Monday, January 5, 2009

Telemarketers and other evildoers

Do you know what time it is?

Do you?!

Yep, it's that time...

Time for a rant blog!!!

Yay!!

(clap, clap, clap)

If you read my first book, you don't have to ask how I feel about telemarketers. So how do you think I took it when I received a recent email telling me that my cell phone number might be released to a new database for telemarketers?

!!!

And that unless I registered the number to be stricken from the list I could expect telemarketers to call me ... on my cell ... at my expense ... to try and wheedle my hard earned money out of me.

!!! (again)

A little history. In January 2003, the FTC (short for Full Time Competency, or Free The Chickens) ruled that….(hey, no snoozing ... pay attention!)… people who wanted to eat dinner in their own houses could henceforth (important legal term) sign up for a national Do Not Call list.

Do you get what that would mean?! No phone calls during dinner! Nobody calling while you’re slorking down spaghetti and meatballs, using your own phone to convince you to transfer your money to their wallets.

And think what this would mean to your dog! Intensified begging, without the distraction of telephone interruptions. No worries about getting his tail tromped on as your teenager breaks Olympic hurdle records on her way to a ringing phone. Canine peace of mind.

I just about sprained a finger signing up.

But then doom almost struck.

A judge (defined as someone whose job it is to make sure murderers get off on mere technicalities, real minor stuff. I mean, seriously, what’s so bad about a little illegal search and seizure? Ask George W. Bush)… Anyway, this judge said that the Federal government did not have the authority to do this.

What?! The Federal government doesn’t have the right to protect us?

Yes, protect us. Because that’s what a telemarketer call is, isn’t it? An assault.

Think about it. When a telemarketer calls, isn’t it an attack on your peace, and, dare I say it, your actual health? Doesn’t your blood go into systolic gyrations? Don’t you grind your teeth to nubs? Don’t you feel like reaching through the phone and strangling the telemarketer with his own tongue?

Not only that, but they would invite themselves into your house, unwanted and unannounced, pushing you with ferocity not seen since your teenaged daughter begged you for a belly button piercing. (Yeah, I’m a normal Dad. I counted to ten and said “NO!” before hitting two.)

So the FTC stepped in, and said, “No way. A guy should be able to sit at his own dinner table, surrounded by his begging children and adoring dog, er, um.. I mean adoring children and begging dog, and consume chicken pot pie without some schmuck barging in with telephonic interruption, trying to get you to switch to MCI.”

I was so happy I cheered. And it wasn’t even a sporting event!

So, like millions, I happily signed up, and waited anxiously for some telemarketer to screw up and call me, so that I could sue him; and then here come the judge, here come the judge, watch out baby, here come the judge.

It seems like this ruling interfered with telemarketers’ constitutional right to make money. An intrusion on Free Enterprise.

Oh, boo, hoo, hoo!

Is arresting a dope dealer interfering with his right to make money in a free enterprise system?

Or is it restraint of trade when you apprehend a burglar?

Telemarketers don’t have the right to invade your privacy!!!!

But we won that won and I thought we were done. Then I received the email about my cell phone.

So I got on the FTC's website www.ftc.gov/donotcall and it almost makes me feel better. There's a disclaimer that says telemarketers cannot use automatic dialers to call cell phones. Okay, so does that stop them from using their little piggies to dial?

I added my cell number to the Registry.

But then something else happened.

The election.

The recent election spawned a new insidious evil ... no, not George ... he's going to be gone in a couple weeks. But the new evil is the robocall, an automated telemarketing phone call from politicians that ... get this ... ARE EXEMPT FROM THE NATIONAL CALL REGISTRY.

AAARRRGGHHHH!!!!!!!!

Why should some political hack have the right to call me, leave a loud, obnoxious call on my machine (cuz I ain't picking up)?

The people who have rights???!!!! Us!!!!!!!!!! Leave us alone!!!!! Let us eat!!!!!

I gotta go, my ! key is getting kinda hot.

Norm

www.normcowie.com

The Adventures of Guy
The Next Adventures of Guy
The Heat of the Moment
Missing (coming next month)
Fang Face (YA humor/vampire, coming in August)

1 comment:

Nocturnal Intellect said...

I hate telemarketers, but on seldom occasion, when I am not eating, drinking and I'm in a "mood", I carry on a conversation with them that makes them never dial me again or even perhaps quit their job!
My car warranty people who keep calling me numerous times never seem to know what vehicle do I really own, but yet they are telling me that this is my last warning and my warranty will expire...soon! Funny, I never get a straighT answer from them, WHEN?
Or those vacation promos, or that I am a winner of $500 shopping spree but I have to send them $4.99 S/H fee. I say, just deduct the damn five bucks off the 500 and send me the rest!
I came up with a funny solution to the ones that are trying to leave a message. I recorded an answer tone from my cell phone that tells them if they are solicitors, they better hang up and it goes on and on about not calling me again, and lists what we DON'T want.
After all, no one needs to call me at my land line anymore, right?