Ministry of Propaganda

Ministry of Propaganda - 25/May/2004: "Telephone Spam"

[Previous entry: "That wasn't what I asked"] [Home] [Next entry: "Overdue Blogging Abroad Update"]

Telephone Spam

The press is full with reports that spam is on the increase (again). Nothing really new, or did anyone really expect CAN-SPAM would help at all? But then I'm not that worried about e-mail spam at the moment: While it's annoying I have now trained my spam filter quite well and I don't really see most of it.

What I'm more annoyed about are the increasing telemarketing calls:

I usually have several of these every day: It often starts when I'm home for my lunch break, sometimes two calls in the 30-40 minutes I'm at home over lunch. It usually continues in the evening, where it's often two to three calls between 18:00 and 20:00. Frequently they are "silent calls", where some computer calls numbers and when someone picks it puts it through to an agent. Usually with some delay where I'm left guessing what is going on. And sometimes the machine just hangs up, may be because no agent became available...

Every time I'm interupted in what I'm doing, I have to get up to go to the phone and then get back to whatever I was doing. I find this much more annoying than e-mail spam, which I can deal with whenever I want to, not when the spammer dictates it.

I've registered my number with the Telephone Preference Service. Did it help? No, not at all. Because this is where it gets interesting: 99% of those calls ask for Mrs Bew. Who's Mrs Bew? She's the previous owner of the flat I'm living in, she moved out something like 10+ months ago. But the telemarketers seem to be unable to update their databases. I told the callers that she had moved away, did it help? No. I just hang up, did it help? No. Nothing seems to help. The calls just keep coming. (To make matters worse, I also still receive 5-10 junk mailings for Mrs Bew per week. But that's another story)

So what option have I got left? For now I reverted to my telephone spam filter. Call monitoring. My answering machine now says something like: Hello, if you are another stupid telemarketer feel free to leave your message after the tone, so that I can ignore it at my leisure. However, if you would like to talk to Armin Grewe personally and I know you, please start talking after the tone and if I'm home I'll pick it up, otherwise leave a message. Thank you and good bye.

Not very nice to genuine callers, but I don't know what else to do. Thanks to the telemarketers!

Thanks for listening. Rant over.

P.S.: If anyone thinks it might help them, here's the full list of Preference Services.

End of entry

Entry trivia

End of entry trivia

Spread the word:

Do you like this weblog? Do you think others might be interested in it? Then please tell a friend! Thank you.

Send me feedback about this entry:

The form below will send me an e-mail. To discuss in public, please use my discussion forum.

Your name (required)

Your e-mail (required, will not be published or passed on)

Your website (optional, but recommended)

Is this feedback
public (i.e. contents can be published in a future entry)
private (i.e. contents are only for my eyes)

Your feedback for this entry: