Friday, July 22, 2005
the dead won't be bothered by pesky callers now
You just lost a loved one. You are in mourning and really don't feel like being bothered by anything. Well wishers have been sending cards and phoning the house for the past few days. You're coping with all you have to prepare. The phone rings and you pick it up ready with your "Thank you" speech and you are greeted with this:
caller: "Hello, may I please speak with Mr Roger Coll-id-zes-ker-ee?"
omg, is this a sick joke
you: "May I ask who is calling?"
caller: "My name is Albert and I am calling from the Society of Orphaned Sea Turtles."
you: "Ummm, Mr Kolidzesceri just passed away. Please remove him from your calllist."
caller: "My condolences, ma'am. I will do so. Would you be interested in possibly making a small dona ..."
SLAM ... dial tone
I had to endure this for over two years after my husband passed away. The first few times you are kind and polite and normally the caller will not bother you. Then the little biters call back months later and ask for him again! What? Did you think he got better and is back home now? Politeness out the window, you tell them to go away and never callback at that number again. most of the time, it works. I still have a few stragglers (almost four friggin years later). I cut them off, tell them he's dead, the phone is in my name (always has been), go pound sand, and take the number off their calling list.
Now, Direct Marketing Association, the nation's largest telemarketer, will remove the dead from telemarketing, e-mail, and direct mail lists for a nominal fee of $1.
You have to be frelling kidding me?
Granted, I realize a lot of people use the "He/She's dead" reply and ask to be removed. But to charge people a $1? The whole point of not answering these calls is so the little blood suckers won't get your money. So, to make up for all the money they are losing since the enactment of the Do Not Call List, they'll charge to have the dead removed. The Do Not Call List is free for the living but the dead get rooked for $1?
A spokesman for the FTC said family members can still have a decedant's number registered on the list provided they live at the same address.
But to guarantee no one will bother you at dinnertime to chat with the dead, DMA has the fee. The fee is supposed to cover verification of the death (like a copy of an obituary wouldn't suffice). They will also provide a list of the deceased to other companies that are not members of the organization. Probably for a fee.
Ref.: Marketers Set Up Do Not Call List for the Dead