren't home and hang up before we have a chance to grab the phone. Also, most calls we get are from people we know. The sales calls amount to only a percentage of the calls we receive.

The radio stations I listen to regularly are 1) my local NPR affiliate, which carries no advertising, and 2) a local classical music station, which does carry advertising, but classical selections are often quite long, so I can frequently go for the better part of an hour without commercial interruption. As far as the television is concerned, there, too, we usually watch shows on one or the other of two PBS affiliates, which carry no advertising. Whenever we watch anything on a commercial channel, when the commercial breaks come along, I hit the "Mute" button on the remote.

As far as snail mail is concerned, most junk mail goes directly from our mailbox to the recycling bin. The occasional catalog, e.g., Elderly Instruments, I keep. I do get snookered once in a while by the ones that John in Kansas mentioned that are tricked up to look like something from the Social Security Department or the Infernal Revenue Service (by the way, John, thanks for the link; I gave it a brief look and will check it out more thoroughly in a bit).

Since I can't make use of Caller ID, one solution to the sales call problem might be to go along with the gag until I find out who the caller is, then report them.

It's just within the past month or six weeks that we've been getting the really threatening-sounding calls, always automated, but asking—demanding—that I "press 1 NOW!" In the past, with live callers, if I'm feeling a bit playful (and a touch sadistic), I'll lead them down the primrose path and waste a lot of their time before I tell them I'm not interested—then I report them. I do get a bit of pleasure out of informing the person offering me a loan to refinance my mortgage that "We don't have a mortgage. We own our home outright." [Actually, we own a share in the building co-op association, and the co-op association (made up of those who live here) owns all of the apartments. An open-ended lease on the apartment one lives in is a part of each owner's share]. This often leaves them a bit flummoxed. Then they sometimes switch and say, "Well, we could help you with your credit card debt," and then I tell them that we don't have any because we pay the credit card off every month. If they persist, I inform them that we are completely and totally debt-free. Which is true!

Tabster (Anne), I don't know if this is anything similar to the calls that you are getting, but in the early 1970s, I was living in Kennewick, Washington and working at a radio station in Pasco, just across the Columbia River. I worked a night shift at the station—I was the all-night announcer—and I slept during the day. Deep in my much-needed slumbers, the bloody telephone would ring and wake my up. It was a wrong number. The party apologized and hung up. A few moments later, the phone rang again. Same party. Then again. And again. Things started getting a bit nasty. Finally she gave up.

Then the following day, it happened again. Then the day after. This went on for the better (worse!) part of a week. I kept asking her what number she was calling. Yes, that was my number. And no, the party she wanted was not here. She was convinced that the party was there and that I was lying. I'm sure there was an interesting story there, but I was too sleepy and angry to inquire any further. I would have unplugged the phone, except for the possibility that the station might need to reach me for some reason.

Finally I got smart. The next time she called, I asked her where she was calling. When she told me, I was able to say, "Ma'am, you're a thousand miles or so off. You may have the right number, but you have the wrong area code. I'm in eastern Washington State. The area code here is 509. The area code you should be dialing for Santa Fe, New Mexico is 505!"

Abject apologies. The calls stopped, and I started getting some uninterrupted sleep.

I don't know if that solution might apply or not.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 03:15 PM

We've been getting a few calls from the 062 international calling code -- that's Indonesia. I'm pretty sure we don't know anyone there or that anyone there knows us.

Lots of times we just let the answering machine take it, and if it's someone we want to talk with we pick up the phone and start talking. The recording stops in a moment and we avoid having me tell salespeople that they eat their own...well, it keeps my blood pressure down.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 04:31 PM

I just picked up an idea from the comments board on the site JIK linked to above. It's particularly appropriate for me since I never answer my land-line phone. Everybody I'd really want to talk to has my cell phone number.

Anyway, a fellow said he added the three-tone signal that identifies a non-working phone number to the beginning of his voice-mail greeting. It's meaningless to an actual person making a call, but if the call is computer-generated, the computer will read the tones as a "not in service" signal and "scrub" the number from its database. All you'd need to do is dial a non-working number, record the tones you hear (before the voice saying "We're sorry..." comes on), and re-record your outgoing message with those tones at the beginning of your message.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 05:21 PM

I see. Well, it's not so easy in your case then, Don. If you can't tell who's calling before you pick up then you're at their mercy. It's kind of like answering the door without knowing who's on the other side of it before you open it.

I used to have fun with some telemarketers and lead them way down the garden path, but I eventually got sick of the whole thing and just quit talking to them at all.

They just can't BELIEVE you don't have any debts, right? ;-) Hell, it's almost UN-American to do that, isn't it? Why haven't you been doing your bit to drive the country into bankruptcy?


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Cluin
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 05:37 PM

The telemarketing calls that REALLY piss me off are the auto-dialer ones that don't even have a real human being on the other end. It's either dead silence (which means they dialed 5 or 10 numbers at once and the first person to answer out of those numbers gets a response while the rest get silence because OUR time is less valuable than the call centre's) or a recorded speil. And it's usually at supper time.

So I have to drop what I'm doing, get up, go to the phone to see that it's a unidentified number, then pick up to see it is a telemarketing machine. Again and again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Anne Lister
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 06:15 PM

Don, you're almost certainly right in the diagnosis of the reason for the calls we're getting, but the company calling us seems totally unable to alter their records despite having been told umpteen times now that they've got the wrong number or code. I'm sort of hoping that if I continue being unpleasant they'll make some other note against the number instead but we've tried almost every other tack.


Anne


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 08:01 PM

You should say to them, "Who are you trying to reach?" When they tell you, say, "Oh, you've got the wrong number. He/She/They moved. Their new number is -----"( give the number of someone you really do not like in the least).

Or....if they ask for the homeowner, say, "He died." When they ask what happened, say, "Oh, he got so upset about all the telemarketers calling all the time that he decided to take the quick way out and he jumped off a bridge." When they ask who you are, say, "I'm the insurance assessor." Tell them they can call you back later at ----- ( give same number as above).


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 03:40 AM

In the past, I've told one persistant company that I'm in the middle of sex and can I call them back once he's taken the straps off? They never called again!

We too, have an unlisted number and are on the list that allegedly prevents these type of calls but there are people who just will not get the message.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Anne Lister
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 06:11 AM

Little Hawk, we've done that - but they have not changed their records and so they still call. And call. And call. And call.

I suppose we haven't tried the "she died" routine. Might do that.

Anne


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: GUEST,Bob L
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 08:46 AM

In my case, three seconds of answering machine seems to be enough to filter out most of the unwanted stuff - legitimate callers have more patience.


Should I nevertheless get any calls concerning debts, I might try to put them off their stroke with "I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that - how much did you want to borrow?" and something about references.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 11:06 AM

I'm with Jeri on this one...it's not worth the aggravation to do anthing but say goodbye and hang up.

Wish I knew what to do with the stacks of marketing mail still filling my mailbox. We don't have recycling here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 12:02 PM

Turn it all into papiermache and build something with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Mr Red
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 01:14 PM

I use an answer machine and because I am ex-directory the calls are rare. But they do occasionally come and they are "not selling", uhu?. You can tell when it is on the answer machine because they can sense echo of an open mic as soon as you lift the handset, if it is not there they don't leave a message.

So why can't we get a phone that will say "hello who are you" for you and the telemarketers will give up before you switch to your live voice? You get to say you are there and you hear the answer.

As for junk mail I am on the UK register for "do not junk mail" (as well as the "do not junk phone") service. Any company that dares to flout the rules gets it back with "return to sender" because in the UK they probably have to pay for it. They get the message.

it like e-mail spam - if it costs them to get it wrong, they think more carefully. If not, they just do it anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 06:41 PM

E-mail spam.. there's another thing.. apparently I'm sending myself messages about how big my penis can be if I use a particular method.

It was the one I received that was all in Cyrillic lettering that amused me most.... I didn't even know I could type in Russian!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: ranger1
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 07:23 PM

I threatened to turn one company over to the AG here in Maine if I got one more call and asked for the person's name with whom I was speaking. He hung up and we haven't gotten another call from that company. It was one of those "pay off your mortgage" companies, btw.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: semi-submersible
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 03:33 AM

Tabster, with the "Mrs. Clements" calls, did you try offering to take a message and a phone number (address, website, whatever) that she can use to get back to the caller?

If they think you're helping them, they might divulge contact information. Then you can report them or, if they give you a toll-free number, maybe reach a customer service person at their end. They're wasting money and staff time on those useless calls, so there must be someone in their company who would be motivated to stop it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Gurney
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 05:00 AM

I always ask 'Why would you think a pensioner can afford that?" and they go away. I hang up on automated calls, but they irritate.

I did have some trouble because I gave both Time-life and Readers Digest my Visa number in one year. They wouldn't stop sending things and charging for them until I got really nasty.
We did get on a pollster's 'good-guys list, which was a mistake.

My wife keeps a whistle beside the phone to this day because we once got a call from a pervert.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Anne Lister
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 06:12 AM

Semi-submers ...trouble is, they would see that as an acknowledgment that this blasted woman could be reached on our number. My husband did once claim to be "Mr Clements" to see if he could find out what was going on - sadly this just led to more calls, one of which was very unpleasant in which I was accused of lying because I said (as usual) that this was the wrong number for that name. Oh, and they had the unmitigated gall to tell me WE were wasting THEIR time by pretending!!!!
We have got the company name (we think) and we have two letters ready to post to them (in Spain). I'm just not convinced even these will make a difference.

Anne


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 07:10 AM

Anne, is it worth contacting your telephone co. to see if they can intercept calls (if they offer that service)

Many years ago someone I knew was getting obscene calls, when I called her I got a telephonist saying the phone company's name & asking who I was calling & who I was. Only legit callers were put thru.

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 07:42 AM

On a slightly different tack, has anyone besides me experienced Yahoo Mail's infuriating habit of making their banner adverts swoop down over your command buttons and emails (even ones you're trying to read), rendering them invisible & unusable? The blasted advert then just sits there over your work until you either wait it out (a long time) or click it to make it F off - but this just seems to encourage it to occur more frequently, which means something has probably been activated. It's become a constant barrage - I had it happen four times in one minute recently. It's like that old designed-to-disrupt-your-thinking "cookie monster" virus (from back in the days when viruses were relatively harmless).   

I wrote a furious email to a couple of the companies who were advertising, telling them what association this in-your-face sort of PR was giving their product, which maybe they'll pass on to their marketing departments if they don't bin it.

Yes, I use Firefox and now have Flashblock, and yes Yahoo is only a public address for newsletters and chat groups and other impersonal stuff. But the fact that it happens at all is outrageous. I should not have my private messages and mind space violated by some invading outside agent which takes command of my web page and freezes all thought and work while it force-occupies my personal zone. I don't like the implications of it - if this sort of thing doesn't get stopped now, what's next? A mass boycott of Yahoo would probably do the trick, but that's pretty unlikely. If they had a feedback department I'd give them a piece of my mind (what remains of it) but I haven't found a contact for one.

If these companies can be made to realise how alienating this practice is to potential customers, and what a horribly negative association attaches itself to their product, maybe they'll pull their advertising from Yahoo - that would get some attention. Haven't they ever heard of the adverse effect? (Well, Proctor & Gamble has now: I was pretty forthright about what I think of Pampers for sticking its cutesy little rear-end into my work and preventing all progress.)

Has anyone else been through this hassle, or are they (as I have long suspected) just out to get me?


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Anne Lister
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 05:02 PM

Sandra, the phone company can do something like that here except that it costs a fair amount and most calls we get are legit so it seems like an expensive solution (as does changing our number).

All I want is for one company to change its list of numbers to call and note that we are not the people they think they want to talk to. And after four years you'd have thought they could do this ... makes me wonder how many other useless numbers (or simply out of date ones) they're calling.

I'm sure I'd be even more annoyed if they were trying to sell me something, but it's all the more pointless because they're not!

Anne


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 05:56 PM

naturally it would cost money!

I suppose if it were a British company you could try contacting a paper or investigative TV show. If they're calling your number, they're probably calling other numbers & annoying other folks, maybe that's an option (& it could even get you good publicity & more work!)

A proper, business-like company would not aggrevate customers & potential customers by continually making rude calls. Old marketing practice was 1 complaint = 10 or 20 unhappy customers. The oz consumer's association looks into bad behaviour of companies (tho usually for unhappy customers) & also into industry practices, so maybe yours might have info.

good luck

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: semi-submersible
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 04:25 AM

Tabster, if it's worth trying, to get contact info out of them you could say "If I meet a Mrs. Clements, how should I tell her to contact you?" That way you're not under false pretences.

I assume from the callers' attitude that they think Mrs. Clements owes money and is trying to hide. I wonder if the time-share or whatever, which originally had a business relationship with Mrs. Clements, gave up trying to contact her and passed the job over to debt collectors (who may not have a reputation to lose by being impolite) in return for a percentage of what they might collect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 06:33 AM

Although I am on the national "Do Not Call" list, I sometimes get calls claiming to be from organizations I belong to. In fact they are from salespeople trying to sell me insurance, credit cards, home equity loans, retirement plans, or other financial services. Whenever I complain, I am told that these services are officially approved by the organizations they claimed to represent, and since I am a member, their calls are exempt from the "Do Not Call" list. Has anyone else had this problem?.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Anne Lister
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 11:47 AM

Semi-sub, I'd be very surprised if she owed them money because in that case they'd surely be tracking her down using her street address. We're fairly sure we're still being contacted by the time-share company itself, based in Spain. And I'm not going to offer any kind of suggestion that we might meet this blasted woman as it's obvious from at least two of the calls that her street address (which they seem to have) doesn't correlate with this dialling code. I'm not going to feed their mistakes any further or even begin to let them think I can identify the Mrs Clements they're wanting to talk to.

We can only speculate about what their relationship with Mrs Clements is or has been - all we know for sure is that despite around three calls a week over four years they haven't updated their calling lists.

Anne


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Subject: RE: BS: Rude and Intrusive Advertising
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 02:19 PM

We do make contributions from time to time to a number of peace and justice groups and environmental groups, and apparently some of them sell their lists of contributors because we frequently get calls from organizations we've never heard of, asking for contributions.

My response is that "We've completed our list of contributions for this fiscal period. Sorry." Their usual reaction is to reduce the amount they're asking for ("Even just twenty-five dollars would help."), to which I repeat my response in a somewhat sharper voice. This generally works.

Don Firth


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