Start The New Year A Little Smarter

Perhaps this isn’t news to you.  But not all those phone solicitors are legit.

They call during the day.  They call at night.  One time, as late as 9:20pm.  They call, saying “They’re the fire department” or “Helping Veterans” or even “The Shriner’s Hospital.”

Their script tells them to say “Thanks for your help in the past” and while you flip through the rolodex of your mind, trying to remember if that’s really true, they go into their big ask.

The other night, I got one of those calls.

ME: “Hello?”

HIM: “Is Victoria there?”

ME:  No and can you please remove us from your list?

HIM:  Is this Victoria? (strike one)

ME:  Can you please remove us from your list?

HIM:  I wasn’t calling to ask anything.  I’m calling for the Shriner’s Hospital and I just wanted to thank her for her past support. (strike two)

ME:  Please remove us from your list.

HIM:  I’ll call back later. (click and strike three! He’s out)

Now I’m ticked.  It seems that we have laws and that if you ask a telemarketer to remove you from their list, they have to do that.

So, I look up Shriner’s Hospitals.  The nearest one is in Spokane.  I write to them via their Facebook page and much to my surprise, they responded fairly quickly:

I checked with our corporate PR director and there are no telemarketing efforts on a corporate level.  I have a call into our Spokane hospital to check locally.

The ID appeared on the phone as a private number.  Now, we’ve all been trained to be polite, not hang up on people, etc. but I’ve hit the wall.  From now on, if it’s an out-of-area call or private number, I answer, give it a beat, and then hang up.  That practically guarantees Publisher’s Clearinghouse will try to give me a million dollars this year, but it will be well worth it.

That might have been them tonight.  Or at least one of the three calls I hung up on.

Tim Hunter

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