My position: telemarketing is annoying and should be eliminated. DO NOT WANT!
My reasoning: I did not ask for the call; hence it is an intrusion. It uses up my resources (time) without my request or approval. I did not ask for you to call me offering a home security audit for an alarm company. My current service is fine thank you. Don’t call me. I’ll call you.
As a result, my phone is locked on Do Not Disturb. I don’t hear the phone calls — all incoming calls go directly to voice mail. Nice and quiet now.
But why should I have to have a phone that screens my calls? I pay my phone company a fee just to add telemarketers to my ‘blocked’ list. I’m paying for the privilege of having a peaceful dinner at home.
Soon all this may change, as Canada will implement a Do Not Call list.
The Canadian government passed legislation in 2005 mandating the creation of a do-not-call registry. The registry is scheduled to take effect in mid-2008, yet many Canadians may be disappointed to learn about the exemption of a wide range of organizations (registered charities, business with prior relationships, political parties, survey companies, and newspapers). Under the law, exempted organizations are permitted to make unsolicited telephone calls despite the inclusion of the number in the do-not-call registry.
So, there’s a loophole, and a rather large one at that. But wait…there’s more!
Canadians now have their own Do Not Call service (iOptOut.ca), hosted by renowned online-media-rights law professor Michale Geist. iOptOut (still in beta) is a free service where Canadians can register up to three phone numbers and email addresses as part of setting up their iOptOut profile.
Once the profile is set up, iOptOut members select organizations to be notified of their preference to opt-out of marketing communciations. Just select an industry, say Newspaper, check all, and an email will be sent to all registered newspapers indicating that you no longer want them calling or emailing you for subscriptions. By law they must comply.
As I understand it, Canada’s do not call legislation (and the official canadian DNC registry) allows some organizations to be ‘exempt’ from the legislation. iOptOut fills that exemption hole.
How does iOptOut work?
iOptOut contains a database of organizations, all of which are exempted under the current law. When you register with iOptOut you create a personal list of organizations that you wish to opt-out from further marketing. You provide your name, telephone number(s) and email address(es) and we send a message to each organization, on your behalf, asking that they remove you from their active marketing or polling lists. You could send a message to each organization yourself individually, but there are hundreds and the appropriate contact information is often difficult to obtain. iOptOut allows you to do this in bulk, opting out of dozens of organizations with a few clicks.
Do I still need to register my phone number with the â€œofficialâ€ do-not-call registry once it is operational?
Yes. IOptOut complements the forthcoming do-not-call registry by filling in the gaps created by exempted organizations. You will still need to register your phone number with the do-not-call registry once it becomes operational.
So, I’ve opted out. We’ll see if this reduces the number of calls coming in from ‘Manitoba’ or ‘Ontario’. Unfortunately, there’s no way to opt out of incoming telemarketing calls from outside of Canada. Savvy telemarketers will soon switch to services hosted in the America, or offshore. Sigh.