Friday, March 07, 2008


Death to Telemarketers and Energy Marketers

Is it me or has the volume of annoying salespeople multiplied exponentially? At work I get so many junk faxes that waste our paper and ink. The worst part of it is that the geniuses that design these things insist on using huge blocks of the paper with a black background and white lettering. I'd be less annoyed if they just used black letters on white background. I've called, I've faxed back, and they still keep on coming. I think the government needs to step in and put an end to this practice of bulk ad faxing. If someone wants to sell me something, using my paper and ink to do it isn't the way to go. Isn't there some company out there that makes a fax machine with a screen that allows you to view the incoming fax and gives you the option to print or delete them?

I've also been receiving countless phone calls from all sorts of weird area codes, and most of the time there's nobody on the other end. I've Googled these numbers and have found a whole world of people who are experiencing the same thing from the very same numbers. Last week I got a call from one company and they wanted to stop by Tuesday to discuss how they can help my business grow. Sure, why not humour them. Of course, nobody showed up that day. Big surprise. Today I got a call from the same number. I tore a strip off the poor woman who called. Told her about the site. Told her about the person who was supposed to come by early this week.

HOLY CRAP! Just got another salesperson while I was typing this!...where was I?

So anyway, I told the woman that not only did I think they are a scam, but they are a poorly orchestrated scam. I told her to take me off their list and not call here again.

I'm now keeping a list of all these phone numbers along with the time of call and that I've asked to be removed from their list. Who do I call when they call again? I tell ya, the government needs to get in on this.

Back to the call that just arrived...she asked for the manager, I asked what it was about, she's from the Ontario Business Directory and she was updating the contact information they have. OK, harmless enough I guess. She read off the list of our information and then told me we'd be published for the price of $249.

"Excuse me? Is this something we've done with you before?"
"You have been listed on a promotional basis to this point."

Guess what? I told her to take me off their list. Good god, isn't it enough that we pay a fortune for a yellow pages ad, not to mention newspaper ads? Everybody and their brother is trying to suckle from this teat, and quite frankly, I'm a bit raw at the moment.

Saturday morning as The Squeeze and I were about to head out, there was a knock at the door. The very same door with the little metal sign that says "NO SOLICITORS". The Squeeze opened the door and was given the pitch from Steve, the Direct Energy parasite. Steve asked to see our bill to "ensure we have price protection". The Squeeze pointed out the sign to Steve and said, "Do you see this sign?"

"Sir, I'm just trying to save you money on your utilities, blah, blah, blah..."
"I'm not interested."
"But blah, blah, blah..."
"I'm not talking to you Steve."
"But blah, blah, blah..."
"Goodbye Steve, I'm closing the door now."

If there's one thing that chaps The Squeeze's ass it's energy marketers. See, many years ago his father was scammed by one of these parasites when he wasn't in the early stages of Alzheimer's. He received a "rebate" cheque in the mail which apparently became a binding contract once he deposited it. It caused no end of frustration for his family. So needless to say, The Squeeze was fuming after he closed the door. We walked out seconds later to go shopping, and found Steve knocking at our neighbour's door. I guess my blood was boiling at seeing how The Squeeze was affected, so I went up to Steve and asked him why he would be so ignorant to knock on a door with a "NO SOLICITING" sign. Clearly we don't want people like him trying to sell us their crap.

"Well sir, we're just trying to make sure people are getting the best rate, blah, blah, blah."
"Well Steve, you see, his father was scammed by the likes of you while he had Alzheimer's, so that kind of left a bad taste in his mouth toward energy marketers."
"I can assure you this isn't a scam, blah, blah, blah."
"You know Steve, you'd be amazed how few scammers actually admit to it. The guy who scammed his father wasn't a scammer either."
"I'm sorry I wasn't able to help you..."

Did I give Steve the finger or was it my mind's finger? I don't recall. As The Squeeze and I drove off he said, "You know it just pisses me off that I spent $1.49 for that sign!"

"Maybe we could take it back to Home Depot. Tell them it doesn't work."

And we laughed, and laughed...

One thing the US has done better than Canada is that. I have my # on the Do Not Call list and the only people who are allowed to call me are businesses with whom I already have business, i.e., my credit card companies (who actually never all me) and political stuff.

You Canadians are much too polite. I would have closed the door in Steve's face. I don't deal with that crap.

Oh, at work we used to have our faxes go through my phone line with something called Audix. I could view the fax on my computer screen before deciding to print it up.
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