Monday, September 15, 2008

Warning to telemarketers: Don't mess with me

I finally did it. I called the cops on a telemarketing firm that was really ticking me off. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's been getting these calls that show up on caller ID as "Chartered Marketing." They started a few weeks ago and they seemed to come at least once a day. The problem is that when I answered to tell them not to call again, there was never another person on the other end. It was completely dead. I put up with this for three weeks, and finally blew my stack. I don't even know why I waited for three weeks to fight back.
Anyhow, last week I called the number back from caller ID and I blasted the supervisor. I told her that if I got another call from them that I would be contacting local authorities to report them for phone harassment. My argument: When there's no one there for you to tell not to call again, it makes it difficult for you to put a stop to the repeated calls, which I now considered to be harassment. The supervisor told me that it could take up to a month for my phone number to be removed from the system. Still, I warned her that I would be calling the cops if another call came.

Well, sure enough, the next day, at 5 p.m., right as I was attempting to sit down to dinner, the call came. I immediately picked up the phone, and when no one was there to reply, I hung up and called police. I never expected an officer to come to my house to take a report, but within 10 minutes he was knocking on my door. You can imagine the look on my wife's face when the police pulled in to speak with me about a telemarketer. "Just don't answer the phone," she'd tell me. Well, I have a hard time letting this type of stuff slide. I was too annoyed not to do something.

I explained the situation to the officer and provided the telemarketer's phone number. He said he would contact them to see about putting a stop to the calls. Whatever he said must have worked because I haven't received a call since. Sometimes you have to take drastic steps to restore order in your house. The constant calls just added to the mayhem in my house filled with the sounds of sibling battles over who got the bigger pancake or the most crackers.

While the telemarketing calls have stopped, the political polling ones are now starting. Tonight I got one from some group of Democrats. I didn't answer. Hopefully I won't have to call the cops on them.

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