September 24, 2003


An intensely stupid federal judge blocked the FTC's Do Not Call List today. He may have had some compelling legal reason to rule that way, but I don't care. I hate, hate, HATE telemarketers.

So people I don't know selling shit I don't want have the right to steal as much of my time as they see fit by calling me whenever they like. Even if I don't answer (and if the Caller ID says "Unavailable" or "Private", I never do), I still have to go to the phone and see who it is. And then I have to listen to it ring until it goes over to voice mail. Although I have to say the number of telemarketing calls has decreased since we stopped answering the phone. They may be vermin, but some of them at least appear capable of learning.

If the telemarketers hadn't started calling everybody in the US seventy times a day just because they have the technology to do so, there wouldn't be a Do Not Call list. (God, I wish I knew how to call that judge up and offer him my consulting services. Several times a day. Just in case he changed his mind since the last time I called.) I think there ought to be some way of establishing that "I do not want to hear from you, under any circumstances, ever. If you call me you're wasting your time, and I will make a note of the product or service you were pushing and make it a point to never buy it as long as I live. Now, piss off." (I know you're supposed to be able to tell individual companies that. But I don't want to spend hours on the phone telling each one of the 27 million organizations that want my money never to call me again.)

Maybe I'll pay to have a second phone line added. It would have an unlisted number that we give only to friends and family, with explicit instructions to guard it with their lives. The current line will be the one I give to the rest of the world, and it will not be attached to a phone, only voice mail. I'll check it every few days to make sure there's nothing important in there. But I resent having to pay extra to guard my time from people who want to make me use it listening to their commercial pitches.

Now, if there were a way that if I got called and didn't want what they were selling, then I got to punch the caller in the face - now I'd be all for that. It would sort of even things out - I get my time wasted, you get a punch in the face. It would serve as a disincentive to taking telemarketing jobs, so workers would have to be paid more, thus increasing costs and making telemarketing less lucrative. Like magic, the industry would dry up overnight! And we'd all get to punch someone in the face! How cool would that be?

I think I've come up with the first plank of my presidential campaign platform: Telemarketers get punched in the face.

Posted by Mr Green at September 24, 2003 12:51 PM

Actually, I think that could be your entire platform and you'd get a respectable percentage of the vote...

Posted by: Susie at September 24, 2003 12:59 PM

You've got my vote!

Posted by: dave at September 25, 2003 08:04 AM

I just wish I could get my hands on one of the ACTUAL people calling my house...ooooh yeah...

Posted by: Eric at September 26, 2003 07:31 PM