Update 1-27-12: You don’t need to call them every 5 years any more. They have made it a permanent registry.
Every 5 years you should go to donotcall.gov to re-register your phone number on the Do Not Call list. This will keep away most telemarketers. It takes 5 minutes and will save you countless dinnertime telephone frustrations.
I got yet another telemarketing call from “The Carpet Cleaning Company”. Over the last couple years I’ve tried getting myself off their telemarketing list, starting with being on the National Do Not Call Registry. I tried “press 9 to remove yourself from our list” maybe 3 times in the last year (they call a lot). I tried talking to the nice lady who comes on and have alternately been hung up on and told that I’d be removed. Let me also say that I have no carpets that might possibly be cleaned! The biggest rug in the place is the throw in the bathroom.
So today I signed up to have my carpets cleaned. They’ll be here Thursday between 8 and 10 am.
I gave a ficticious name and a ficticious address. They said they’d call before coming out. I’m debating whether I should call it off when they call to confirm. I mean, all I want is for them to realize it’s not in their interest to call me. I don’t want to put some guy in a van out.
What do you suggest?
Update 4-23-09: The Cleaners Arrive
I got a call at about 9:30 from “the carpet cleaners” saying they’d be arriving shortly. At about 10, there they were!
I took a few photos of their truck, waited a few minutes and then approached them.
The conversation started out like this as best I can recollect. I’m forgetting some little bits but you get the idea (next time, I’ll record video of everything)
As I approached from across the street, the angry cleaner immediately asked something like, “So what about the carpets you need cleaned?” I guess I had “clean my carpet!” written all over my face. I had been trying to be all nonchalant. Oh well. ;-)
Lee – I don’t have a carpet needing cleaning. It’s illegal for you to have called me because I’m on the Do Not Call List.
Cleaner – Hey but we’re here.
Lee – Your company has called me 10.. no 20 times in the last 2 years and I’ve tried to get off your list every which way.
Cleaner – Hey maybe it wasn’t us that called you. There are a lot of companies like us out there.
Lee – Well, you’re here so it must have been your company.
I heard his phone ringing for a while and he picked it up. He handed me the phone telling me that I could talk with his company about it. There was a woman on the phone that I told much the same story to. I gave her my real name and phone number and she said something like she’d look into it or remove me from their list or something. As we spoke on the phone, the cleaner got more agitated and I ended up talking to him more than the woman. He took back the phone and we talked more.
The cleaner was getting angry that I had photgraphed his truck and said he wanted the pictures back. I saw it was getting ugly and thought to turn on the video function of my camera.
Watch the video. NSFW: profanity:
Pay particular attention where at 1:13 in the video the cleaner commits assault, gesturing angrily and saying, “I’m gonna screw your ass. I know where you live. Ok bitch?”
I received an unsolicited telemarketing call at 9-3-08 11:42 am from a woman identifying herself as being from “The Premiere Health Organization” or “Premier Health Care” or “Health Enrollment Center”.
The call started with a recording that asked me to press “1” for an operator. They are ostensibly selling PPO health insurance for $199/month + $125 enrollment fee. They claim to be using Ace Insurance (http://www.aceusa.com) as an underwriter and the Beech Street network of Doctors (http://www.beechstreet.com/)
I spoke with a woman who identified herself as “Jordan” and gave a callback number of 800-219-6643 x407. When I called the number, an answering system identified itself as “Heath Enrollment Center”.
To keep the call going for 11 minutes, 56 seconds, I gave her (almost) correct identifying information for myself.
Stop “prescreened” offers. Companies check your credit with the big credit reporting agencies all the time. Stop these offers and all those pre-approved credit card offers etc… go to www.OptOutPrescreen.com or call 1-888-567-8688.
Get off telemarketers mailing lists with the federal Do Not Call list, www.DoNotCall.gov
Last month, I told you about some websites you can visit to get off of junk postal mail and telemarketing lists. A few people have asked me how they can use those services without a computer. To get on the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call List, call 888-382-1222. Continue reading ‘Click Here January 2004: Junk Mail’ »