Before I get into that, though: last night I learned another reason why telemarketing is detrimental to the public good. I got a call with the pause when I answered that indicates that it’s automated. I usually hang up at that point, to avoid the pitch to refinance my mortgage (!), or how to vote in the upcoming election. But this time I didn’t, and it was the Berkeley police notifying the neighborhood that a child was missing. (Later, I got another automated call saying she had been found.) If I had followed my usual practice of hanging up on automated calls, I would have missed this one — as well as any other such calls warning me of, say, a dangerous criminal on the loose or a toxic release in my neighborhood.
As for Direct TV: I’ve gotten two automated telemarketing calls from Direct TV in the last couple of weeks, despite the fact that (1) I am on the do not call list, and (2) I have never been a customer of theirs. This is a violation of the laws creating the do not call list, as well as being really annoying.
I went online and, with some digging, found a way to email the president of the company yesterday. The good news is that I got a follow-up call from the office of the company’s president today. The bad news is that they kept saying they would take my number off their list. Good; I’m pleasantly surprised that they were so responsive.
But I kept repeating that it’s not just me, it’s anyone on the do not call list. The guy I talked to suggested that this is a third party working on their behalf. I repeated that this is illegal.
What you can do: if you get a call from them, here’s the webpage that allows you to complain to the office of their president:
Maybe they need to get a flurry of complaints to convince them that mine is not an isolated incident (which it can’t be — why would they pick on me?).
The calls are automated and clearly expect a person to answer the phone; they don’t even leave a contact number. The first call, I answered, and stayed on the line to find out what company it was so I could complain. They say, select 1 to talk to a rep; 9 ‘if we have reached you in error.’ I punched 9; they called again. Second call was left on my answering machine, making it particularly silly — if I had wanted to buy what they were selling, they left no callback number, expecting me to have been there to punch 1.