We’ve all been there. The phone rings and we rush to answer it, only to be greeted by the silence of doom that can mean only one thing: you’re getting cued up for a phone solicitor’s spiel.
You hate to be rude, but sometimes just hanging up is the only way to escape without hard-earned money leaving your wallet.
It shouldn’t be this way.
The federal government of Canada — the highest authority in Our Land — has created a do-not-call list that allows citizens to opt out of phone solicitations.
Unfortunately, like many good ideas, it works better in theory than in practice.
Such appears to be the case with the news that enforcement of the national do-not-call list is scant at best.
More than 300,000 complaints have been made against telemarketers.
The feds have imposed $73,000 in fines but have only collected $250.
Apparently, no company is outright refusing to pay the fines, but they don’t seem to be gripped with fear, either.
And who knows? Maybe those telemarketers who insist they aren’t actually soliciting have found a loophole.
In the United States, for example, where an exception is made for surveys, one company made “survey” calls and made requests for follow-up calls. The practice resulted in a restraining order.
Whatever the reason for the huge number of ongoing complaints in Canada, it’s obvious that the do-not-call list in its current form is a joke.
University of Ottawa professor Michael Geist says the list is in serious need of a revamp.
“Millions of numbers have been registered … demonstrating that Canadians want to regain control over their privacy at home. It has become clear that the law needs significant retooling to provide a genuine, effective system against unwanted calls along with an enforcement system with tough consequences for violations.”
The professor hits the nail right on the head when he talks about privacy.
There is a certain urgency to a ringing phone, and telemarketers know it.
We shouldn’t have to live in fear of being sucked into buying something just because we answered.
From the Kamloops Daily News.